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Charles Osezua joins writers’ club with new book, ‘the rise of gas’

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The conference hall of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) was packed full on April 9, 2024 with the cream of corporate Nigeria made up of oil and gas industry leaders and tycoons, top bankers, edu-preneurs, media moguls and sundry well-wishers.Guests who included Mele Kyari, GCEO of NNPCL, Austin Avuru co-founder of Seplat Energy and founder AA Holdings, Tony Elumelu, chairman of UBA, Basil Omiyi, oil industry icon and many others had all turned up for the public presentation of Engr. Charles Osezua’s book, The Rise of Gas: From Gaslink to the Decade of Gas.

Read also: Oil and Gas as a catalyst for growth: Critical reform ideas

The book, which has been described as “a magisterial account of Nigeria’s entry into the comity of oil and gas producing nations,” chronicles Osezua’s discovery of oil and gas, his study in Texas and the years spent making a case for gas at NNPC. It traces the trajectory of his setting up Gaslink and other companies to show proof that gas can be a viable alternative feedstock for industries.

In his review, Toyin Akinosho, geologist and publisher, described the book as a “massive store of knowledge”. He stated that it is “a very unusual Nigerian memoir as it doesn’t dwell on the author but on the subject…Charles Osezua did not write a book about himself, he wrote about the subject, which is why it is very short, 200 pages.

“The references to him have to do with the projects he embarked on. It is the narrative of the Nigerian gas sector, which depending on where you sit, is both the highlights of the opportunities and a listing of the frustrations.

“The Rise of Gas is the story of battles lost and won. It is the story of why things work in Nigeria in spite of Nigeria.”

Basil Omiyi, chairman of the ceremony, on his part praised Charles Osezua for authoring the book as not many people have done so.

“As a little child, all we have had about development is conversation,” he said.

In spite of that, he noted that we have still not agreed on what our national philosophy is and that at some point we have to agree.

“One of the reasons we have not solved problems like energy is because we have not agreed on what our national philosophy should be.

“We have always judged our governments on how they manage politics. But the purpose of government is about managing the wellbeing of the people. Unless we have those conversations…

“So I’m really happy that Charles has put this book on the table. Without production we don’t grow. And why don’t we produce, it is because we don’t have energy. It is not a luxury, it is a dear need for our people,” Omiyi said.

Mele Kyari of NNPCL, who was represented by Kemi Olumuyiwa of the corporate communications department of the company, described the book as a useful resource that chronicles the rise of gas in Nigeria.

“You will agree with me that gas, as a source of energy, plays a critical role in our society by sustaining economic growth and that of our industries.

“To grow the utilisation of gas, the NNPC has invested heavily in critical gas infrastructure,” he said.

He went on to congratulate the author for penning such an important book and bought copies.

Tony Elumelu, an early financial backer of the nascent Gaslink, said that the author was his neighbour for many years and “we interacted about his desire to do so much in gas”. He added that “when Osezua shared his vision with us, we supported him and also invested. I’m happy we interacted and supported you. And if you were to do the same again today, we will support you”.

Austin Avuru, who partnered with Osezua’s Gaslink while at Seplat, chose to congratulate the author on the milestone and purchased copies of the book.

Speaker after speaker highlighted Osezua’s contribution to the gas industry in Nigeria while highlighting his forthrightness and almost prophetic insistence on prioritizing gas.

The public presentation of The Rise of Gas: From Gaslink to the Decade of Gas was indeed a veritable avenue for deepening the ongoing conversations about energy transition and de-carbonisation in Nigeria as outlined in President Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda.