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Omotowa Leaves Solid Achievements At NLNG For Attah

– Earns $40 b in revenues, pays $22 b to Nigeria

Sopuruchi Onwuka

Nigeria’s leading gas exporting firm, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited, earned in excess of $40 billion in revenue and remitted over $22 billion to Nigeria in sundry payments including dividends, taxes, feedgas purchases, and others during the tenure Mr. Babs Omotowa at the company.

The figures emerged as the part of the company’s stock taking as Mr. Omotowa bequeaths the position to his successor, Mr. Tony Attah, who now assumes the position of Managing Director NLNG.

Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), holds 49 percent stake in NLNG while four multinational oil and gas companies in Nigeria hold the rest.

Shell Gas BV (SGBV) operates the incorporated joint venture with 25.6 percent stake, Total LNG Nigeria Limited holds 15 percent stake and Eni International (N. V. S. a. r. L) holds the remaining 10.4 percent.

According to spokesman of the company, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke, the Board of Directors of the company approved Tony Attah as successor to Babs Omotowa as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

Following the change of reigns, Mr. Omotowa will be returning to Shell International in The Hague, ‎Netherlands after nearly five years at the helms of affairs of NLNG.

According to Dr. Eresia-Eke, Omotowa leaves Nigeria LNG Limited in a stronger position and well positioned for the next chapter of the company’s growth.

During his tenure at Nigeria LNG Limited, the company earned in excess of $40billion in revenue and returned over $22billion to Nigeria in dividend, taxes, feedgas purchases, etc. The company under his watch also became the highest corporate tax paying organisation in Sub-Sahara Africa, and a major contributor to the Nigerian economy.

Mr. Omotowa’s leadership also secured $1.6 billion financing for the construction and delivery of six very modern Dual Fuel Diesel Electric (DFDE) vessels, setting a new ground breaking standard for Nigerian Content; with the training of 600 Nigerians in ship construction and repairs, ensuring Nigerian companies, for the first time, export $10 million worth of goods and services to Korea for the ship building, and facilitating a dry dock project by a Nigerian consortium.

From expanding and deepening domestic LPG market to building ultra-modern engineering laboratories across the country, launching of $1 billion NLNG Vendors Financing Scheme, providing Bonny Kingdom with a 25 year master plan and N3 billion yearly contribution for development, etc, Omotowa initiated several programmes that have garnered attention as both national and international models. This is in addition to his securing N60 billion support of the Board to part fund the Bonny-Bodo Road linking Bonny Island to the mainland as part of the company’s CSR initiative.

He will take great pride and satisfaction in his numerous achievements including consolidating the company’s position as a reliable supplier of LNG and major player in the global LNG market, restarting the Train 7 expansion program and with NLNG becoming ranked as the number one home-grown company in Nigeria.

Through sheer courage, integrity and transparency, he brought back credibility into the relationship with government at a very crucial time in the Company’s history, and his principled stand on payment of taxes yielded the now famous “Government bailout funds”.

Omotowa, who joined NLNG with a well-deserved reputation as a turnaround expert from his previous work in Europe, focused on improving the company’s operations through cost leadership management, assets rejuvenation, organisation culture alignment, change management, commercial creativity, innovative supply chain and procurement management and human capital development. These programmes made NLNG not only more profitable but a strong brand with great momentum that can sustain its competitive advantages for years to come.

A tireless campaigner for high Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) standards, Omotowa achieved over four years without fatality, Zero Lost Time Injury Frequency (LTIF) and a record of over 35 Million LTI free man-hours. Not surprising, as Vice President in Shell, he led a similar effort that drastically minimised fatalities in the company.

The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) in 2014 appointed Omotowa as its Global President for 2014/2015. In selecting Omotowa for the role CIPS’ Global Board of Trustees said his appointment was based on self-recognition and his strong contributions to global procurement and supply governance and practice.

Omotowa who was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria LNG Limited by the NLNG Board in December 2011 will be sorely missed for his uncommon vision, professionalism, compassion and commitment.

His successor, Tony Attah will be taking over from Omotowa after returning from an assignment at Shell’s Group Integrated Gas business as Senior Projects Advisor, working on projects in The Netherlands and Singapore. He was Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) before then.

He comes to NLNG with a 28 year experience in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. A trained mechanical engineer and an MBA holder, Attah started his career in Sokoto Cement Company as a Maintenance and Operations Shift Supervisor.

He joined Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in 1991, working in various technical and management roles in Field Maintenance, Production Operations, Core Engineering and Major Projects Commissioning, Rotating Equipment Engineering etc. He was also once Head of Joint Venture Economics in Commercial.

Between 2005 and 2007, Attah managed the Soku Gas Plant as Asset Superintendent and Operations Manager of the initial NLNG gas supply as well as NLNG Train 3 construction works.

He oversaw the operation-readiness of other petroleum and natural-gas production projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and the start-up of a liquefied-natural-gas extraction system north of the Russian Pacific island of Sakhalin as the Regional Manager Operations Readiness and Assurance – Account manager for EPG Africa projects and Russia Sakhalin OR&A.

In 2009, he was appointed General Manager Western Location & Sustainable Development – External Focus; and in 2010, he became the Vice President (VP), Health Safety, Environment, Sustainable development & Corporate Affairs including Communications, Crisis and Reputation Management.

In 2013, he was appointed the Vice President HR Shell Sub Saharan Africa, maintaining the business competitive edge through talent development, resourcing and providing support to the business.

In 2014, Attah assumed the position of Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), in addition to his role as VP HR. He was responsible for SNEPCo’s offshore business integration and leadership, and managing a network of external and internal stakeholder.

He is a champion for social performance and sustainable development and has an impressive record of building relationships with various levels of governments in the Niger Delta, as well as with more than a thousand local communities.

At NLNG, Attach will be responsible for sustaining NLNG’s top quartile performance in supplying LNG to the global energy market and advancing the company’s expansion programmes.

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