- These women have made significant contributions to the sector and have paved the way for other women to follow in their footsteps.
- The oil and gas industry is often seen as a male-dominated field, but women are making strides in this sector and proving that gender is not a barrier to success.
The oil and gas industry has long been envisioned as a male-dominated field, but over the years, many women are creating their niche and setting their footprints in the sand of time by breaking through barriers and achieving resounding success in this industry. From engineers to executives, these women have made significant contributions to the sector and have paved the way for other women to follow. In this article, we will introduce you to ten women who are pacesetters in the oil and gas industry and have become inspiring role models for others.
We will explore their achievements, their career paths, and the challenges they have faced on their journey to reaching seemingly unsurmountable heights in the industry. Whether you are a young woman looking to enter the industry or a seasoned professional seeking inspiration, you are sure to find something inspiring and insightful in these stories.
So, let’s dive in and meet these extraordinary women who are making a significant impact in the oil and gas industry.
Folorunsho Alakija is known as one of the wealthiest black women globally and is currently serving as the Vice-Chairman of Famfa Oil Limited. Her professional journey began as an executive secretary at Sijuade Enterprises in Lagos, after which she joined the First National Bank of Chicago. She later founded a tailoring company called Supreme Stitches, which was renamed Rose of Sharon House of Fashion. She went on to become a national president and lifelong trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria, serving several high-profile clients.
However, Alakija’s fortunes changed when her company, Famfa Limited, was granted a license to explore for oil on a 617,000-acre block called OPL 216. She entered into a joint venture agreement with Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited, a subsidiary of Texaco, and transferred 40% of her 100% stake to the company, appointing them as technical advisers for exploration. When the government tried to claim a 50% stake in the organization after the company struck oil, Alakija took legal action and ultimately emerged victorious.
In 2014, Forbes magazine ranked her as the 96th most influential woman globally. Alakija has also established the Rose of Sharon Foundation, a non-governmental organization that has empowered numerous widows, orphans, and underprivileged people.
You wouldn’t be mistaken to describe Catherine Uju-Ifejika as a woman of exceptional courage. After obtaining a Law degree from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Kaduna State, she was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1986. As a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and a Fellow of the Institute of Arbitration and Conciliation, Uju-Ifejika began her career in the oil and gas industry as a junior counsel in Texaco’s legal department in 1987. She worked her way up to become the company’s secretary for public and government affairs for West Africa.
In 2007, Uju-Ifejika became CEO of Britannia-U Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of the Britannia-U Group, where she has continued to successfully lead the company’s oil exploration and production, refining, trading, supply and distribution, upstream (exploration and production), downstream (supply and trading), shipping, and sub-surface engineering activities. Throughout her tenure, Uju-Ifejika has demonstrated an unwavering determination to succeed, establishing the Ajapa floating production storage unit and creating six subsidiary companies in seven years. Additionally, she served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Ministry of Arts and Culture from 2001 to 2002.
Uju-Ifejika’s remarkable achievements have earned her numerous accolades both locally and internationally. She is highly respected for her persistence and resilience in the face of challenges. Her other business ventures include Data Appraisal Company Limited, Nexttee Oil and Gas Trading Company Nigeria Limited, and Britannia-U Ghana Limited.
Amy Jadesimi, the Chief Executive Officer of Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base, defies the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. Despite her petite and soft-spoken appearance, Jadesimi possesses great strength and brilliance.
She earned her first degree in Physiological Sciences from Oxford University, followed by a medical degree from Oxford University Medical School. After completing medical school, Jadesimi joined the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs International in London, specializing in corporate finance, mergers, and acquisitions. Seeking further knowledge, she pursued a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Stanford Business School in California, USA.
During her time at Stanford, Jadesimi worked as a transaction executive in private equity for a firm called Brait Private Equity in Johannesburg, South Africa. Later, she established a financial consultancy firm in Nigeria before becoming the Managing Director of LiLe. In 2004, Jadesimi joined LADOL and contributed to the company’s expansion. LADOL is a logistics base designed to meet the specific needs of deep water offshore oil and gas operations in and around Nigeria. Forbes Magazine recognized her accomplishments in 2014, listing her as one of “The 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa.” She is also a founding member of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission.
Godfrey Ogbechie graduated from the University of Calabar in 1988 with a degree in Agricultural Economics and Extension. She is a prime example of a woman who is both intelligent and attractive. Ogbechie began her career in the banking industry, where she held various positions at Universal Trust Bank Limited and Fidelity Bank Plc. She gained extensive experience in operations, customer service, audit, and human resource management during her time in the banking sector.
