Aiteo Group an international energy conglomerate with innovative solutions and strategic investments across value chain has debunked allegations making the rounds alleging without any foundation that the company maintained a corrupt relationship with the erstwhile Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Aiteo is of the view that the speculations are prejudicially designed to tarnish the image and reputation of the company as well as that of its Executive Vice Chairman. Some of the issues raised are sub-judice, the company is unable to comment entirely on all the matters since it considers them as unfounded and unnecessary fabrications. However, global best practice demands that it tenders a rebuttal for the sake of its shareholders, host communities, over 11,000 people who also derive their livelihood from the company and the general public.
The international energy conglomerate pointed out that at no time in its company’s history, has any of its directors or employees ever been involved in any form of criminal or immoral business, other conduct or activity with the former Petroleum Minister, any NNPC or other government staff or agent. Aiteo never benefitted from the Strategic Alliance Agreements referenced in the fabricated article. The company is a major player in the Nigerian oil sector importing petroleum products for NNPC and exporting naphtha, fuel oil and condensates and already a flourishing and prosperous group by any standards long before Alison-Madueke’s appointment as Minister of Petroleum Resources. Aiteo’s core area of business has been the trading and distribution of sundry petroleum products since its inception in 1999. Furthermore, the NNPC has publicly confirmed that no Aiteo entity is indebted to NNPC or any of its subsidiaries.
The article purported that Aiteo has been linked to the alleged 2015 INEC bribery scheme but failed to state in which way it arrived at its conclusion simply because no such reality exists. It is only those seeking to deliberately besmirch the hard-earned reputation of Aiteo as Nigeria’s foremost indigenous Oil and Gas Company that will dubiously link the company, in the manner that the publication has done.
It is with respect to false inferences concerning OML 29 that the true motive of the authors of the publication comes to light. The truth is that the sale of OML 29 to the Aiteo Consortium by Shell, was conducted under international best practices with Aiteo emerging as the preferred bidder due to its superior technical and commercial competence. The rigor and transparency under which the bid was conducted by the owners of the purchased interest, Shell, Total and Agip, made it unnecessary and impossible for anyone to influence the outcomes inordinately. These allegations are therefore wrong and should not have been published. That Aiteo is able to announce a production increase of 400% from about 23kbpod a year ago to averaging over 90kbpod, is a testament to the technical robustness of its work force and the prudence and professionalism of its management team.
Aiteo noted that despite its open-door policy to media enquiries, the authors claimed to have attempted to contact the company several times. However, it is a contrition that none of those efforts extended to using the contact details on its corporate website. It is apparent to Aiteo and any keen observer, that there is vested interest behind the unsavoury publications, and that there is an orchestrated campaign of calumny on an international level against an indigenous company that has gone global in outlook and outreach.
As a note of warning to mischief makers, the indigenous leading light in Nigeria’s oil and gas space has considered legal action against organizations who have or will allow themselves to be irresponsibly and unlawfully used in this smear campaign. Aiteo Group’s contribution to the overall financial capacity of the country cannot be overemphasized. Its activities have contributed several millions of US Dollars to the Nigeria’s coffers and led to direct foreign investment worth more than US$4 billion, in addition to several other corporate social investments.
Notwithstanding, in spite laborious struggle to present Aiteo as a corporate entity with questionable credentials and poor track record in the industry, it makes bold to say that its business is driven by a commitment to integrity, transparency and accountability. The company’s commitment is the cornerstone of its resilience and accomplishments which underpins its resolve to provide Nigeria consistently with integrated energy solutions that power the future.