Benedict Peters’s Aiteo Group succeeding after Nigerian recession
While Nigeria has finally managed to turn the page on the largest economic downturn in twenty-five years, many questions remain for the African country. The recession lowered confidence from outside investors and trade partners, and was an overall blow to the “Africa Rising” narrative. While Nigeria may be back on track, the after-effects of the recession have left many wondering how its largest sector, oil and petroleum, will be changed moving forward.
One company is leading the charge for smart oil and energy production for Nigeria and the broader West African region. The Aiteo Group and its CEO Benedict Peters have proven to be pioneers and leaders in the field. Through their eagerness to engage in alternative forms of energy, their approach in localized regional solutions, and commitment to the region through philanthropic support, Aiteo has built a company which serves as a good model for serving the needs of Africa and Nigeria.
Always displaying a strong dedication to his home country, Aiteo CEO Benedict Peters came from modest means and his experience in the Nigerian oil sector elveated him to the upper economic ranks, rising to be one of Nigeria’s billionaires with an estimated $2.7 billion net worth.
Peters graduated from the University of Benin in 1989 with a BA in Geography and Regional Planning. Soon after graduating, he got his start in the oil sector by co-founding Ocean and Oil, eventually becoming a managing partner at MRS, another oil and petroleum company. In 1999, Peters would start his own company, the Aiteo Group, thus truly starting his rise to prominence as a leader in Nigerian oil and energy.
Aiteo Leads the Way in Nigeria
Aiteo boasts a host of successes, including its recent acquisition of OML 29, the largest sub-Saharan onshore oil block mining license, in September 2015. The company’s acquisition of OML 29 exponentially boosted Aiteo Group’s output, skyrocketing from 23,000 barrels per day (bpd) up to 90,000 bpd in just one year. Furthermore, Aiteo has announced other projects that Peters believes will boost the company’s production levels to over 150,000 bpd, and as high as 200 million standard cubic feet per day.
Aiteo’s upward movement and development in the field runs contrary to the beliefs of many who worried that the oil sector would suffer a long-term decline due to the recession. However, Aiteo does not follow a normal approach to oil. Peters wants to explore and incorporate all the aspects and potential for the Agribusiness sector, and sees the value in exploring smaller scale, localized micro-grid energy solutions for Africa’s energy crisis.
In fact, Peters supported the recent Nigerian Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), as he believed it would give local and regional energy partners a much needed chance to show their worth. He believes that many African countries are in a unique position to become energy leaders in the coming century.
Working for a Stronger Africa
Peters argues that lack of infrastructure allows African countries an opportunity to create and innovate new solutions with new responsible energy technologies, instead of focusing on repairing and replacing factories and infrastructure based on older technological models. The Aiteo CEO believes that adapting to future technologies with an integrated approach to Agribusiness is what will lead to a successful oil sector for Nigeria and Africa as a whole. The Aiteo Group are truly emerging as regional leaders in oil and energy, and should be followed as an example for tackling Nigeria’s future as an oil and energy powerhouse in Africa.
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