THEWILL EDITORIAL: AITEO: The Nigerian Energy Brand As A Global Champion

Oil billionaire, Mr. Benedict Peters

SAN FRANCISCO, November 25, (THEWILL) – Right from inception in 2008, Aiteo, which started out as Sigmund Communecci, has always shown the determination to do things differently.

The proud operator of the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) and Apapa Fuel Terminal had shown the stuff it is made of when the Sigmund Communecci brand initially launched into the big oil and gas league to the consternation of many.

The success achieved in 2015 when the company slugged it out with some of the biggest names in the global oil industry to snap up what is believed to be Nigeria’s largest oil block: OML 29, from Shell Petroleum Development Company, was the curtain raiser for the Aiteo.

The company was to step up its game and subsequently turned the hitherto badly managed OML 29 into a bounteous golden pot thus carving a niche for itself as the powerhouse at the centre of the Nigerian oil.

The metamorphosis into Aiteo, later, was to kick-off the total transformation the home-grown Nigerian energy consortium has always been known for and there has not been any looking back since then.

A champion of local content in line with the vision of its founder and Executive Vice-Chairman, Benedict Peters, Aiteo, the proudly Nigerian brand, is currently one of Africa’s fastest-growing energy companies.

With a clear vision for the future buoyed by well over a decade of experience and petrodollars, Aiteo has been confidently expanding its influence across Africa.

Apparently concerned with the declining inflow of foreign investment into the Nigerian economy, compared to its neighbours in the West African sub-region, Aiteo believes that Nigeria is still blessed with a vast hydrocarbon resource base, which is the largest oil and gas reserves in Africa.

The group has therefore consistently restated its commitment to contributing its quota towards ensuring that Nigeria realises its hydrocarbon objectives of three million barrels per day production and 40 billion barrels of reserves by 2025.

THEWILL commends Aiteo for this resolve and commitment to developing the sector as we are also concerned that while the Foreign Direct Investment to Africa rose 11 per cent to $46 billion, the FDI to Nigeria shrunk 43 per cent to $2 billion while a country as small as Ghana received $3 billion.

We strongly believe that the strong oil and gas reserves which still abound in Nigeria could launch the country back into reckoning if well-harnessed.

THEWILL also commends Aiteo for being a good corporate citizen by striving to maintain good relations with its host communities in the Nembe Community of Bayelsa State in spite of the odds.

Restating its commitment to continuing to work with its host communities to achieve a good relationship, it is worthy to note that Aiteo has always reckoned with the fact that the Nembe Community provides most of the supply, logistics and security contracts going into the company’s local operations.

Apart from encouraging community participation in this manner, the company has, in addition, continued to provide considerable amenities and services directly to the community in a most beneficial and impactful way.

Aiteo’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy, is, in fact, based on three elements: Giving – whereby Aiteo makes donations annually to churches, registered charities and not-for-profit charitable organizations. The company is also involved in various social investment projects with its core funding areas in education; creating political awareness and improving governance; arts and culture; and community development.

Educating – The company has also declared its commitment to promoting the study of engineering in the communities within which it operates as it is committed to providing scholarships annually for higher-level education.

Supporting – Empowering individuals in local communities to become more fully involved in civic duties, business roles and government; engage in personal development through an interest in the arts, charity and welfare; and encourage others to excel in their careers, or to pursue educational opportunities they may previously have missed.

Aiteo has also declared its openness and commitment to constructive dialogue for the development of both the nation and the community.

THEWILL recalls that in April 2017, Aiteo announced the signing of a five-year partnership agreement with the Nigeria Football Federation. The partnership came with a N2.9bn deal with Aiteo as the Official Optimum Partner of the NFF, committing to supporting the payment of salaries of Super Eagles manager, Gernot Rohr and coaches of all NFF’s national teams.

This is no mean feat for a company with humble beginnings but has grown to become a global champion. THEWILL believes that as in almost all relationships with host communities in the oil and gas industry, Aiteo’s recent misunderstanding with some interests in its host community in the Nembe area of Bayelsa State should not be misconstrued.

We are glad that Aiteo has been consistent in engaging with its host over the years as we advise that ongoing efforts to arrive at an amicable resolution of the latest misunderstanding should not be frustrated or sabotaged by vested interests.