The first building to be completed in Nigeria’s first-class city with magnificent scenery, Eko Atlantic, has been acquired by oil mogul and Chairman of Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Dr. ABC Orjiako. The 15-storey building, named Alpha 1 or Afren Tower, was designed by James Cubitt Architects and engineered by the Chagoury-owned construction firm, ITB Nigeria.
However, by the time Alpha 1 was completed last year, Afren had filed for administration, following allegations of unauthorized bonus payments by the company’s venture partner to the then Chief Executive Officer and CFO of Afren, a disabling bond default, its inability to finance its operations, and ultimate de-listing from the LSE.
With Afren in administration, an air of uncertainty befell Alpha 1. This was cleared some months ago immediately Orjiako, an orthopaedic surgeon, with intensive interests within the oil and gas sector spanning over twenty years, bought the property .With the acquisition of the building, Orjiako has commenced the relocation of his exploration and production firm – Salvic Petroleum – to Alpha 1.
When contacted to substantiate the acquisition of the building, Orjiako denied that he had bought the tower. Besides, high-ranking officials who work for Gilbert and Jack Chagoury who are behind the development of the Eko Atlantic City, and two bank CEOs within the grasp of the deal, maintained that he bought the building in his spouse’s name- Henrietta Orjiako. Another source claimed that Orjiako was not ready to make his latest acquisition public, so as to keep his creditors off the scene.
Although Orjiako holds the bulk interest in Salvic Petroleum, the oil company is chaired by Mr. Oye Hassan Odukale, who is additionally the MD/CEO of Leadway Assurance Limited, while Henrietta Orjiako acts as the executive vice chairman. Another director of the company includes Ikem Okafor who doubles as its Chief Executive Officer.
Salvic will not be forgotten for its plan to take over the Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) controlled by Jide Omokore’s Atlantic Energy Drilling concept (AEDC) for the financing of six oil blocks operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, the E&P subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), till the deal fell through, last year.
Irrespective of its inability to acquire the Federal Government’s approval for the SAA after a competitive tender, Salvic has focused on providing services as a sub-contractor to Shoreline Natural Resources Limited and its partner, UK-based Heritage Oil, operator of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 30 – a joint venture oil block controlled by NPDC (55 per cent), and Shoreline/Heritage (45 per cent).
A senior official of Shoreline confirmed that Salvic Petroleum, with its track record in E&P operations, has helped to increase production in the prolific oil block, which has 11 fields, to 60,000 barrels per day.
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