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Mofikoya: Vitapur is Committed to Ideals of SON Certification

Mofikoya: Vitapur is Committed to Ideals of SON Certification

In this interview, General Manager, Vitapur Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Yemi Mofikoya, explains the strategic relevance of the company’s products towards the federal government’s efforts towards bridging house deficit gaps in Nigeria. Gilbert Ekugbe present the excerpts

Why did Vitafoam Nigeria PLC establish Vitapur ?

Vitapur was established in alignment to the vision of Vitafoam Nigeria PLC, because Rigid Polyurethane is part of Polyurethane foam products. With a deficit of 19 million houses in Nigeria, and the possibilities of using Prefabricated structures, there was a huge market for rigid panels used in dry wall construction. Also, Vitapur was  established to blend chemicals (Raw materials) for the flexible foam industry which is backward integration thereby saving the foamers FOREX used for importation.

Vitapur Nigeria Limited (a subsidiary of Vitafoam Nigeria PLC) is an insulation manufacturing company incorporated on 30th March 2009. The company commenced business on 1st October 2010 as a wholly-owned Nigerian company established to manufacture PUF (Rigid Polyurethane) and PIR (Poly-Isocyanurate) foam insulation products.

Vitapur’s core values are Experience Professionalism, Innovative Engineering, Focus on our Clients and High Quality products.

The company manufactures, fabricates, and installs its various polyurethane rigid foam products, some of which include Prefabricated buildings, Sandwich panels, Insulation boards, Chemicals systems, and pre-cut pipe sections. Vitapur also performs in-situ insulation services by means of spray foam equipment and other Utility Machines like Air Compressor and Electric Power Generator.

Let’s know who you are and your profession before you assumed duty at Vitapur?

My name is  Engineerer Yemi Mofikoya, the General Manager of Vitapur Nigeria limited. 

I hold a B.Eng degree in Electrical Engineering and M.Sc (Control Engineering).  I’m a Cisco Certified Network Administrator (CCNA), Certified Automation Engineer (CAE), Post-Graduate Diploma in Industrial Automation (PGDIA), a member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (MNSE), a Registered Engineer (COREN) and a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Administrators of Nigeria.

 What were  the initial challenges and how were they managed?

Some initial challenges were product acceptability, inconsistent Government policies, sourcing of FOREX and limited technical know-how and Technology transfer.

We leveraged on the parent company’s brand strength to educate prospects and also develop the market. We attended and sponsored strategic exhibitions to propagate our products & service.

We explored relationship with chemical systems producers and original equipment manufacturers to improve our technical know-how and technology transfer.

Innovation is our watch word, as we keep evolving and improving on our processes and products. We are the largest manufacturer of Rigid polyurethane foam products (Sandwich panels, Insulated roof, Insulated doors, Pipe insulation, Insulation boards and Spray foam). 

We ensure all our staff are continuously trained onshore and offshore on latest technological developments. Also, we have a state-of-art laboratory for adequate testing of raw materials through finished products. 

Our chemicals are ozone-friendly has we have phased out HCFCs in our processes two years ago.

  Vitapur Manufactures Rigid Polyurethane foam insulation products, what specific problems are they meant to solve?

Vitapur is the foremost manufacturer of Rigid Polyurethane products in West Africa, our products are used for Thermal insulation (Energy savings). These insulation solutions are available for Roofs, Walls, Floors, Pipes and Tanks.

Our products are Sandwich panels, Pre-insulated roof panels, Insulation boards, Pipe sections, Spray foam, Insulated doors, Adhesive, Pigments and Pre-polymer.

With our insulated products, we produce to our customer’s specification,  thereby reducing waste, this is also done using Just-in-time (JIT) thereby reducing shipping costs and period. 

Same JIT methodology is used for our Chemical systems, this help increase product performance and potency. We also sell in drums thereby helping with a better cashflow for our clients.

Our products have helped our clients stay competitive by providing savings on energy costs, reduction on cost of funds, savings on shipping period, reduction on waste generation and better cashflow as order can be placed as at when needed, better product performance caused by potency. Technical support and product trials are conducted as value-add by Vitapur.

 Who are the Company’s target customers and what strategy is put in place to connect with them?

 Our target Customers are Professionals in the Building & Construction industry which range from Architects, M&E Consultants, Project Managers, Quantity surveyors etc. Also, Coldchain professional Manufacturers, Farms and agro allied, Food and Beverage, Pharmaceuticals etc

We are members of some strategic associations; we sponsor monthly meetings, partake in paper presentations and exhibit our products at some events/meetings like Organization for Technology advancement of Cold chain in West Africa (OTACCWA), NigeriaInstitute of Architects (NIA), Nigerian Institute of Quantity surveyors (NIQS) etc

As part of efforts towards  strengthening and deepening knowledge of what we do, members of these strategic associations conducted facility tour of our new factory at during its commissioning.

