Natural Resources

Africa's Oil & Gas Potential: Boom Or Bust? 

Since 2013, six of the top 10 global discoveries in the oil and gas sector were made in Africa, with more than 500 companies currently exploring deposits there. With slowing down of GDP growth rates, especially economies that are heavily extractive, what is the way forward? This panel focuses on oil-dependent economies with lessons coming from Africa's biggest economy, Nigeria. What are the challenges and opportunities in the oil sector and how can economies wean themselves from oil / extractive industries?

Ken Etete, Chief Executive Officer, Century Group of Companies

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Ken Etete is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Century Group of Companies, which is one of Nigeria’s fastest growing indigenous industrial groups operating across various sectors and actively involved in value and job creation. Under Ken’s stewardship, Century Energy Services Ltd grew into Century Group. Ken provides visionary leadership to seven functional subsidiaries in Century Group; Century Energy Services Limited, Century Ports and Terminal, Century Exploration and Production Limited, Century Shipping and Logistics, Global Manning, Gas Plus Synergy, Century Integrated Data Service Limited and a joint venture company- Century Bumi Limited. In addition to remarkably growing the company’s fortunes, Ken drives the diversification of Century Group, not only into a fully-fledged industrial group involved in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry, but one with strategic partnerships and offices abroad. Ken is a philanthropist committed to the development of the communities in which Century Group does business and to Nigeria as a whole. He believes strongly in employment and local content development as a driver of economic growth. 

Ken initiated the first Nigeria - Malaysian private partnership for offshore oil and gas services, the restart of the Pennington terminal on behalf of CONOIL and Chevron, as well as the coastal city gas gathering for the Niger Delta communities. Ken was the Director of Principe Resources for the development of the first ultra-modern petroleum storage facilities in the Lekki Free zone; he also developed and implemented special training concept to assist oil companies to optimize their operations and improve security in the Niger Delta Areas. Ken was made an honorary member of the ‘Who’s Who’ Historical Society attesting to his professional, academic and civic achievement and contributions in 2013. He is an alumni of the 2014 Choiseul 100 Africa Laureate an organization described as powerful and structured network across the African continent.  Ken is the recipient of the following awards from various institutions and organizations in Nigeria; Excellence in Entrepreneurship, Outstanding Entrepreneur, Excellence in Human Capacity Development, Excellence for Outstanding Contributions towards the advancement and development of the Niger Delta Region in Nigeria.

Abayomi Awobokun, C.E.O, Oando Marketing

Abayomi Awobokun is a business leader from Nigeria, committed to developing and building successful teams to optimize stakeholder value. He was named a 2016 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for the most outstanding next generation leaders under 40. Abayomi was also named one of 2016 Choiseul 100 African leaders under 40 who play a major role in the continent’s economic transformation.  He is the Chief Executive Officer of Oando’s downstream business. As CEO, Abayomi is responsible for directing the affairs of one of the leading retailers of refined petroleum products, with turnover of over USD$1Billion in 2014 and accounting for up to 15% of the private sector supply of refined products into Nigeria. Additionally, Abayomi also oversees the trading and infrastructure subsidiaries of the energy giant, which spans 3 countries in West Africa, Dubai and Bermuda.

Abayomi joined the Oando group in 2005 and has held other positions such as Chief Operating Officer- Oando Marketing Plc.; Chief Executive Officer- Oando Marketing Plc. and now divisional CEO where businesses under his management until 2015 accounted for up to 70% of Oando Plc’s revenues and 35% of its profitability. Most recently, Abayomi led the partial divestment of Oando’s downstream businesses to two international strategic investors; the transaction ensured a successful equity release of over USD$250m to the Oando group and is still the largest downstream deal in Nigeria in 2016. He is the founder of “The September 20 Foundation (TS20F)”, a voluntary donor-funded initiative to support the operations of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Nigeria.


Dr. Amy Jadesimi, Managing Director, Ladol

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Dr. Jadesimi received her first degree from Oxford University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Physiological Sciences. She then attended Oxford University Medical School, from which she graduated as a medical doctor (MD). After Oxford, Dr. Jadesimi joined Goldman Sachs International in London as part of the Investment Banking Division, specializing in corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. She then attended Stanford Business School where she earned her Masters in Business Administration. While at Stanford, Amy completed an internship with Brait Private Equity in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she worked as a transaction executive in Private Equity. After graduating from business school, Amy moved to Nigeria where she set up a financial consultancy firm before joining the Management Team of Ladol as Managing Director.

Uju Catherine Ifejika, CEO, Brittania-U

Mrs Ifejika is arguably one of the richest women in Africa and the continent’s most successful female oil tycoon. Currently, Mrs Ifejika is the only female of an exploration & production company that owns and operates a producing oil block, as well as the only owner & operator of crude oil export terminal in Nigeria.  Mrs Ifejika is an LLB Hons degree holder from the Ahmadu Bello University, (Zaria) and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1985/86 session.

In 1986, Mrs Ifejika served her National Youth Service (NYSC) at Texaco Nigeria Plc., in its marketing Department, and thereafter the Texaco Nigeria management retained her as an employee. Mrs Ifejika started her working career in the legal department of Texaco as a junior counsel in 1987 and from 1988 to 1989, she was seconded to Texaco Overseas Petroleum Unlimited, the upstream arm of the Texaco Group on an experience broadening assignment. Mrs Ifejika returned to the downstream company where she became the Acting Chief Counsel in 1991( a position that was handed over to her by the Minister of State). In July, 1997, Mrs. Ifejika was appointed Company Secretary and Manager, Public and Government Affairs, the first time in the company’s history, where the three portfolios were handled by a single individual. In 2001, Mrs Ifejika’s responsibilities were expanded to include; Public & Government Relations of Texaco’s business in Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo, Benin Republic, Cote D’Ivoire. She held these positions until September 30, 2007, when she elected to take an early retirement, after serving Chevron Nigeria Plc dutifully for twenty (20) years.

In October 2007, Mrs Ifejika joined Brittania-U Nigeria Limited and assumed the position of Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the company in late October of 2007. Since joining Brittania-U, she has succeeded in growing the company from a single entity to a global brand, with the company’s operation covering upstream- Brittania-U Nigeria Limited- which is the owner and operator of Ajapa Field in Oil Mining Lease (OML 90), as well as Brittania-U Ghana, owners of a deep off-shore block in the South West-Salt-Pond Basin –Ghana. In 2013, Brittania-U Energy Resources-Limited bid and won the Chevron’s 40% interest OML’S 52, 53 & 55. Mrs Ifejika has also established a downstream trading operation; Brittania-U & Nexttee Oil & Gas Trading Co Nigeria Ltd, which are major suppliers of refined products (Automotive Gas Oil (AGO)), Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), Auto Turbo Kerosene- Jet Fuel A1 (ATK). Also under her watch, the Group has established another affiliate; a sub-surface engineering company called Data Appraisal Company Limited, which provides services to both Brittania-U upstream operations and other companies.

A recent achievement of the Brittania-U Group, under Mrs Ifejika’s guidance, is the establishment in mid-September 2016, of the AJAPA OIL TERMINAL. The Ajapa oil terminal handles the exportation of not only Brittania-U’s crude but also third party crude from other operators in Nigeria. The first export from Ajapa Terminal in Mid December 2016. Mrs Ifejika is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, the International Bar Association, a fellow of the Institute of Arbitration and Conciliation, a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. She was a former member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Ministry of Arts and Culture (2001 – 2002).  Mrs Ifejika has won many international and local awards and accolade in various fields of endeavours.