The weather is about to get extremely cold but oil and gas Amazon Uju Ifejika is suffused with warmth and joy. Like a rainbow that breaks forth after a torrential downpour, the woman of substance has been getting nothing but the good news of late. After so many happenings rocked her world recently, many were expecting the well-connected lady to lie low for a while. What they didn’t know is that standing still isn’t part of Uju’s vocabulary.
Onward she marched, ignoring all the mud and slings and arrows being thrown her way. After all, she mused, excellence will always have slander and infamy as a shadow, both relentlessly pursuing it, seeking to lower the sun to their earthy level. But Uju is not one to be stalled too long by vain rumours and occasional missteps. One doesn’t get to become the most high-profile female boss in oil and gas by being average.
The chairperson and CEO of Brittania-U Nigeria Limited has picked herself up and resumed what she knows how to do best — securing contracts. She recently scored big as one of those chosen to do business with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. When the organization announced the 15 lucky companies that have been selected as partners in the exchange of crude oil for imported petroleum products, it was no surprise to find Brittania-U among them.
Uju is regarded as one of the top 10 most powerful females in oil and gas. And not just in Nigeria; her profile and influence are global, a titan respected by world leaders and to whom they pay regular obeisance. And no wonder; hers was a peculiar part from an initial foray into law before finding a resting place in the competitive and cutthroat upstream segment of the oil industry.
Her career in the petroleum industry started when she joined Texaco’s Legal Department as Junior Counsel in 1987 and rose swiftly to become Company Secretary in 1997. In 2003, her Government and Public Affairs responsibilities were extended to Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She joined Brittania-U Nigeria Limited in 2007 as Chair/CEO and has since steered the indigenous company to its current market-leading position.