Peters is the founder of Aiteo Group which is the leading indigenous oil and gas company. Aiteo Group is reputed to have contributed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth over US$4 billion to the Nigerian economy.
Peters is also recognised for his philanthropic activities and for leading the Aiteo Group to make huge impact on the Nigerian society through its Corporate Social Responsibility
This recognition comes with the Badge of Honour for outstanding entrepreneurs.
make it said as part of its corporate goals, it aims to inspire more Nigerians to embrace entrepreneurship as the surest path to a brighter future, by regularly celebrating in a spectacular way entrepreneurs who have broken great barriers to excel. Mr. Peters who started out as a cross-country merchant and has grown to become an internationally respected entrepreneur, perfectly fits this narrative.
“We are convinced that honouring distinguished and successful entrepreneurs will motivate millions of younger Nigerian entrepreneurs who have almost given up hope,” the newspaper said.
Below is the profile of the winner:
We believe that Africa has what it takes to lead the world and we will continue to push the frontiers of development through our investments in people and technology. Benedict Peters
Few days ago, the local and international news media were awash with reports of the global laurel given to a successful businessman, innovative entrepreneur, and oil and gas industry pioneer whose achievements have not only raised the emblem of the Nigerian enterprise sector, but also became an inspiration to young budding entrepreneurs.
Rising from a very humble background to not only becoming the brain behind Nigeria’s top indigenous oil and gas company but also establishing his pedigree as the globally acclaimed Africa’s leader in Oil and Gas, Benedict Peters has without any doubt distinguished himself among his peers.
Being an astute business mogul and visionary leader, his passion for innovation has led him to reach milestones and set records, young professionals can learn from.
Though he is more celebrated as an international business man and Africa’s Oil and Gas Leader (awarded by Forbes), his impact on the development of
Nigeria’s energy infrastructure as well as his investments in its rural economy, cannot be overlooked.
Peters was born in Abakaliki, the capital of present-day Ebonyi State on December 5, 1966. He and five other siblings were raised by their banker father and a homemaker mother.
Formal education for Peters began at Ekulu Primary School, Enugu, from where he proceeded to Federal Government College, Enugu. After his secondary school education, Peters proceeded to the University of Benin (UNIBEN) where he bagged a degree in Geography and Urban Planning in 1989.
The strides of the mogul
Benedict started out as a cross-country merchant with interests in agricultural produce. He started with large-scale trading of tomatoes from northern Nigeria to the south. He also traded in cocoa.
Later, he delved into the sales of new and used cars, vehicle spare parts as well as real estate.
Peters' journey into the corporate world started in the banking sector. He held various senior roles in banking and commodity trading before he joined the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
In the early 1990s, he joined Ocean and Oil Limited, known today as Oando, a petroleum exploration and trading company.
Impressed by Peters’ competence and far-reaching influence, Alhaji Sayyu Dantata, brother of Africa’s richest business mogul, Aliko Dangote, invited him to join MRS Oil Nigeria Plc as Group Executive Director in 1994. He was later promoted as the company’s Managing Director.
Under Peters’ leadership, MRS became a prime player in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
In 1999 after gaining experience in the global energy industry, Peters founded Sigmund Communecci. The company’s focus was tank farms and other aspects of the downstream sector. Sigmund Communecci however rebranded in 2008 and was renamed Aiteo Group.
Since its inception, the company has become one of the most successful energy providers in Nigeria and is considered a major player in the oil and gas sector.
Riding on the wave of the Nigerian Local Content Act of 2010, Peters led Aiteo to acquire OML 29 from Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC). He was able to grow the facility’s production output from 23,000bpd to a record 90,000bpd through innovation and professionalism within one year. He has since improved on that record.
This feat has not only generated over 11,000 job opportunities but also positioned Aiteo as a leading indigenous oil and gas company.
Aiteo’s strategic strides have contributed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) worth over US$4 billion to the Nigerian economy. Today, Aiteo is the largest indigenous petroleum company according to output in line with the Nigerian government target of 100 per cent local content in 2027.
Beyond the downstream sector, the oil baron has investments in mining, agriculture, real estate, among others.
Impact on the society
As part of efforts to serve the population in his homeland, the business mogul, through his organisation, Aiteo Group, provides grants, donations and seed capital to local individuals and groups.
In 2014, he decided to increase the number of his interventions in the society by founding the Joseph Agro Foundation, which is aimed at providing relief materials to rural farmers. He was determined to improve the livelihoods of the often deprived rural farmers.
The Foundation also supports education and promotes water hygiene.
Being a sports enthusiast and a believer that it can be used to motivate and inspire the youths, Peters has been involved in sponsoring the Nigeria Football Federation and its major assets such as the Nigerian National team, the Super Eagles, the Premier League and the Federation Cup now named after Aiteo. At the continental level, he is providing assistance to the Confederation of African Football Awards and sponsoring the Aiteo Cup (African Cup of Nations) and the very prestigious Africa Player of the Year Award.
Peters has also made donations to the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency to help the state tackle the challenges faced by internally displaced persons among numerous other interventions.
Today, the oil tycoon is acknowledged for his visionary leadership, distinguished service and transformational realignment of a sector dominated by International oil companies.
In 2014, Benedict Peters received the Marquee Award for Global Business Excellence at the Africa-US Leadership Awards dinner hosted by the African Energy Association.
He won the Leadership Newspaper’s “CEO of the Year 2014″ award for championing local content in the oil and gas sector and facilitating Nigeria’s greater capacity to manage its oil assets.
In 2015, Peters was one of the recipients of the prestigious Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Awards in Washington, DC for driving “Economic Empowerment” in Nigeria.
In 2017, Aiteo was named “Company of The Year” by both Businessday and New Telegraph Newspapers.
In September 2018, Peters was awarded Forbes Africa’s Oil and Gas Leader of the Year.
Above all, Benedict Peters has shown through his body language and deeds that he derives divine joy in helping other less privileged people who come in contact with him and his organisations. He craves for nothing but the very best not only for those around him but also the larger society.
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