I read with dissatisfaction a report by a leading northern-based national newspaper titled Ghost Companies Lift N1.1trillion Crude Oil filed in which the paper reported that some indigenous companies not registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) have lifted Nigeria Crude Oil Grades valued at 3.5billion US Dollars (N1.1billion) in the last 10 months.
The report went ahead to list the names of the 18 companies that purportedly benefitted from the contract starting from Prudent Energy, Setana Energy, Emo oil among others. Brittania U was number 14 on the list.
While one do not doubt the possibility of non registered companies lifting crude oil or benefitting from other major contracts in Nigeria, the naming of Brittania U among the unregistered companies that lifted or is lifting crude oil in Nigeria is quite unfortunate and therefore regrettable.
The apologies have become necessary in view of the high reputation of the company Brittania U and its management, especially the person of Chief Mrs Uju Ifejika, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Brittania U, due to its enviable track record of achievements as well as the sterling profile of its CEO.
One cannot but give credit to the reporter that filed the story for taking time to call the CEO of the company before reporting in order to balance the story, what was wrong is that Mrs Ifejirika, having taken time to explain to the reporter that her company was duly registered and with over 30 years of service to Nigeria on the same business line, the reporter should have gone further to check the information she offered; and if it they are found to be true, the name of her company should have been dropped from the list.
I do not need to contact the management of Brittania U before writing this reaction. This is because I have known the company for many years as one of the leading firms in the Nigerian oil industry sector with sprawling facilities in Lagos, its headquarters and with branches in other parts of Nigeria, Ghana and the United States.
There is no player in the Nigerian oil sector that does not know Brittania U which operates an integrated model and is a leader in Nigeria’s petroleum industry. Unlike many other companies that are only interested in lifting crudet oil, Brittania U is neck deep in exploration and production as well as subsurface engineering and sundry consultancy services in the oil and gas sub sectors.
All these would have been verified by the paper if it had obliged the company its challenge to do a simple check. To say that CAC could not ascertain that the company was duly registered is another abnormality on the side of the companies registering agency as modern technology is there to assist its staff click a button to accredit or verify organisations that are on its website as bona fide corporate entities.