Strategic expansion of Port Harcourt in Nigeria

Port Harcourt
Port Harcourt

With a tremendous track record of delivering complex projects such as Gautrain, Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme, Medupi Power Plant as well as the 2010 World Cup stadiums for clients in South Africa on time, within budget as well as to the required quality standards, it should not be surprising that GIBB continues to excel on the continent.

Muzi Siyaya, GIBB Group Business Development Executive, the seasoned provider of custom-made engineering, architectural and urban planning solutions, enlightens Construction Review that, essentially, social and business factors drive the company’s involvement on the continent.

“Firstly, being part of Africa and as an organisation with South African roots, we cannot ignore the growth opportunity that the infrastructure development deficit in Africa offers.

“Secondly, we do align ourselves with the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) initiative aimed at promoting infrastructure development through sharing knowledge gained from a 58 year presence in Africa,” he says.

GIBB is a multi-disciplinary engineering consulting firm that is mainly involved as an implementing agent (owner engineer) or a trusted partner in projects taking place in respective African countries in all stages. Services offered by the firm range from Engineering Consulting and Implementing Agency services related to the procurement of EPC contractors and the management of project implementation on behalf of clients.

Siyaya adds that additional services include, project selection and prioritisation, transaction and technical advisory services related to the mobilisation of project preparation funding, the drawing up of studies for each specific project (feasibility, techno-economic and financial, environmental and social impact, detailed pilot study and documentation for invitations to tender); GIBB also gets involved in the mobilisation of debt and other financing instruments as may be required for viable projects.

Siyaya explains that the firm understands that every country has a unique way of doing business. “We ‘go native’ by building partnerships with local companies that have a better understanding of the local environment. We have realised that for us to succeed, we have to respect local culture.”

Furthermore, as part of due diligence to ensure that projects are environmentally sustainable, GIBB ensures that all projects it undertakes comply with the best practice engrained in its ethos. “We ensure that the projects we work on have a lasting legacy in communities in which they are meant to serve,” says Siyaya.

Focus on West Africa

Buoyed by the successful completion of the massive framework and master plan for the infrastructure revitalisation and current implementation thereof in Port Harcourt, River State in Nigeria, Arcus Gibb Nigeria, is determined to make inroads into other countries in West Africa.

The successful completion of the Master Plan Project and the subsequent design and the roll-out of housing and bulk infrastructure in Port Harcourt, Nigeria is very encouraging, says Wiero Vogelzang, the Managing Director of Arcus Gibb Nigeria, which is part of the GIBB family.

“We see it as a springboard into the rest of Nigeria and Anglophone and Francophone countries in West Africa.”

Through the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, the River State Government had contracted Arcus Gibb Nigeria to produce a Master Plan for Port Harcourt City’s infrastructure revitalisation. Specifically, the Master Plan documents how the city’s infrastructure shall be redeveloped in the areas of transport, housing, water supply and reticulation, stormwater management, electrification and sanitation and sewerage in an environmentally sustainable manner. Arcus Gibb Nigeria has worked on the project for over six years.

Now, with Port Harcourt’s experiences and a depth of skills gained from its recent merger with SVA International, the company is well-positioned to handle more complex projects.

Currently, Arcus Gibb Nigeria is promoting itself through high profile avenues such as conferences and exhibitions.

“Presenting a paper on Water and Sanitation in Port Harcourt – Lessons Learnt  during the Accra International Conference Centre provided an opportunity to demonstrate our expertise in planning and service delivery to government officials, development agencies, local consultants, suppliers and contractors from across the West Africa region,” says Vogelzang. This has resulted in many opportunities being brought to us from Ghana, Sierra Leone, Togo, Cote D’ Ivoire, Senegal and The Gambia.

Vogelzang adds, “With our level of determination, nothing will stand in our way of achieving our objectives.”

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