THE NIGERIAN STORY
1970 - 2000
1970 - 1975 IPTC (West Africa) Ltd.
1975 - 2000 TEXCO / (Textile Consult Nigeria) Ltd.
The beginning of 30 years Up & Downs! (1970 - 2000)
Ending with the Big Bang!
While recovering from the "Gillain Barre" I started looking for a job. No more experiences with fancy treks. I had to become serious and I got a Job with IPTC in
Zürich. The big boss was Dr. Athenas Ghertsos, also the Greece Consul at that time. He was looking for someone who was expanding his Textile
Machinery Agency in Lagos/Nigeria. There was already Mr.Bahjedry who attempted the feat but he didn't got far and he wanted to return.
I reported to Heinrich Stüssi and he stood by my side to the bitter end.
IPTC (West Africa Ltd.) was mainly in business with the army and Mr. Walter Squindo, the GM, was in charge of it. His interest in the Textile Industry was marginal to say the least, a
fact which led to the failure of Mr. Bahedery's attempt. All this was not known to me and I went around European Textile Machinery Manufacturers in order
to become their agent in Nigeria. At that time also many where represented by Proxima, Hans Mehr, Cothinou Caro and others. Until my start in Nigeria
We managed to secure some reputed mandates and started. The beginning was not easy. I had zero experience and only a marginal customer list. So, I went out to see them systematically.
All Textile Mills in the country big or small. The main areas where Lagos, Kaduna, Kano, Enugu and Onitsha. It took almost 6 months before I could conclude my first (small) order. Than things started to get rolling.
We were able to get also the representatives of Eduard Küsters, Zellweger , Scholl AG and others. Most mills where vertical so we could offer machinery from fibre processing to the finished fabric.
became more and more demanding and I got fed up explaining. After all our turnover grow very rapid. I moved my office to Ikeja
, near the
(Rose Garden!) and started the process of
incorporating my own Company: Textile Consult (Nigeria) Ltd
, short TEXCO
. This done I confronted IPTC with the fact. All agencies where informed and I got their consent and support. Meaning that they will entrust
their representation to TEXCO after the contract with IPTC runs out. I agreed in turn to continue to look after their interest until the change over.
Dr. Athenas Ghertsos
offered me a deal under which TEXCO was a subsidiary, with me as MD and owner of TEXCO. The benefits were a generous fixed monthly income, all expenses paid and a bonus according to the
annual result. I agreed because I realized that the start-up, without receiving commissions, for at least 6 - 8 months, would be very difficult.
I had no money on my own and in this way I didn't need a costly credit. For a couple of years all went well. With the help of Mr. Walter Squindo
even financed the TEXCO VILLAGE
. Than the first crisis came. 1975 IPTC in Zurich split up and the cooperation was canceled by the newly appointed MD.
This with the understanding that all new commissions from, this date, on went to TEXCO. All our liabilities to IPTC where waived. All this with the help of Dr. A. Ghertsos, Mr. Squindo and Heinrich Stüssi
. Fair enough!
In the meantime I acquired some additional major agencies like LUWA, Ingolstadt, Stork Brabant, Tsudakoma, Murata, ... , unfortunately also Ingolstadt which
was previously with Proxima. My target at that time was clearly RIETER, but Dr. A. Ghertsos was a close friend of Dr. Mangold (MD at SSI) and they did good business in Egypt. He believed
to do me a favor by forcing this mandate on me!
He arranged a high powered delegation from Ingolstadt (SSI) to visit TEXCO and I had no other option than to play the game.
Result: Proxima (our cometitors) lost Ingolstadt (SSI) and, since Rieter was free they took the opportunity and joined them. After a while Rieter took over Ingolstadt and I was left with nothing! "Shit happenz..."
This was the biggest single mistake in the Company's history, apart of making Ogunwemimo a Director of TEXCO. Chief Edozie, our Company Lawyer, would have been the perfect choice but at that time, I did not trust him entirely!.
Anyway we survived another 22 years but could have had it, financially and otherwise, much easier!
Erwin's pictures of a weekend at Agadja Beach 1973
Erwin's pictures 1973 at Agadja.
These pictures were sent to me by Erwin Angstmann, a long time Service Engineer from Schweiter AG, Horgen. These pictures where taken in 1973, or thereabout!