8 powerful Nigerians making waves in Africa’s energy sector

  • The African Energy Chamber has released a list of the top 25 movers and shakers in the energy sector to watch.
  • It features eight names from Nigeria including Aliko Dangote, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Kola Karim and Benedict Okey Oramah.
  • These individuals are expected to be “at the forefront of our industry in 2020.”

African Energy Chamber’s recently launched list has some of the most powerful names in the country.

Explaining the purpose of the list, NJ Ayuk, the executive chairman of the African Energy Chamber, said. “With this list, we hope to put all key role players to task, we want to challenge them and pose the questions: ‘What’s next? Are you going to deliver on your plans and promises? How will you and your organisation contribute to the development of Africa’s oil and gas sector?’”

Below are all the Nigerians that made the list:

  • Aliko Dangote

The list is led by the chairman of the Dangote Group currently nearing the completion of its $12 billion, Lagos-based refinery. The refinery, which has a capacity of 650,000 bpd, is described as “a game-changing downstream addition to the continent’s largest oil producer.”

  • Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo

Next on the list is Barkindo, the secretary-general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), an intergovernmental organization of 14 nations.

  • Kola Karim

The chairman of Shoreline Energy is listed in the seventh place. He is recognised for building “an impressive empire, which includes Shoreline’s 45% interest in OML-30, currently producing around 75,000 bpd.”

  • Benedict Okey Oramah

We have the chairman/president of a finance service company called the African Export-Import Bank, also known as Afreximbank in the 18th position.

  • Prince Arthur Eze

Eze is the chairman of an oil and gas company called Atlas Oranto. He is listed for being in charge of “one of the boldest independent players on the continent.”


“With licences in 11 countries across sub-Saharan Africa — including some of the most highly prospective basins, such as Uganda’s Lake Albert — Prince Arthur Eze’s firms are positioned for a busy year with significant growth potential,” the organisation adds.

  • Tope Shonubi

Shonubi is the executive director of Sahara Group, a Nigeria-based international energy and infrastructure conglomerate. He is listed in the 21st position.

According to the African Energy Chamber, “Sahara’s ability to replicate its success across sectors and geographies, and solve key challenges such as electricity access and fuel shortages needs to be looked out for. They will be an indicator of whether Sahara is well-positioned to seize Africa’s future opportunities.”

  • Austin Avuru

The CEO of Seplat Petroleum, a Nigerian independent energy company, follows in the 23rd position.

“Though retired, it is unlikely that Avuru will be completely out of the industry in the future,” the African Energy Chamber explains.


“With a vast experience across Africa’s oil sector, a wide network and strong industry recognition, Avuru could well become a strong influencer on the future of Africa’s energy sector.”

  • Catherine Uju Ifejika

Last on the list of Nigerians is the CEO of the Britannia-U Group, a Nigerian oil and gas company.

The African Energy Chamber writes, “Under the leadership of CEO Catherine Ifejika, Britannia-U will be one of 15 contractors supplying the Nigerian government with refined petroleum under the deep sea drilling project programme in 2020. Ifejika is also part of a new generation of female oil leaders and could be a driver of the women’s empowerment agenda across the industry in 2020 and beyond.”



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