Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seplat Petroleum Development Company (commonly known as Seplat), Austin Avuru, seems to be planning ahead of his retirement. In an interview with Thisday Style Magazine, the oil and gas billionaire touched on several issues, including his plans post-retirement, and advice for those interested in entering his industry. Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
In response to a question on his planned retirement he responded:
“By God’s grace, I will retire around my 62nd birthday.”
Avuru turned 60 in August, and was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seplat Petroleum on May 1, 2010. He could thus be waiting to mark 10 years on the saddle, before stepping down.
Prior to this, in 2002, Avuru established Platform Petroleum Limited and held the role of Managing Director until 2010, when Platform Petroleum Limited merged with A.B.C Orjiako’s Shebah Petroleum Development Company to become Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc.
Avuru also gave hints on what he plans to do post-retirement, toeing a path by other billionaires such as Aigboje Aig Imoukhuede and Tony Elumelu.
“I will manage a small investment company, focusing on oil and gas upstream, real estate, capital market investment and agriculture.”
Advice for those interested in oil and gas
In his view:
“I would say, hard work, humility and integrity, (plus a good dose of God’s grace) will always, ultimately produce results.”
A word for the youths
Avuru also gives advice on what the youth of today should be doing.
“The youths of today have to seize the future from the current breed of failed leaders. The future belongs to them.”
Avuru has a total of 75,362,658 shares in the company. At yesterday’s closing price of N540 per share, his holdings are valued at N40.6 billion, thus maintaining his spot as the richest oil and gas billionaire on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.