The leadership transition at Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) ended at the weekend in Abuja with the former Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Babs Omotowa handing-over the symbolic NLNG Key to his successor, Tony Attah.

At a valedictory and welcome ceremony held in honour of the executives, the NLNG Key changed hands, marking the formal end and commencement of the tenures of Omotowa and Attah respectively.

The ceremony was graced by representatives of the Federal Government, Minister of Transportation, Rt Honourable Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and Minister of Environment, Honourable Aisha Mohammed; Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, ably represented by the Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Banigo; members of the NLNG Board of Directors; Permanent Secretaries including that of the Ministry of Petroleum, Dr Jamila Shu’ara; Chief Executives and top of officials of key Government and private organizations, former NLNG Deputy MDs and dignitaries in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector and beyond.

In his farewell remarks, Omotowa said “NLNG is an inspiration and it is changing the narrative about Nigeria; same as Daewoo in South Korea, Mercedes in Germany, Toyota in Japan, etc. 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.
I thank 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% would have counteracted the 60% decline in crude oil price,” he said.

Receiving the NLNG Key, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NLNG, Tony Attah said the company is 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.

“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.”

Speaking on behalf of NLNG Management and staff, the Deputy MD, Sadeeq Mai-Bornu, in his remarks assured the MD of support. “Be assured that I and the rest of the NLNG family welcome you with open arms, and are ready to give you all the support which enabled your predecessor to safely excel at his job. As you already know, there is not likely to be much rest, but we wish you plenty of excitement and fulfilment in the days ahead.”

Former MD, Omotowa, left NLNG over the weekend to join the Shell Upstream International Leadership Team as Vice President Safety and Environment (S&E) at The Hague, Netherlands.