With over 25 years in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, seasoned executive Akanimo Udofia works as the managing director and CEO of Desicon Engineering Ltd. in Lagos. In this capacity, Akanimo Udofia has helped grow the company from 100 employees to over 4,000, serving as a driving factor in the company’s successful operational performance.
In July 2016, Nigeria’s minister of finance announced that the country was in a recession. According to the leading credit rating agency Moody’s, the oil and gas industry will greatly help resolve the country’s financial worries in 2017.
Moody’s said Nigeria’s oil and gas industry will help the country’s economy bounce back from last year’s 1.5 percent contraction in the country’s economy. The firm predicts the country’s economy will bounce back, reaching 2.5 percent growth in 2017.
The financial firm predicts that two-thirds of the country’s real growth in 2017 will come from the oil sector, with the country’s abundant hydrocarbon reserves providing key credit support. Nigeria sits atop roughly 37 billion barrels of oil, more than a quarter of Africa’s reserves. Ninety percent of Nigeria’s goods exports come from oil and gas.
As the managing director of Nigeria-based Desicon Engineering Ltd., Akanimo Udofia works extensively with several international oil companies. At Desicon Engineering, Akanimo Udofia is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to promote the organization’s growth. Due to numerous incidents of sabotage and violence, the oil and gas industry in Nigeria has suffered serious production and distribution setbacks.
Authorities have reported 58 incidents of sabotage along pipelines in Nigeria in the first 11 months of 2016. The attacks have been orchestrated by a number of militant groups who claim to be seeking their share of profits from the oil industry. In addition to these incidents, other acts of violence, including kidnappings, have occurred.
Already reeling from low global oil prices, the attacks have caused further problems for the Nigerian oil industry. First, overall production has decreased. Throughout 2016, it is estimated that over 130 million barrels have been lost. Additionally, the spillage and leaks that result from the attacks have put the fragile Niger Delta ecosystem at risk.
The managing director of Desicon Engineering Ltd., Akanimo Udofia has over 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Under Akanimo Udofia’s leadership, Nigeria-based Desicon Engineering has grown from a company of approximately 100 employees to one of over 4,000. As a country, Nigeria yields a high level of sweet crude oil.
Oil was first discovered in Nigeria in 1956 by Shell-BP at Oloibiri in the Niger Delta. Since then, petroleum export and production has become a major industry in Nigeria, accounting for over 90 percent of the country’s gross earnings.
The crude oil produced in Nigeria is described as “light” and “sweet.” These words refer to a highly desirable type of crude oil that is characterized by a sulfur content of less than 5 percent. The low sulfur content allows Nigerian crude oil to yield a large amount of high value products such as diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel.
Nigeria’s sweet crude oil is also desirable because it is safer to extract and transport. In addition, it is easier to refine, causing less damage and subsequent long-term maintenance at refineries.
From Lagos, Nigeria, Akanimo Udofia forged a successful career in the oil and gas industry through education. He completed a degree in business administration at the University of Uyo in Nigeria and pursued further studies at the Harvard Business School. To advocate for youth empowerment through education, Akanimo Udofia supports the Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy (EYLA).
EYLA is a London-based organization that aims to develop African and Caribbean boys into future leaders. Established in 2002, EYLA inculcates values such as hard work, self-worth, academic excellence, respect, and civic responsibility in scholars aged 8 to 18. The academy collaborates with schools and community groups to achieve each goal.
One of EYLA’s initiatives is the In-school Programme, or ISP. The academy’s trained facilitators work together with school partners to deliver motivational workshops. In each session, students unlearn undesirable behavior and learn new skills to become socially responsible adults. Some topics explored in the sessions are communication and assertiveness, academic coaching, and journey into adulthood.