While the Nigerian government has continued to intensify efforts in generating stable power supply for its citizens, JMG generators, FG Wilson’s partner in Nigeria, has promised to remain committed in filling the gap insufficient power supply currently created in the country.
Ken Crawford, JMG’s Product and Process Development Manager, in an interview with FinIntell said his firm will ensure Nigerians enjoy high quality generators as it continues to establish itself as the nation’s foremost generator dealer offering remarkable products and after sales support.
Tell us about JMG’s partnership with FG Wilson
One of the cornerstone’s of JMG’s success is its firm partnership with FG Wilson; the largest global assembler of Perkins powered generating sets with over 40 years of experience in the industry.
JMG started its partnership with FG Wilson in the mid 90s to ship and market its generating sets to other countries. Our company operations extend over an area of over 20,000m2 managed by a staff of 800 employees, which are focused on providing clients with a variety of options that aim to enhance customer experience.
FG Wilson generating sets are designed, built and tested in Northern Ireland, UK. The company has a manufacturing capacity of over 2,000,000ft2 spread across the UK, USA, Brazil, China, and India; from which it produces over 80,000 generating sets a year.
FG Wilson has been in existence since the early 1960s. Historically, it started as a family business. The company grew significantly in the 70s and 80s; but more significantly in the 90s, supplying almost every country in the world. However, in 1995, FG Wilson family sold the business to Emerson Electric, an American multinational corporation and one of the largest power equipment manufacturers in the U.S. The following year, Emerson formed a joint venture with Caterpillar Inc., another multinational and manufacturer of construction equipment. Then, in 1999, FG Wilson became a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar. Since that time, Caterpillar has been very conscious of the state-of-the-art manufacturing processes of FG Wilson’s product, and also conscious of the reputation and quality that Caterpillar represents as a company.
How has JMG contributed to the development of the Nigerian economy?
From historical perspective, Nigerian market always prefers high quality products; and I think generally, they look towards products manufactured in the United Kingdom. Examples of such quality products are generating sets which JMG markets in Nigeria. The generators, manufactured by FG Wilson (Engineering) Limited, provide alternative power supply to help Nigerians tackle unstable electricity. And as a law abiding company, we pay appropriate taxes to the government and train our personnel regularly in order to build capacity.
In 2006, Nigerian government introduces some rules that make it more expensive for importers to bring in complete generating sets; this makes it more expensive to compete in the market place. However, the rules further encouraged the assembling of parts of generating sets in Nigeria by JMG, while FG Wilson provides all the tactical knowledge in the assembling process. JMG uses exactly the same manufacturer instruction in the assembling process because we now function as part of subcontract packaging agreement with FG Wilson. JMG personnel are regularly being trained in the UK while FG Wilson experts are sent to JMG to monitor the setting up process. We work with the same UK quality standard.
As at today, JMG is a leading member of Nigeria’s generator industry. Since its inception in 1998, the company has focused all its efforts to establish itself as the nation’s foremost generator dealer offering remarkable products and after sales support.
Could you tell us more about your product and services?
Our partnership with FG Wilson enables us to offer our clients a complete range of generators from 10kVA to 2000kVA with remarkable product support and after sales services. We supply diesel and gas powered generating sets. FG Wilson generating sets are designed to offer clients more comfort through enhanced performance, durability, and serviceability.
Our products include sound attenuated enclosure, gas powered sets and genuine spare parts. The F.G.Wilson sound attenuated enclosures are a result of intensive research and development by experienced acoustic engineers. These enclosures are made with high density insulation material to offer optimal noise reduction and to withstand the toughest environmental conditions.
How would you rate your product in the market?
I believe our product is better because we partner with FG Wilson, a well-known brand that is the best and largest generator sets manufacturer in the world. Through our intensive R&D (research and development) and dynamic customer approach, JMG provides complete end-to-end solutions to all its clients.
On our after sales support, JMG has one of the most effective generator maintenance centres in the country. Our 24/7 response has been ranked as one of the best. With over 3000 satisfied customers, we’ve gained ample experience in fulfilling each customer’s unique needs.
How rewarding has it been doing business in Nigeria?
I have worked with FG Wilson in India and in North America, and I think the market is the same. People look for reliable products; generating sets that have good qualities and being sold at the right price.
The Nigerian market in particularly is key to FG Wilson and JMG because there is a lot of opportunities in the retail end of generator business here due to irregular power supply in the country. We get contracts to power special projects or do one-off installation. The telecommunication industry has also been an attraction for us because all their masts across the country need to be powered un-interruptedly. Apart from the telecoms sector, we currently cater a variety of industries such as health, leisure, manufacturing, financial, construction, and oil and gas.
With the current privatisation plan in the power sector, do you see the country getting it right in terms of generating un-interrupted power supply for its citizens?
Lately, I know the government has shown more effort in ensuring regular power supply and other infrastructure in the country, but they are going to need time to effectively build sustainable projects and become more dependable because of the large population. Overall, I think it will be a good legacy if the government can provide un-interrupted power supply 24/7 (24 hours, 7 days).
With the effort of the government, it is obvious that the generator market in Nigeria is a temporary market when compared to other developing countries. However, pending the time that the government will achieve its aim of generating stable power supply, our generators are here to serve the needs of the people.
Are you in any way going to participate in the on-going privatisation process in the Nigerian power sector?
FG Wilson only produces diesel and gas generators. It is the large power station companies involved in regional gas plant installation techniques that will embark on such projects.
How environment friendly are your generators (green environment)?
Driven by legislation, our generating sets do not flare gases significantly. For over a decade, Perkins, the manufacturer of our engines, has been designing and developing environment friendly generators; and there are various ranges of our products that are green environment compliant. For example, our gas generators flare cleaner fumes because the technology is geared towards an improved environmental system, and we get the benefit of that too.
So, while there may not be direct legislation in Africa, our products comply with regulations in the country where they are being manufactured.
As a private firm operating in Nigeria, what are your expectations from the government in making the country more business friendly?
I think continuous political stability, adequate security and improved infrastructure will further make Nigeria more business friendly. The government needs to intensify its effort in the power sector, construction of roads and other amenities. If you look at the Western interest in Nigeria, it focuses more in the oil and gas sector, whereas there are other natural resources that can attract foreign investments.
So, while the Nigerian government must ensure that the oil and gas sector which is the driver of the economy remains stable, it should also project other natural resources available in the country for investment purpose.
How do you relax?
I like to play golf sometimes and probably watch football. I also go for hot drinks and beer when I need to drink.