The leadership transition period at Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) ended at the weekend in Port Harcourt with the former Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Engr. Tony Attah handing over the symbolic Key to NLNG to his successor, Dr. Philip Mshelbila.
At a Farewell and Welcome Ceremony held in honour of the executives, the NLNG Key changed hands, marking the ceremonial commencement of Dr. Mshelbila’s tenure.
The ceremony was graced by Executive Governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Wike; Executive Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki; the Executive Secretary NCDMB, Simbi Wabote; NLNG Board Chairman, HM (Dr.) Edmund Daukoru; NLNG Board members; NLNG Senior and Extended Management Team; and dignitaries in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector and beyond.
In his farewell remarks, Engr. Attah said, “I thank the staff and our partners who helped achieve our set goals. It was a collective success. I would like to see the five years as foundational. Earlier, the ambition of the Company was to build only two trains which was referred to as the Base Project. But we went on to build Trains 3,4,5, and 6. Then, we went into a break for 15 years. We pressed reset, released the ‘pause’ button, and got Train 7. But Train 7 is about the same capacity as Trains 1 and 2. For me, Train 7 is another base project, and we should go on to build other trains. I strongly believe we will.”
Receiving the NLNG Key, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NLNG, Dr. Mshelbila, said he was honoured to lead the Company and vowed that the Company would remain the leading LNG company in Africa and Nigeria’s most successful business model.
“It is with a great sense of responsibility that I stand here today, honoured to be the Managing Director of NLNG. The challenge before us is huge in a world marked by uncertainties and transitions, but I am not daunted. I am not daunted because I stand with a set of seasoned senior and extended management teams who are worth their weight in gold. I am not daunted because, together with the management team we have as members of staff, people who possess the right acument and resilience, with deep passion and commitment to move Nigeria LNG forward. These are the people who build the Company to where it is today. I am humbled to lead them today.
“We will complete Train 7 and take more FIDs to secure our place in the global market. We will complete the Bonny-Bodo Road and so many other social projects to fulfill our vision of helping to build a better Nigeria,” he said.
In his keynote speech, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Barr. Wike, said the country needs technocrats like Engr. Attah, conferring on him the second-highest honour in Rivers State. He added that the former MD stood firm and made NLNG great. He stated that NLNG and Rivers State would never forget him. He also said that Dr. Mshelbila’s tenure would achieve more, urging him to continue from where Engr. Attah stopped.
The NLNG Board Chairman, in his remarks, commended Engr. Attah for performing to expectation and overcoming the challenges posed by the oil price crash in 2016 and COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, amongst other vital wins. He assured Dr. Mshelbila of the Board’s unflinching support to help achieve the Company’s set goals.
The Deputy MD, Sadeeq Mai-Bornu, represented by Mrs. Eyono Fatayi-Williams, General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, described Engr. Attah as a visionary leader who triggered the development of key strategies to mitigate risks to the business. He also assured Dr. Mshelbila of the commitment of the management and staff to the success of the Company.
Former MD, Engr. Attah left NLNG on 31st August to return to his parent company, Shell.
NLNG is owned by four Shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49%), Shell Gas BV (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%), and Eni International NA N. V. S.àr. l (10.4%).