TEXCO was incorporated on 13th October 1975 by myself. After that, I stroke than a deal with IPTC (West Africa) Ltd. and TEXCO became a joint venture
with me as Managing Director and owner of TEXCO. I accepted and got substantial support for the start up in return. Besides H. Stüssi, Dr. Athenas Ghertsos ans Mr. Squindo where the Directors at IPTC, supporting the venture.
This cooperation 1981, than the newly appointed MD of IPTC terminated the cooperation since he was on the view that he has too little
influence in the TEXCO business and since he was not on my "wave length" I was not ready to give him more! Of course the consequences we had to face! Heinrich StÃ¼ssi acted as our overseas executive
in Switzerland and looked after our interests there.
Heinrich Stüssi of IPTC, my former boss, was appointed a Director of TEXCO and remained on the board until the "bitter" end. When IPTC revoked the agreement in 1981,
Heinrich decided to work for TEXCO half time and founded a Company in Meilen for the sole purpose to act as liaison office for TEXCO in Europe.
Heinrich died on 11.01.2017 at the age of 89.
TEXCO shifted three times offices. First we were situated near the Airport Hotel, Ikeja. Later we rented a house at Oduduwa Way, GRA Ikeja, just opposite the Army Barracks. Finally I had enough in negotiating new rents and being at the mercy of landlords.
Via our lawyer, Chief John Edozie, I acquired, a plot of land, at a completely virgin site. IPTC did not want to invest in fixed assets, therefore Mr. Squindo of IPTC Paris and MD of IPTC (West Africa) Ltd., offered me a solution with pre-fabricated housing units.
I liked the idea and I went to Paris in order to make all arrangements. I intended to become SIPAT's agent (the manufacturers of the prefab units),
in West Africa and the "TEXCO VILLAGE" should become a show piece. Unfortunately SIPAT went bankrupt, soon after completion of this project in 1978. That made us the only inhabitants of these brilliant units in Africa.
After all they lasted for 25 in this tropical climate! We were the first residents of Ajao Estate at Oshodi-Apakun (near to the Lagos Murtala Mohammed Airport), and
an easy target of many robbery attacks! . We were also ideally situated, near major Textile Mills, in the Lagos area.
The Beginning of the End started already 1972. The "Nigerian Enterprise Promotion Decrees" resulted in reduction in my share holding in TEXCO, from 75% to 50%. The remaining 50% had to be held by Nigerians. At that time I only "trusted" my Office Manager, Mr. H.O. Ogunwemimo. I entrusted
him 45% of the shares and promoted him to Administrative Director. Another big mistake! He siphoned a lot of money out of the company and only after a long and nerve racking battle
I regained 75% share holding. Too late! Ogunwemimo died 1998 and left 3 multi-story houses behind.
After his death, his family went after the money and managed to blocked all TEXCO accounts. This brought me in a very difficult situation since I could no longer make payments.I could no longer pay salaries on a regular basis and that spelled the end. I raised money in Switzerland and used my personal
bank accounts to continue business but that, of course, was bad. I depleted all my reserves abroad, inclusive live insurance, the lot! A freak accident, merciful, shot me to Switzerland where I survived with a lot of luck. I could not even save a toothbrush in the over 30 years struggle in Nigeria! My words: "Shit Happenz!"
* "In 1972 the government issued an indigenisation decree, the first of a number of Nigerian Enterprises Promotion decrees, that barred aliens from investing in specified enterprises and reserved participation in certain trades to Nigerians.
At the time, about 70 percent of commercial firms operating in Nigeria were foreign-owned. In 1975 the federal government bought 60 percent of the equity in the marketing operations
of the major oil companies in Nigeria, but full nationalisation was rejected as a means of furthering its program of indigenisation.
(full article in the link: "Indigenization Decree"
On the Beach with Erwin Angstmann 1973
Erich is Service Engineer from Schweiter AG in Switzerland and had work in Nigeria several times. We represented his Company and he always stayed at
our house as a guest.
Other Major Happenings
In summer 1978, by flying back from a business trip, with Erich Scholl (Scholl AG), we noticed smoke over the TEXCO Village. After landing and reaching home
we learned that one of my wives brothers set the Crocodile Bar ablaze. This out of rage of one of Jeanette's actions against him (I sympathised with him!). So we had dinner under a palm tree in the compound.
With the help of some residential erectors from Luwa and Schweiter AG and our staff, we constructed a provisional bar/restaurant facility. In a German furniture factory we built new tables, chairs, bar stools.
This all in our spare time and weekends. Simultaneous we constructed a new building to house the Crocodile Bar. It had also an open Bar on the roof-top, called "CrocTop;. Within 3 months we were back
1982 we enjoyed a "Mini Boom" and under the gentle pressure from some of our principals we constructed a new, flashy, office building and renovated the TEXCO complex.
We added also a transformer in order to get a more stable power supply from the high tension line. We installed as well a second Rolls Royce Generator to the existing one.
All this was capital intensive and also the boom was soon over. OK, we had now a super infrastructure but were out of cash again!