Edo 2020: Why Experience, Integrity, And Performance, Should Not Be Compromised.

Written by Idede Oseyande


Jeffery Igbinigie

The governorship race in Edo State, come the year 2020, will be a hot contest given the potpourri of political dynamics in the state right now. To start from the very immediate known factor, is the benchmark for governance and performance already set by the former Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, now National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), is one striking dynamic that may guide the choice of candidate and the pattern of voting by party members and residents of the state.

In electing Obaseki successor after the completion of his four-year term at Dennis Osadebey Avenue, come November 2020, the issue of who can sustain the legacy and possibly beat the records of the former Governor will be of interest to many stakeholders.

Also on the table is the case for a full-blooded indigene of the state as Governor. The proponents of these lines of argument are very persistent and no doubt pushing the sentiments into the centre of new political awakening. Certainly, the Edo people and observers of development in the state are not likely to expect a tea party succession programme next year.

Already the political landscape has begun to witness lots of surprises and heightened expectations as the number of prospective candidates jostling for the office of the governor across political parties grows by the day. This is a perfect fit in a democracy when people are allowed to exercise their constitutional right to seek election and be voted for, within the limit of established regulations.

The implication, therefore, is that political parties should in their preparation for 2020 adhere to the constitutional and electoral guidelines on internal democracy when picking their flag bearers for the governorship election.

But more importantly, two factors are coming out strongly in the entire mix. This border on the role which experience will play on who becomes the next governor and people’s freedom to vote for the right candidate. Since the continuity and sustainability of a lofty height which former Governor Oshiomhole has taken Edo development to, is the main focus of the ruling party (APC) is looking for a replacement for Obaseki, it saves to say EXPERIENCE, INTEGRITY and PERFORMANCE shouldn’t and cannot be compromised at this time.

Equally weighty is people’s freedom of choice to determine their next governor, right from the party congress/party primaries to the actual election. What this implies is that political parties must allow a free and fair process that will enable the electorate to elect someone they can trust. Such trust is largely based on their experience and interaction with such candidate over a period of time.

At this juncture, permit me to crave the indulgence of you my reader as I appraise one of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirants, Engr. (Dr) Chris Ogiemwonyi, making him my focus is based on his peculiar candidature vis a vis his kind of person and the perception for which majority of the Edo people have for him,

A charismatic and highly accomplished Petroleum Engineer, former Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC; A former Minister of State for Works, Federal Ministry of Works, a successful private businessman and philanthropist.

Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi began his career as a Petroleum Engineer II in 1975 with the Conservation Department, in February 1977, Ogiemwonyi was seconded to SPDC (Shell Petroleum Development Company) Warri. This secondment was enriched by a four and half month Advance Petroleum Engineering Programme in SPDC Training Centre in the Hague, Netherlands.

In 1982, Chris Ogiemwonyi resumed work at the Exploration & Exploitation (E&E) Division of NNPC and in 1985 he was transferred to the National Reserves Evaluation as a Project Leader. While in office as a project leader, Ogiemwonyi coordinated all efforts in Dallas, the USA in establishing a strong database for the Oil and gas Industry.

In 1988, he was moved back to the Exploration Division of the Exploration& Exploitation (E&E) as Head, Petroleum Engineering Department Company to nurture the newly created Petroleum Engineering Department.

In 1988, Chris Ogiemwonyi became the project leader (Petroleum Engineer) of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) in Benin City. The NPDC incorporated in1988 had as its main objective the mission to compete as an indigenous Oil and Gas producing Company. NPDC was assigned four acreages including OML – 65 containing Abura Field then producing at 980 bopd.

