Building a reliable energy infrastructure in Nigeria

It is the cause of a huge amount of frustration and anger among ordinary Nigerians that a country with the rich natural energy resources of ours is still failing to deliver a safe, efficient and above all reliable power supply. For too many people living in our country, daily power cuts and intermittent supplies are a reality - and an often dangerous one at that. An unreliable supply "When we are talking about doctors having to rely on power from generators, or an hospital operating theatre not being able to rely on having a steady power supply during a life-saving procedure - then things are clearly very wrong," says our Chairman Mr Onajite Okoloko. "For a country with our resources it is unacceptable to have such an unreliable energy infrastructure - but it is not enough to shake our heads and to complain about it. In the private sector, working alongside our partners in the government, we have the expertise and the...
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The importance of an effective CSR policy

Many companies today have corporate social responsibility policies - it has become an increasingly necessary part of any modern and forward-thinking business. But why is it so important for companies to make this kind of commitment? What are the benefits of taking this approach, and dedicating so much resource to this kind of investment? Doing the right thing "First and foremost, here at Midwestern Oil and Gas we invest in our corporate social responsibility programme because it is simply the right thing to do," says our Chairman, Mr Onajite Okoloko. "As human beings, we have a responsibility to make sure that we use the rich resources that are available to us as a successful business and to try and use them for the benefit of the many, not just the few. Our corporate social responsibility work is one way in which we do this." But beyond it being the morally right thing to do, what are the practical benefits of having an effective...
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How Midwestern scholarships are changing lives

We are strongly committed to transforming lives in our host communities through our Corporate and Social Responsibility programme. We believe that we have a duty as a responsible member of the Nigerian business community to do our bit to help local people - by empowering them to grow their own businesses, to invest in their local communities, and also by supporting their education. To this end we're proud to have invested heavily in everything from new classrooms to exercise books - all practical contributions that we believe have made a sizeable impact in those local communities. But yet another important way that we have been able to contribute is via our regular rounds of student scholarship - the most recent being for 42 students in Delta State in December last year. "By helping students directly in this way, Midwestern Oil and Gas are investing not just in the future of our industry, but in the next generation who will drive the...
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Community matters – building links with local partners

The natural riches that our country enjoys are a resource that must benefit all Nigerians. This is a belief that is fundamental to the Midwestern Oil and Gas approach to exploration and the development of oil fields in our country. We firmly believe that any extraction strategy that doesn’t also benefit the local communities we are working in, is simply unsustainable. A shared resource “In order for everyone in our nation to enjoy the benefits of our oil and gas reserves, it’s absolutely critical for private operators to engage directly with those host communities,” says our Chairman Mr Onajite Okoloko. “Community engagement is vital, not just to ensure the security of any operations, but also because it the only way to ensure the sustainability of any operations. Only with the passion and commitment of local people, working together with oil and gas businesses, will we all be able to build an industry that is for the benefit of all.” So what does this...
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Why innovation will drive new developments in Nigerian Oil and Gas

We've talked here before about the importance of technical innovation in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, and the fundamental part it has to play in helping this sector to grow and to develop in the coming years. The oil and gas sector is one in which operators are able to use technological innovation to really get ahead of the competition - these kind of advances allow companies to explore, extract and process oil and gas more efficiently and so increase their profit margins. And in a sector as potentially difficult and even dangerous as the oil and gas industry, any advantage that a company can leverage over the competition is crucial. But, here at Midwestern Oil we believe that technical innovation is only a small part of the picture. "Technical innovation is obviously at the heart of any successful oil and gas business," says our Chairman Onajite Okoloko. "It's what keeps us ahead in such a challenging environment. But it...
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How to address our low gasoline levels

Last December, just around Christmas, Nigerians witnessed a sight that should be unthinkable in a country with our oil and gas resources - long, snaking queues for fuel at our nation's petrol stations. So just why is our country - one which has such rich reserves of its own - struggling to supply adequate amounts of gasoline to keep our domestic economy moving? An untenable situation "Blaming these shortages on the petrol suppliers themselves is unacceptable," says our Chairman Onajite Okoloko. "While I condemn the short-sightedness and opportunism of fuel merchants and petrol stations that hoard fuel in situations like this, their actions mask the root causes of this problem. It is clearly inexcusable that a country with the rich natural resources of Nigeria should be unable to supply enough fuel to its people - and of course much of this is down to a lack of investment in our own domestic refining capabilities. " The need for domestic infrastructure Clearly, not having enough...
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The importance of the West African International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (WAIPEC)

The second West African International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference 2018 (WAIPEC) will be held in February at the Eko Convention Centre, Lagos, Nigeria. It's a hugely significant event, not just for our nation's oil and gas industry, but also for our country as a whole. So why is it so important? An unprecedented opportunity for change "WAIPEC this year represents a unique opportunity," says our Chairman, Mr Onajite Okoloko. "It is the largest event for our nation's oil and gas sector, and as such is a fantastic chance for the community to come together and discuss the important issues that we need to address as an industry. But, it is also significant because it is an event that is very much led by the industry itself - and I think that is important because it shows what we are capable of when we join together in this way. The issues facing our industry are too significant, and too large, for one organisation...
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How government reforms are reinvigorating investment in Nigerian oil

It's clear that for the Nigerian oil and gas sector to attract further investment - both at home and from abroad - it's vitally important that we create an industry that is robust and transparent in the way that it is funded, regulated and structured. Our national government has already made great progress in this area and - combined with increased stability in some of the more volatile oil-producing areas - it seems that investment is on the way up in our sector. And while there is still much work to be done, we can be proud of the changes that have already been made. A framework for change One of the most fundamental pieces of governmental reform in this area has been the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB). The bill – which was passed by our nation's senate on 25 May last year – has gone a long way towards introducing a new legal framework for the country's oil and gas...
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The implications of Nigeria’s new green bond

Green bonds have been around for a while now, and using them to raise funds for environmental projects is becoming increasingly popular. The bonds were originally created by international development banks including the World Bank, and now Nigeria has become the first country in Africa to issue this kind of financial product. The first tranche of the N150bn Green Bond programme was released in December as Nigeria joined a green bond market that had a projected issuance of around $135bn in 2017. The government sold 10.7 billion naira ($30m)-worth of bonds in the issuance which ran from 18 to 20 December. Fighting climate change "While our nation is not one of the leading generators of greenhouse gases, we are one of the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change," says our Chairman, Onajite Okoloko. "Our agricultural sector - particularly those small-scale operators who make up such a large proportion of our country's farmers - are particularly vulnerable to more unpredictable weather...
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