From L-R; Director of Schlumberger, Nosa Omorodion, Managing Director, First E&P, Ademola Adeyemi-Bero, former Country Chair, Chairman/MD, SPDC, & Chairman of Stanbic IBTC, Basil Omiyi, Chairman, BOT-Aret Adams Foundation, Engr. Charles Osezua, Izarene Adams and Group Head, Oil & Gas Upstream, Joyce Dimkpa at the 16th Aret Adams Foundation Lecture Series in Lagos
It was a busy day in Lagos as associates, friends, former Minister of Petroleum and oil industry operators converged at the 16th annual Aret Adams Foundation Lecture. Late Aret Adams’ who was an icon in the oil and gas industry was a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The lecture is held annually to commemorate his efforts and contributions in the oil and gas industry. During his days at the helms of affairs of NNPC, he brought reasonable reforms to the industry.
Speaking at the 16th Annual series, Chairman, BOT-Aret Adams Foundation, Engr. Charles Osezua pointed to the fact that in the days of late Aret Adams, Nigerian oil and gas industry went through some Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous times, which was complicated by a growing sense of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt in the economy.
Crude oil price dropped to $13/bbl with continued declining exploration while drilling operations collapsed globally and Nigeria was not spared as it saw the last drilling rig ready to ship out.
According to Osezua, Aret, an optimist, perseveringly sought for solutions, mobilized industry thought leaders and found a solution. The Nigerian oil and gas industry, roared and moved confidently again because Aret and his team created an enabling environment for exploration in Nigeria during that period providing safe guards for the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to invest and operate through the famous Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The BOT Chairman, stated further that while the Foundation was preparing for the 16th annual lecture, it was confronted with political uncertainty, a sluggish economy, volatile oil prices, as it declines from $80:0/bbl to about $40.0/bbl. To address some of these challenges and stimulate operations, a Ministerial directive was issued for all oil and gas services companies, to reduce contract prices by 30%, with a growing state of insecurity, all helped to fuel a general state of fear, uncertainty and doubt, as most CEOs were not sure, what was going to come next, “In some way, it was like we were back to Aret Adams’ times.”
Osezua opined that the challenges of the Foundation is how to achieve the objective purpose of the annual lecture series, which focuses on a particular aspect of the industry, with a view of proffering solutions, ideas and strategies that would accelerate excellence in Nigeria.
He referred to Aret as a leader, man of vision, always in a hurry, in search of solutions. He was a pragmatist, who made decisions based on the data and facts available to him, “I believe today we will say, Management by Data. Aret used to say, a bad decision is better than no decision.”
Osezua made it known that “Working with him, Aret would say; I make decisions based on facts and information available to me, if tomorrow I have better information, I make a new decision.”
He revealed that the BOT met to consider different sectorial options. Looking at the innovative way Nigerians who acquired acreages from IOCs were raising funds to develop their assets they stopped searching. The convergence and similarities between Aret’s time and their times and perseverance, in finding solutions, the board resolved that the 2019, Aret Adams Lecture Series would focus on the Nigerian Independent Petroleum Producers hence the theme for this year’s lecture surfaced as “Emerging Middle Level Producers in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry: Challenges and Opportunities.”
Osezua was of the view that focusing attention in this area, operators will be contributing to finding solutions to the challenges faced by these new generation of Nigerian oil and gas producers.
Delivering the topic of the Lecture, Managing Director/CEO, First Exploration & Petroleum Development Company Limited, Ademola Adeyemi-Bero provided an insight into the oil sector and its win ways.
Adeyemi-Bero emphasized on paradigm shift to move from commodity export to production which will be beneficial to the country including collaboration in the industry. He explained that indigenous companies are in joint venture with NNPC through National Petroleum Investment Services (NAPIMS) and Nigeria Petroleum Exchange (NIPEX) to register in order to maintain standard in the industry.
On the issue of security in the Niger Delta, Adeyemi-Bero stated clearly that oil companies pay different fees and levies to Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and other governmental agencies within oil and gas space. Operating companies have GMoUs and social developmental plans, but, surprisingly, these chunk of monies being paid to NDDC and others are not well managed.
He advised that there should be partnership and host communities be seen as co-owners of the business so that they can benefit from it. There should be a foundation to enhance the process.
Representing Roosevelt Michael Ogbonna, Group Deputy Managing Director of Access Bank, Joyce Dimkpa, Group Head, Oil and Gas Upstream, said the banks have instituted a lot of funds and Access Bank has been able to issue N100 billion bond which covers all sectors including the oil and gas. She disclosed that the bond is still available and sustainable. Access Bank will also create an energy bond since it has projected that in the future there will be more divestment while capital will be needed in the industry.
Dimkpa advocated for collaboration in the oil and banking sectors adding that the banks financed divestment in the oil industry including upstream, mid-stream and downstream while planning for a bond solely for the sector.