After a successful career in finance, Ogbechie joined Rainoil Limited, which is owned by her husband, Gabriel, as the Group Executive Director. With her vast knowledge and expertise, Ogbechie has had a significant impact on the company’s operations. She is responsible for overseeing the corporate support service functions of the organization, including human resources, information technology, and administration and facilities management.
Victoria Samson began her professional journey in the oil and gas industry as a dealer with Texaco Nigeria Limited. Known for her exceptional focus and dedication, Samson was recognized for her outstanding performance by receiving the Best Dealer Award from the company. She later went on to co-found the Bovas Group alongside her husband, Bamidele Samson, in 1980.
The company was established as an independent petroleum marketing company, and its first filling station was opened in Osogbo, Osun State in 1991. The company has since grown and currently operates 119 service stations across Nigeria. In 1995, Bovas Group opened a liquefied petroleum gas plant, and it now has around 20 operational gas skids.
Audrey Joe-Ezigbo co-founded Falcon Corporation Limited with her husband, Joe, and has played a crucial role in the company’s growth and success. The oil and gas company provides a range of services including engineering, procurement, construction, real estate, and natural gas distribution.
As the Executive Director of Commercial Operations, Audrey’s hands-on approach has been a significant factor in the company’s growth. She is also a renowned speaker and trainer on management, entrepreneurship, and business strategy.
In addition to her role at Falcon Corporation Limited, Audrey is also the Managing Director and principal strategist of Falcongaz Limited. She sits on the board of several other corporations and currently serves as the president of the Nigeria Gas Association. Audrey’s contributions to the oil and gas industry in Nigeria are commendable.
Bola Shagaya, despite being more popularly known as a socialite, is also a shrewd businesswoman. She is the Managing Director of Practoil Limited, a company that imports and distributes base oil in Nigeria, and also founded Voyage Oil and Gas Limited, an exploration company.
Bola Shagaya started her career at the Central Bank of Nigeria in the audit department before branching out into entrepreneurship. Her earliest business venture was the importation and distribution of photographic materials in Nigeria and West Africa.
Besides her interests in real estate and fashion, she is also known for her association with prominent individuals in the country. Bola Shagaya holds a degree in Economics from Ahmadu Bello University in Kaduna and also studied Accountancy at Armstrong College in California, USA.
Awuneba Ajumogobia, a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, is a co-founder and director of Multistream Energy Limited. She obtained her degree in Economics from the University of Ibadan and has worked with notable firms such as Peat Marwick Ani Ogunde and Company, Deloitte, and Arthur Andersen (now Accenture).
Ajumogobia’s extensive experience in the financial sector has been beneficial in properly managing the finances of her company. She is also affiliated with Women in Management, Business, and Public Service, a non-profit organization, and serves as the Chairperson of the Governing Council of Grange Education Limited.
Moroti Adeyinka-Adedoyin is the executive director at Sahara Group, a Nigerian energy and infrastructure conglomerate that operates in over 40 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Lagos in 1991, Mrs. Adedoyin-Adeyinka attended Harvard University in Boston, USA, where she received a diploma in General Management in 2008. She is a qualified chartered accountant under the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and has over 11 years of experience in the accounting profession. Throughout her career, she has worked in various roles for several respected organizations.
Between 1998 and 2001, Mrs. Adedoyin-Adeyinka served as an accountant at KLM before moving on to Sahara Group in 2002. She started as a Finance Manager and was later promoted to Group Treasurer in 2006. In 2009, she became the CEO of the group’s Trading arm. Mrs. Adedoyin-Adeyinka has also been involved in various private business development ventures within the oil and gas industry.
Winifred Akpani is a Nigerian businesswoman and entrepreneur who is actively involved in the oil and gas industry. She is the managing director and CEO of Northwest Petroleum and Gas Company Limited, a company that is focused on the exploration, production, and marketing of petroleum products.
Under Akpani’s leadership, Northwest Petroleum has grown into a major player in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. The company has invested heavily in the development of infrastructure and human resources to support its operations. It also has a significant presence in the downstream sector of the industry, with interests in the storage, distribution, and retail of petroleum products.
Akpani is recognized as one of the most successful businesswomen in Nigeria and has been the recipient of several awards and honors for her contributions to the development of the country’s economy. She is also involved in various philanthropic activities, particularly in the area of education, where she has sponsored the education of many underprivileged children in Nigeria.
What about Ngozi Ekeoma? The lady behind the giant strides at NEPAL Energies! She is a trail blazer and i think she also deserves to be here.