The Nigerian lawyer Akachukwu Adeyinka Nwokedi has been elected the President of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), the country’s leading natural gas advocacy group.
It is just as well. He has been part of the organizing machinery of the association for its close to a quarter century of being.
It is telling that Mr. Nwokedi is the current General Counsel and Company Secretary of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG)Limited, a company which, close watchers have come to associate with being the life force behind the birth and growth of the NGA. That the association was registered in the same year the NLNG delivered its first export cargo of LNG, fortifies the narrative that NGA was created to popularize the idea of ‘the business of natural gas’ at a time when NLNG was a rank outlier, struggling against the tide in an economy focused on the pure oil play.
But as Nwokedi’s acceptance address on the night of his election shows, tying the birth of NGA with the fortunes of NLNG is a single story which leaves out a complicated background and context.
“Today is certainly a day for reflection because when in 1999, I was saddled with the responsibility by the then GMD of NNPC, Dr Gaius Obaseki, to register the NGA and become its first legal advisor and Deputy Secretary-General, I could not have known that many years later I would be standing here today as President of the association”, the new President told a roomful of guests at the dinner.
Translation: the NGA is a child of many parents.
“It is indeed an honour and a privilege to be taking over the mantle of leadership of this very important body to the Nigerian Gas Industry, an association to which I have remained committed for the last 20 plus years”.
Nwokedi holds a first degree and a Master’s degree in law from the University of Buckingham, United Kingdom and was called to the Nigerian Bar. He is a legal professional with over 25 years’ experience, mainly in the oil and gas industry.
A pioneer Human Resources Manager for Career Development and Talent Management in NLNG and later the Human Resources and Services Manager for NLNG’s Production Division, Nwokedi delivered the Gas Supply Agreements (GSA) for NLNG’s Trains 3, 4 and 5 and the financing agreements for the NLNGPlus Project in his position as Senior Counsel, Technical and Projects for the company, his profile says.
He also served as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of NLNG Ship Management Limited (NSML), an NLNG subsidiary, “repositioning the company from loss making to an organization delivering strong performance and sustained profit for the NLNG Group”, the profile explains.