Top 5 Igbo Authorities In Nigeria's Oil And Gas Industry

Top 5 Igbo Authorities In Nigeria’s Oil And Gas Industry

1 month ago
6 mins read

Aside from multinational firms, there are several indigenous companies that play significant roles at various levels in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

With the ongoing trend of multinationals making efforts to exit, especially the onshore oil and gas exploration and production, considering the pressure to align with the global agenda of decarbonization, there are indications that the indigenous companies have more opportunities to operate sustainably and serve energy needs in the country.

Among the indigenous companies, there are icons of Igbo origin in Southeast region managing notable ones among them.

In this article, we profile the top five Igbo authorities in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

Catherine Uju Ifejika  – Brittania-U Nigeria Limited

Top 5 Igbo Authorities In Nigeria's oil And Gas Industry
Catherine Uju Ifejika

Catherine Uju Ifejika, is the Chief Executive Officer of Brittania-U Nigeria Limited, an indigenous integrated oil and gas company that offers energy services through exploration & production, subsurface engineering & consultancy. Brittania-U Nigeria Limited is an affiliate of Brittania-U Group.

Uju Ifejika, who hails from Anambra State in Southeast Nigeria, is a lawyer by training. She is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) and a fellow of the Institute of Arbitration and Conciliation. She has vast experience spanning over three decades in the oil and gas industry, having worked with a multinational oil firm, Texaco, between 1987 and 2003.

Uju Ifejika became the Chairperson/CEO of Brittania-U Nigeria Limited in 2007. When it comes to breaking the glass ceilings, the management of the oil and gas industry is believed to be one that is tough as it has over the years been an exclusive preserve for men globally. However, today, that is beginning to happen as more women are rising to management positions.

According to a report published in Oilprice.com, Uju Ifejika was listed as one of the top six most powerful women in the oil and gas industry globally and also described as one of the richest women in Africa. She has received both national and international awards for best practices in business leadership. It was said that Uju Ifeka used money paid as her severance package by Texaco to set up Britannia-U company.

With its headquarters in Nigeria, Brittania-U Group is involved in managing a portfolio of oil and gas assets in Nigeria, ranging from upstream (exploration & production and drilling), downstream, trading of crude products, sub-surface engineering and data appraisal for geophysics and petroleum projects.

In the upstream sub-sector, the company which has been in operation in Nigeria for over 20 years, operates major assets such as the CNL Ajapa Marginal Field (OML 90) and the Ajapa-1 SDTR2 and Tripod/Wellhead, including the FPSO – Brittania-U.

The company is also involved in Oil trading, which includes the sale of crude, refined products and condensates.

“Our operations cover the entire chain of the oil and gas spectrum. What we do involves identifying oil and natural gas deposits and the gainful exploration and drilling of those resources,” the company stated in its website.

 

ABC Ojiakor – Seplat Energy Plc

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Dr Ambrose Bryant Chukwuemeka Orjiako, popularly known as ABC Orjiako, co-founded Seplat Energy Plc., through a joint venture between his company, Shebah Exploration and Production, and Platform Petroleum Limited owned by Austin Avuru, in 2009.

Seplat is another indigenous oil and gas company listed on both London and Nigerian Stock Exchanges.

Dr Orjiako was the chairman of Seplat until he retired from the company’s board in May 2022.

Mr. Samson Ezugworie is the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Seplat Energy Plc.

Mr. Ezugworie, who was appointed to the Board of Seplat Energy on the 1st of July 2022, has over 30 years of extensive experience building a strong reputation as a business, safety, ethical leader, and integrator.

Before joining Seplat Energy, Mr. Ezugworie was the General Manager, Development and Subsurface with Royal Dutch Shell where he worked in Nigeria and Overseas for 25 years. He also served as a Director in Shell Exploration & Production Africa Limited (SEPA), The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and Shell Nigeria Business Operations Limited (SNBO).

 

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and is a Fellow and an active member of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE).

Then known as Seplat Petroleum Development Company, the oil and gas company, has changed to Seplat Energy to reflect its quest to become a supplier of a more diverse range of energy products, not just oil and gas.

The company has Roger Brown as its current Chief Executive Officer.

 

Dr Azudialu-Obiejesi – Nestoil  Limited

Top 5 Igbo Authorities In Nigeria's oil And Gas Industry
Dr Azudialu Obiejesi

Nestoil, an indigenous Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) Company in the Oil and Gas sector is headed by Dr. Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi as the Chairman/CEO.

Dr Azudialu-Obiejesi has headed Nestoil over the last 30 years as it grew steadily into becoming the foremost indigenous EPCC Company in not just Nigeria but West Africa.

He has over 35 years of industry and business experience.

