Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja

The Chief Executive officer of the Oando Plc Group, Mr. Wale Tinubu, has called on indigenous oil and gas companies in Nigeria to step up investment in the sector in this time that global price of oil is low. He also advised the Federal Government to welcome private public partnership (PPP) in local refining of petroleum products.

Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria Oil & Gas Conference 2019 in Abuja, with theme: Driving Nigeria’s Oil & Gas Industry Toward Sustained Economic Development and Growth, Tinubu said, “there is a lot indigenous capacity that can provide solution to refineries. It will create a lot of employment opportunities.” He encouraged the major operators to make sure that the acreage is given to companies for tender.

In his address at the leadership session held at the conference, titled: The Evolution of Oando: Survival and Growth Strategies, Tinubu took the audience on a journey from Oando as a downstream company to an integrated energy solutions provider. Tinubu highlighted the challenges the company faced along the line and how it accomplished its feat with tenacity.

He advised indigenous players in the conference on consistency, value addition and how to remain relevant in the industry. He took the conference down memory lane, stressing that his company had received support from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the early days of the business.

“We had a lot of support from the NNPC when we started out as a trading company in 1994. We had the opportunity of working with NNPC in the 90s in what was typically the golden age in the industry when the refineries worked to full capacity. The refinery was doing so well in Kaduna that we had excess petroleum products and we secured a very innovative solution for the NNPC to manage the excess products.

“We branched out towards infrastructural opportunities, once again with the NNPC. We built the first gas distribution network in Lagos. It was called Gaslink Lagos, NNPC gave out the gas in the project and today there are about 130 industries taking gas from us and we have been able to drop, by at least 40%, the cost of power to those industries and in the process stimulate economic growth,” he said.

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