L-R; Engr. Simbi Wabote, Audrey Joe-Ezigbo, Dr. Maikanti Baru and Dada Thomas
Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), had its 11th International Conference and Exhibition recently in Abuja. The biannual conference brought together juggernauts in the gas sector including other countries that have made progress in gas production with significant reserves.
After various sessions where challenges were highlighted and solutions proffered, NGA had its Gala Night that was co-sponsored by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Shell companies in Nigeria and a leading indigenous company, Aiteo.
Eminent professionals who have distinguished themselves in services they provide for the gas industry were honoured and celebrated. Awards were given to serving and corporate members for their outstanding support to the association.
In his remarks, Dada Thomas made it known that the objective of 11th NGA Gala Night is for members to relax after the technical sessions and other discussions pertaining to the gas industry. Dada projected a bright future for the association with a bigger event going forward.
He thanked members and corporate sponsors of the event for their support in ensuring that the association had an occasion that brought members together.
Speaking as one of the sponsors, Group Managing Director (GMD) of Aiteo, Chike Onyejekwe, said, it is a pleasure for the company to associate itself with NGA. He revealed that Aiteo is a conglomerate which operates in the downstream, upstream, power and agricultural sectors, “So, you could see a whole value chain of business within Aiteo.”
Onyejekwe recalled his younger days in the oil industry as a Geologist whereby he discovered hydrocarbon and he and his colleagues were celebrating the discovery, but when it was production-tested, it was gas. The Aiteo boss said it was like a failure, “Why are you celebrating something that will not add value but today, that discovery is powering one of the biggest plants in this country.” Aiteo being an independent at present in Nigeria, has an asset that will play big not only in the oil sector, but gas which is becoming the future. As a major supporter of various related industry associations in Nigeria, the company will add significant value by making sure they are sustained. Onyejekwe pointed out clearly that “Aiteo is proud to be a part sponsor of NGA.”
On his part, Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Gas, Ed Ubong said, Shell companies in Nigeria believed that NGA is a premier platform for gas advocacy in-country. Shell has contributed its quota to “Further the gas story.” Ubong believes that gas has a place in Nigeria’s oil land scape and the country has come a long way when it only had NLNG and presently it is pushing for big domestic gas project. He revealed that Shell is working on a gas project in Asa north which will be a big changer when it comes on stream in the domestic gas market.
Special awards were given to corporate members in recognition of their roles in Nigerian gas industry. Lead Way Assurance Company Limited, Greenvile NLNG and West African Gas Pipeline (WAPCO) were awarded. WAPCO was recognized for its role in integrating West African countries along the west coast. Other recognition awards were given to ACCUGAS, Falcon Corporation, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Total, Axxela, Aiteo group, Shell Companies in Nigeria, NLNG and NNPC.
Awards were also given to NGA Executive members including gas industry award which was received by Managing Director, NLNG Limited, Tony Attah. The NGA leadership award went to Chief Executive Officer, Axxela Limited, Bolaji Osunsanya. Osunsanya has over thirty years of executive management experience including management consultant, finance, commercial banking and oil and gas. He has supervised and initiated many projects on gas.
Engineer Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) was given NGA industry award. The NCDMB boss was a former Director in Shell, whose career spanned over twenty-five years and served in various senior executive positions. He developed local content strategy in Shell including its implementation in several countries.
The NGA gas person of the year award went to the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Maikanti Baru. The GMD of NNPC has held various senior executive positions within the corporations with many awards to his credit.
Responding on behalf of other awardees, Baru said with commitment and interest the corporation will harness the huge potentials of Nigeria gas resources for the benefit of Nigerians. The GMD commended the association for the gas person of the year award of which he was the first beneficiary.
Baru made it clear that gas at present is given prominence over oil as a cleaner energy source for the world. The shared vision coincided with the first agenda of gas exporting Forum which is to exploit and produce gas as a cleaner energy source for the benefits of member countries.
Baru noted that NNPC saw the vision concerning future of gas which made the corporation in 1999, spearheaded the formation of NGA as a veritable platform to promote use of gas in Nigeria. After its creation, the GMD added that “NNPC has always been at the forefront in affairs of the association through financial, moral and purposeful leadership support.”
At the Gala Night, new executive saddled with responsibility to run the association was inaugurated. It also witnessed for the first time in the history of NGA, a woman president. Audrey Joe-Ezigbo, Vice Chairman of Falcon Corporation, a renowned gas company is the president of NGA.