By training, Azundialu-Obiejesi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA from the University of Benin.

He is an Honorary Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and an alumnus of the Harvard Business School. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 2009, and another one in Science and Engineering from the Chukwuemeka Odumegu-Ojukwu University, Anambra State in 2018.

Incorporated in 1991, Nestoil has been a significant contributor to local content in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry for the past three decades in the area of pipeline construction, repairs and maintenance with associated facilities for dredging, river crossing and shoreline protection.

The company has been into pipeline construction, installation, maintenance and other forms of fabrication for various oil and gas firms operating in Nigeria.

 

Engr Emeka Okwuosa – Oilserv

 

Top 5 Igbo Authorities In Nigeria's oil And Gas Industry
Engr Emeka Okwuosa

Oilserv is another indigenous Oil and Gas Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Installation, and Commissioning (EPCIC) Pipelines and Facilities Company. It is headed by Engr Emeka Okwuosa as the Group Chief Executive Officer.

Engr Okwuosa is a seasoned engineer, administrator, and entrepreneur with over 33 years of experience in engineering in the following areas: maintenance and operations, teaching, wireline logging and interpretation, seismic acquisition, processing and interpretation, pipeline engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), project management, and drilling services.

Okwuosa, who hails from Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State, holds a BSc in Electronics and Electrical Engineering obtained from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife  in 1982. He founded and incorporated Oilserv Limited in 1992 but it began operations in 1995.

Before establishing Oilserv, Engw Okwuosa had worked in various capacities for a French oil service giant, Schlumberger, as Field Engineer, Technical Manager, among others in Europe (Pau, France, Scotland), North Africa (Libya), West Africa (Mauritania, Senegal, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana), Gulf of Guinea/Central Africa (Nigeria, Benin Republic, Cameroun, Gabon, Congo, Angola) and Indonesia.

Oilserv has over the years worked for Shell Nigeria, Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and other international oil companies (IOCs) in maintaining their pipeline transmission systems. Aside from Nigeria, the company also operates in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Benin Republic and Togo. The company is also said to be playing a significant role in the actualization of the federal government’s Gas Masterplan, especially for domestic gas distribution.

 

 Sir Emeka Offor – Kaztec

Top 5 Igbo Authorities In Nigeria's Oil And Gas Industry

Kaztec Engineering Limited is an indigenous engineering and fabrication company owned by Sir Emeka Offor.

Sir Offor, a billionaire businessman, who hails from Oraifite in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State, is also involved in other businesses. He is also a former Chairman of Erhc Energy, an American corporation with oil and gas assets in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Sir Offor is an entrepreneur with about three decades of business experience. He has built a vast business empire with interests in Oil and Gas, Insurance, Power Sector, Telecommunications, and Logistics, both in Nigeria and overseas. A member of the Rotary International, and sports lover with a particular interest in Lawn Tennis, Sir Offor is Chairman, Board of Directors, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC).

Located at Ilashe land, Snake Island, Lagos, Kaztec was established by Sir Offor to play a pivotal role in the development of the oil and gas sector of the Nigerian economy through fabrications, pipeline laying and installation and jackets for offshore platforms.

The company came into existence in 2010 but officially stopped work in 2015 due to government force majeurs. According to reports, the company’s operation was grounded when Addax Petroleum, the technical partner, had tax issues with the Federal Government.

Analysts estimated that the facility which is worth $1 billion was projected to generate over $33 billion values in revenues and foreign exchange savings for the federal government over 10 years, in addition to over 3,000 direct jobs and over 10,000 indirect job opportunities for Nigerians.

Sir Offor has been making frantic efforts to bring the company back to life so that the machines worth millions of dollars installed in the factory won’t continue to deteriorate.

In October 2023, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola, visited the factory and pledged the Federal Government’s support to revive the company.

Oyetola, who is also looking at how the company’s activities can help his ministry in contributing to the growth of the economy, promised to channel complaints about the company’s challenges to the president for quick resolution so that it can begin to function again.

“I want to assure you that we are going to support you in this project. You’ve spent so much and invested so much as a Nigerian. That’s the kind of thing we want to see happening in our country. So, whatever bottlenecks, issues can be resolved.

“We will look at all these issues holistically to support you. We want to encourage Nigerians to be able to invest in Nigeria. That’s part of the Renewed Hope agenda of the president, and the fact that the ministry is created for the marine and blue economy, which is part of what you are doing here,” Oyetola had said.

These and more are visionary entrepreneurs from the Igbo community who have leveraged their business acumen and strategic investments to play a pivotal role in shaping the oil and gas industry to boost the county’s economy.

Victor Ezeja is a passionate journalist with six years of experience writing on economy, politics and energy. He holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication.

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