April 1, 2019 was the day an entire hall stood up for one man and his dream for football in Nigeria. At the second edition of the Aiteo-NFF Awards, the President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick eulogised Benedict Peters, the CEO of energy giant; Aiteo. Pinnick shared with the crowd how the NFF has been able to surmount several challenges and achieved stability through the intervention and benevolence of Benedict Peters.
According to Pinnick, Aiteo alone funds up to 30% of the entire expenditure of the NFF
“Today, Aiteo alone funds 30% of the entire expenditure of the NFF. All the deals we have with Aiteo are also for a duration of five years. We have so many Nigerian billionaires, and we think they should emulate what Aiteo is doing, taking the youths off the streets is not sui generis to just one man,” Pinnick stated in an emotional speech at the event.
Indeed, it has been a season of exploits for Benedict Peters and the company he founded 20 years ago. Now the largest indigenous oil exploration company in Nigeria, Aiteo became established as an upstream giant with its acquisition of one of the largest acreages in sub-Saharan Africa; OML 29 in 2015, and subsequent upsurge in production from 23,000bpd to 90,000bpd within three years. Aiteo also operates what is perhaps the largest crude evacuation facility in the region; the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL), which extends from Nembe in Bayelsa state to Bonny, the evacuation terminus in Rivers State.
The company’s push to become a globally acclaimed African business leader in the energy space has been ramped-up in the last three years with several national, continental and international awards. Year 2018 opened with Aiteo’s dogged and unassuming CEO, Benedict Peters, listed by BusinessDay as one of the most influential Nigerians.
In June 2018, Aiteo group emerged winner in three different categories at the Guardian Oil & Gas Roundtable and Awards; Oil & Gas CSR/Sustainability Company of the Year (Upstream), Oil and Gas Company of the Year (Upstream Indigenous) and Oil and Gas CEO of the Year (Upstream Indigenous) Aiteo was again recognized among its peers at the Nigerian Oil and Gas Awards in July 2018, emerging the Indigenous Oil and Gas Company of the Year.
On the football scene, Aiteo has a 2.5 billion naira deal with NFF as its optimum partner. Aiteo has also contributed significantly to local football, with the sponsorship of the country’s oldest football tournament, which was renamed Aiteo Cup in 2017.
Benedict Peters’ contributions to football have also gotten to the continental level as Aiteo is now the sponsor of the annual CAF awards, two years running.
Benedict Peter has won several awards for his contributions to the oil and gas industry, as well as football in Africa. In September 2018, he was named Africa’s Oil and Gas Leader of the Year byworld-renowned business media outfit; Forbes d0 List T