 6. Like many manufacturers in Nigeria , how is Vitapur contending with imported products and adulterated products?

It has been tough but we ensure we continuously evolve and innovate. We take innovation very seriously so we keep improving our products and service.

As we innovate, we take customers’ feedback very seriously which is significant in our strategic approach and this gives us competitive advantage in the market.

Vitapur provides  technical support (at no cost) to our esteem Customers, we ensure our Customers are satisfied. Our factory is strategically located on the Mainland in Lagos, Nigeria.

All our finished products are produced to meet all international standards especially in Quality. Our products are produced and customized to client’s requirements; this is a WIN/WIN solution.

 There is a huge market for Vitapur as despite the high quality of its products, many prospective customers have not appreciated it. Why ?

Insulation is not cheap anywhere in the world so some customers find it hard to afford it but now that energy cost is increasing, People see the need for insulation.

Our clientele base cuts across various industries from Food & Beverage, Pharmaceutical, Oil & Gas and Manufacturing. Some of our Customers are CHI Ltd, Dangote, Reckitt Benckiser, PerfettiVan Melle, Rite foods, Krones, Friesland Campina, CappaD’alberto, Monterosa, Elalan, Fenlab, Sarafoam, Unifoam, Vitafoam, Tejufoam, Harafoam , Nigerian breweries, Guinness, May & Baker, Mikano foods, Deli foods, OK foods, Olam, Indorama, NLNG, Shell, Chevron, FMA Architects, MO&A, KOA Consultants, Imo Hills farms, MDS logistics, IPI, Fanmilk etc

Congratulations on the recent certification of the Company’s products by Standards Organization of Nigeria ( SON ) . What does this mean to you and the Company ?

Vitapur Nigeria Ltd., a subsidiary of Vitafoam Nigeria Plc. has just been certified by Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) with Integrated Management System ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018 after conducting an intensive audit of the factory and its production processes. This is a huge one for the company as Vitapur Nigeria limited is the only insulation manufacturing company in Nigeria presently that possesses Integrated management system certification. This certification is a clear demonstration of Vitapur’s commitment to offering quality products and ensuring customer satisfaction.

ISO 9001:2015 talks about quality management system which ensures that all customers and stakeholders’ needs are met. Products are built to the required standards so that the requirements are met in terms of quality and customer satisfaction. This standard is in conformation to world best standard practices; this means that the same product quality that can be gotten in Europe or in America or anywhere in the world, is the same product that will be gotten at Vitapur Nigeria.

ISO 14001:2015 focuses on the Environmental Management System; what this implies is that, in terms of the environment, Vitapur has been certified as being environment conscious. The blowing agents and chemicals used for their products are green chemicals which means that they are Ozone friendly chemicals. This management system also focuses on waste management and the general housekeeping of the factory. We are committed to the obligation compliance requirement of operations. 

ISO 45001:2018 focuses on the occupational health and safety of everything within the organization (lives, equipment and properties). Vitapur has been certified as a safe place to work and health hazard risks have been reduced to the barest minimum. This means that in terms of on-site installations and spray foam applications, Vitapur is sure to meet up to all safety standards and regulations. We

Our Policy of “Do no harm to Customer, Man and Environment” resonates with all we do at Vitapur Nigeria limited. We are committed to the ideals of our certification by SON.

   How does Vitapur source raw materials and what are the challenges involved?

Most of our Raw materials are sourced offshore and the major challenge is availability of FOREX.
The other challenge is high custom duty and freight from the port to the factory.

Regrettably, some of our raw materials is levied 50% import tariff (5% VAT inclusive) on imported raw material i.e. Pre-Painted Hot dip Galvanized induced steel (PPGI) – HS Code: 7210.4910.00 which is used for the production of these insulated panels and insulated coldroom doors; whilst imported finished goods of insulated panels and insulated coldroom doors has Zero duty import tariff. The imbalance poses a danger for local manufacturers of the finished products in Nigeria.

 What are the main achievements of Vitapur over the years?

We are the largest manufacturer of Sandwich panels in Nigeria, the only manufacturer of insulated doors (Hinged & Sliding) for Cleanroom, Coldrooms, Telco shelter and blast freezers.

We have grown to blending of chemical systems like MDI-prepolymer, Non-flammable adhesive and Rigid polyols.

We have saved the Country of some Foreign exchange (FOREX) demand on major projects like Dangote fertilizer, which sourced their insulation boards from us.

Also, we are the only insulation company in Nigeria to possess IMS ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018 certification

We have created employment opportunities for talented Nigerians and also conscious about our operating environment.

  How can Vitapur generate forex for Nigeria  ?

Leveraging on the AfCFTA implementation, we are positioned to export our products especially the Chemical systems and sandwich panels products into other African countries. This will generate FOREX for Nigeria as these products are technologically driven.

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