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Another milestone at NLNG as Attah hands over key to Mshelbila

Most of the challenges that ruin many of Nigeria’s corporate ventures seem to have been overcome at the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) which has waxed from strength to strength. Its share structure (with private equity over and above govt equity) made it unique and handed leadership to the equity holders to allow global best practices while the govt sits back to harvest payouts and taxes yearly.

The next headache use to be succession. Often, govt owned ventures would be handed to incompetent hands and decline sets in. Not in NLNG. Now, the leadership transition period ended at the weekend in PH with the former MD/CEO, Tony Attah (an engineer) handing over the symbolic key to NLNG to his successor, Philip Mshelbila PhD, according to a statement by Eyono Fatayi-Williams, General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development.

The ceremony was graced by Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Gov Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, the Executive Secretary NCDMB, Simbi Wabote; NLNG Board Chairman, King Edmund Daukoru; NLNG board members; senior and extended management team; and dignitaries in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector and beyond.

Read also: NLNG Board appoints Philip Mshelbila as CEO

In his farewell remarks, Attah thanked all those who worked with him but said he would like to see the five years as foundational. He said the NLNG had set out to build only two trains but later went on to build up to train 6. After 15 years, he said, the company scrambled up to start 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, his successor, Mshelbila, who said it is an honour to manage the NLNG, said the challenge ahead was playing in a world marked by uncertainties and transitions. “But I am not daunted. These are the people who build the Company to where it is today. I am humbled to lead them today”. He assured that Train 7 would be built and more would come and that the Bonny-Bodo Road would be completed.

In his keynote speech, Gov Wike said the country needs technocrats like 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 Mshelbila’s tenure would achieve more, urging him to continue from where Engr. Attah stopped.

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