Oando Plc, which is aiming to become one of Africa’s largest integrated energy solutions providers, has emerged Nigeria Best Company during the 12th Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference in Abuja.
The award, which was announced at a special gala/dinner sponsored by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in honour of participants in the conference, also saw ExxonMobil being named as winner of the Best Corporate Social Responsibility award, while Shell Companies in Nigeria won the Best Company in Local Content Development and Niger Dock the Best Project Company of the Year.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Austen Oniwon, who presented Oando’s award to the company’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Wale Tinubu, said the awards were in recognition of the various companies’ impressive investment programmes in the country’s oil and gas sector industry.
Mr. Oniwon said Oando, which was one of Platinum sponsors of the conference, deserved the award for its active role in all levels of the industry, including the upstream, mid-stream and the downstream sectors of the oil and gas sector.
“The award is well-deserved based on Oando’s significant presence and impact in the country’s oil and gas sector,” Mr. Oniwon said. “Oando contribution to the growth of the industry is worthy of emulation by other players in all ramifications.”
The NNPC boss who praised the organisers of the conference, which also featured exhibitions, described this year’s conference as unique in more ways than one, pointing out that the successes recorded would encourage the corporation to continue supporting it to provide the forum for stakeholders to interact and discuss issues affecting the sector.
CWC Group and Chairman of the 2012 NOG Conference, Alirio Parra, said Oando’s multi-sectoral investment portfolio in Nigeria and abroad has put the company in unassailable leadership position as Nigeria’s integrated energy company judging by the success stories of its various subsidiaries in the entire energy chain, which straddles products marketing, supply and training, gas and power, refining as well as exploration and production.
“Oando is a home grown company operating at international standard and quality for many years,” Mr. Parra said. “The company represents a strong statement in support of the clamour of indigenous operators to be given more opportunity to participate in the development of Nigeria’s oil and gas resources. The company is also a challenge for other indigenous oil and gas companies.”
Meanwhile, most participants at the conference, who came hoping to hear inspiring words from the Federal Government about new prospects for fresh investments and businesses in the country’s petroleum industry may have gone back feeling they came with too much expectation.
Most of the participants who spoke with Premium Times lamented that the body language of the Federal government did not inspire confidence in prospective investors in Nigeria.
They said President Goodluck Jonathan missed a great opportunity to reassure the world that his administration was committed to creating the right environment for fresh investments to thrive, considering the high level of uncertainty that has affected the industry in recent years.
Although the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, painted a picture of progress and sustained growth in all sectors of the industry, some participants believe her claims were far from reality, particularly on critical policies and fiscal incentives to drive investment decisions.
“There has been issues of uncertainty in the investment climate in the country’s oil and gas industry for a long a time,” one disappointed member of one European trade delegation said shortly before flying back home Tuesday night.
“We came expecting to get assurances from the government that people who are ready to commit their resources into the development of the industry would do so in a stable environment.
“But from what we have seen at the conference, it appears government is telling those investors to take such investments to other destinations until when it has finished putting its house in order. No investor worth its salt would be ready to risk its investment in an unstable environment.”