Ejiofor Alike and Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria LNG Limited, Mr. Babs Omotowa has handed over the symbolic NLNG Key to his successor, Tony Attah, thus ending the leadership transition at the company.
A statement by the company quoted Omotowa as saying in his farewell remarks that “NLNG is an inspiration and it is changing the narrative about Nigeria; same as Daewoo in South Korea, Mercedes in Germany, Toyota in Japan”, stressing that all hands must be together to protect this jewel.
“It has been an amazing five years that I have been privileged to occupy the position,” he added.
Omotowa lauded President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for leadership and support to NLNG.
“We met with the president last year and he gave us tremendous support. He was really concerned about the growth of the company. I wished we implemented the growth programme with a Train 7 in play now. The increased in volume by 40 per cent would have counteracted the 60 per cent decline in crude oil price,” he said.
Receiving the NLNG Key, Attah said the company was committed to the construction of Train 7, saying that with the instability in the industry, the company has no choice but to grow value and competitiveness in the global LNG market.
“Our reality today, is that as a business, we are again faced with significant challenge from within and without. Fuelled mainly by oversupply and underperforming global economies, international energy prices are once more travelling southwards. While domestically, the insecurity which bedevilled our industry and others several years ago will appear to be unfortunately returning to the headlines,” Attah said.
“Today’s reality means that as a company which wants to continue being successful, we will most definitely have to think and act differently going forward. And I strongly believe-because I have seen it- that at Nigeria LNG we have the talent, the resources and most importantly, the will to continue to be successful and extraordinary. Successful entrepreneurs go above and beyond in everything that they do. They, more than anyone else know, that without the right skills and will to achieve their goals, there won’t be any ‘extra’ in their ‘ordinary’. That is what today holds for us all – the opportunity to do better than we did yesterday and the day before that. I believe that this is why today is called ‘the present’; it is a gift, and we must accept it with equal quantities of grace, appetite and commitment,” he said.
He commended the NLNG Board of Directors, led by its chairman, Chief Dr LongJohn, for the continuing support, describing the directors as “leaders whose relentless creativity, commitment and zeal have served us tremendously well over the years, and whose qualities we look forward to benefitting from, well into the future.”
On his predecessor, he said “anything other than success in Bab’s assignment five years ago would perhaps have meant that Nigeria would return to the top of the international gas flaring table. It would have meant that at NLNG, we would be wondering about who we are, corporate culture-wise. It would have meant that NNPC and other shareholders would have to look elsewhere for several billions of dollars in revenues over the years. It would have left Nigeria without approximately $6 billion in much needed taxes.”