Ogiemwonyi championed the takeover of NPDC and he kept an up-to-date reserves position of the company. He was the field project leader in Abuja as his company had the major takeover asset from defunct TENNECO. Ogiemwonyi raised the production level from 980 bopd to over 4,000 bopd in 1990. In 1992, he served as Oredo Field Project Leader which was a Greenfield project that involved KELT ENERGY, UK and IP CONSTRUCTION, Calgary. The project was an engineering, procurement, construction as well as operations of 10,000 bopd early production facility which has now been expanded to process 30mmscf/d.

Ogiemwonyi also served as Oziengbe field Leader. This is another 10,000 bopd EPC facility at Oziengbe field. In t he year 1999, Chris Ogiemwonyi was promoted to the post of the General Manager, operations and was moved to National Petroleum Investments Management Services (NAPIMS) to oversee the Operations Division. He also championed several projects as a general manager most especially the Local content initiative of the Federal Government, due to the hardworking service; Ogiemwonyi got appointed as the Group General Manager NAPIMS in 2001.

While serving as the Group General Manager NAPIMS, Ogiemwonyi supervised the whole industry including the Joint Ventures (JV) and the Production Sharing Companies (PSCs). During his days in NAPIMS, Ogiemwonyi served as Chairman, Nigeria OTC Committee between 2003 and 2004. Notably, he also championed and surpsupervisederal key projects which include the EA field, Erha field, Bonga field, Agbami field amongst others. During his term, NAPIMS achieved zero cash call arrears by October 2003. As GGM NAPIMS, the Oil Industry was encouraged on joint utilization of assets such as offshore swamp rigs.

In November 2003, Ogiemwonyi was reassigned to NPDC as Managing Director[5] and his expertise helped in increasing NPDC production from 20,000 bopd to 70,000bopd. He served as chairman, Project Monitoring Committee (PMC) of Okono/Okpho Development Project, a strategic alliance between NPDC and Agip Energy Limited (AENR). He also served as Chairman, PMC of OMLs 64 and 66 Project, another strategic alliance between NPDC and SINOPEC of China.

Managing Director – National Gas Company, Ogiemwonyi was again reassigned to National Gas Company Limited as Managing Director[6] in March 2005. He was determined to increase gas supply to major customers like; PHCN, SNG, GSLINK, WAPCO, SHAGAMU, and EWEKORO, NOTORE FERTILIZER PH,OBAJANA CEMENT COMPANY etc NGC is coordinating 130mmscf/d gas supply (WAGP – West Africa gas Supply Project) to Benin, Togo, Ghana and hopefully to Ivory Coast.

TSGP – Trans- Sahara Gas Project, the 2 billion scf/d supply from Nigeria through Algeria to Europe was another portfolio under his supervision as NGC’s helmsman. Grou p Executive Director – In September 2007, Ogiemwonyi became the Group Executive Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC, Exploration & Production Directorate).

While he served as GED Exploration and Production, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi was in charge of seven NNPC Companies and Subsidiaries which included National Petroleum Investment Management Services NAPIMS), Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), LNG & Power Division, Integrated Data Services Limited (IDSL), Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) Crude Oil, Marketing Division and Local Content Division.

President – EETCLTD Ogiemwonyi is currently the President of Energy and Engineering Technology Consulting Group, a position he has occupied since May 2011.

In light of the above, it is clearly a matter of stating the obvious that the post-Obaseki – era which the Edo people are expecting is where experience and people would be the centre of governance. This is where Engr. (Dr) Chris Ogiemwonyi who has “Commitment with Integrity”, and has stood with the party despite all odd should not be overlooked.

About the author

Idede Oseyande

IDEDE Oseyande, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, is an unrepentant believer in the Nigeria project.
His concern for the actualisation of a prosperous nation and the continent, in general, is reflected in his written works.

He currently runs an online advocacy platform (www.socialwatchdog.ng) where he engages the government and the people.

Among his published works are 'What is Left of What is Right?', 'The Portrait of a Revolutionary Leader' and 'Warri No Dey Carry Last'.

He is a guest writer for several blogs and his Attitudinal and Behavioral Coaching classes has transformed many lives.

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