Whatever anyone thinks, Benedict Peters has earned his reputation. Like an indefatigable mariner, he rode the storms and tumult of industry till he chanced on pliant waters. His unyielding spirit certainly paid off; it has seen him through the teething and oft-tumultuous phases of enterprise. Peters survived the ravage of false starts and defeat, keeping faith in his capacity to triumph. The man who burnished his spunk through commerce’s brutish straits has emerged as one of the most perceptive juggernauts in Nigeria’s downstream oil sector. This is why he is worth celebrating in the wake of his recent milestone, writes LANRE ALFRED
Enterprise knows Benedict Peters by heart and vice versa; perhaps because it is his uttermost passion. Yet the imagery you see when Peters is mentioned hardly depicts his complete genius. Still, you get a feel of his lambent intellect and the fortune it summons.
If you ask, Peters will tell you that enterprise is the soil in which genius is planted; at its core, creativity grows, and legends bloom. Faith in oneself, Peters would argue, is the rain that cultivates a hero to endure the storm and bear the genesis of a new world and new frontiers of success.
The CEO and founder of Aiteo Group is the favourite entrepreneur of generations of aspiring moguls. He is tough, self-made and copiously resilient.
Peters understands the business world so much that many of his peers have sworn he could see the future. But he simply understands how to connect his dreams and ambition to the practical reality of his business environment.
Blessed with a truly creative mind, Peters has stunning depth and understanding of industry and an overpowering necessity to create. So keen is he in the pursuit of his dreams that he does not feel alive unless he is creating and breaking new ground. Some would call him a connoisseur of milestones.
Just recently, Peters’ Aiteo Group recorded another remarkable milestone via its partnership with the NNPC to launch a new grade of crude called Nemb; through this joint venture, the group, widely acknowledged as Africa’s largest oil producer, ramps up its oil output.
The Nembe crude stream will be managed and marketed by a joint venture between state-owned NNPC and oil firm Aiteo Eastern E&P Co. Ltd, the first such crude marketing project solely run by Nigerian entities.
“It is definitely the trajectory that we are going to follow,” Maryamu Idris, executive director of crude and condensate at NNPC Trading, told the Argus European Crude conference in London.
Nembe production was added to the Bonny Light stream more than three years ago, until incidents of sabotage on the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) hit output, an NNPC source told Reuters on the sidelines of the conference in London.
Now, the country has managed to resurrect Nembe as a separate grade, he added. The addition allows Nigeria to export another two cargoes of 950,000 barrels each of crude each month, NNPC said in a statement.
The first cargoes of Nembe were sold in October, with two 950,000 barrel shipments sold to France and the Netherlands. The low-sulphur grade commands a premium to the global Brent benchmark and is a good candidate to compete with Brazilian and Azeri crude grades for European refiners.
Nembe production is currently around 50,000 barrels per day, but the NNPC is aiming for a rise to 80,000 by the first quarter of next year and 150,000 barrels per day by the start of 2025.
Peters’ franchise, the Aiteo Group, is certainly much more than a blockbuster business. Over the years, it has cemented its role as the most prolific and pugnacious among companies, creating an inspiring, self-replenishing business culture.
The group and its subsidiaries are all emblematic of accelerating transformations in the way he works—at will, directed by high ethics, powered by modern technology and without many of the traditional restraints imposed by a damning industrial environment.
There is something magical about the way Peters leads his enterprise to monetize resources they already possess. As he pressed forward into more and more terrains this year, his exploits have attained deeper significance for his employees and the entire gamut of the country’s petroleum and energy economies.
This has made Aiteo and its subsidiaries an entrepreneurial litmus test that is likely to endure through successive years. Seen as a symbol of his business genius, Aiteo’s expansion establishes Peters’ detailed grasp of entrepreneurial and regulatory terrains and the zeal with which he’s willing to take them on, unfazed.
If Peters were born of the sun, he would bathe the world in brilliant spokes of ambition and leave the air vividly signed with his exploits. The Aiteo Group boss is perfect proof that it is not by spectacular achievements that man can be transformed but by will. Peters is a man of great will, hence his sterling exploits in the fields of enterprise. His passion for greatness spirals to the sky, bolstered by a will as sturdy as an oak.
Starting out, his genius had such electricity that the odds could not tame. He set out with the fervour of a man who understood that, to succeed in the cutthroat world of commerce, he must be ready to lose himself in his objective, long-term goal, creation, and craft.
In pursuit of his dreams, Benny resolved to remain passionate, optimistic and humane. Even while faced with the ravage of false starts and defeat and the wicked humour of territorial, dictatorial fate, he kept faith in his capacity to weather the storms and succeed.
Balancing on the metaphorical high seas of tumult and toil, he stood unbending before the brute gale and other elements of the deep, something the majority of men, quitters in particular, have always failed to do, generation after generation. This legacy of resilience and survival is what inspired many of his forebears to toil in sacrifice. But rather than let narratives of failure deter him, he sought motivation to conquer and prove wrong their grisly plots.
Peters’ idea of progress is simple and sweeping: enterprise as ubiquitous and reliable as running water, everywhere, for everyone. And as part of that vision, he expects to enrich the way the industry operates.
There is no gainsaying the value of the contributions of the Aiteo Group to humanity, which can never be underestimated, particularly its contributions to the sports sector.
Founded in 1999, the company operated under the name Sigmund Communnecci Limited. The company name was changed to Aiteo during a rebranding exercise. The new brand signifies not only a change in name but a change in culture and strategy to propel the company to new heights.
Since its inception, Aiteo has been a trailblazer in the petroleum sector, helping to grow the downstream petroleum sector and providing constant availability of high-quality refined products worldwide.
In 2008, the company committed to building comprehensive energy capabilities and services from exploration through retail delivery of finished petroleum products plus electrical power.
Today, Aiteo is a full-spectrum, integrated energy company with services that span bulk petroleum products storage, marketing and distribution of refined petroleum products, oilfield services, electricity generation and distribution, LPG bulk storage and a fast-developing retail distribution network.
Aiteo Group has one of the largest private storage facilities for refined petroleum products in sub-Saharan Africa.
Assets include petroleum storage facilities with a more than 320 million litres capacity. This includes our Port Harcourt terminal, with a capacity of over 110 million litres, and our Apapa terminal, with a capacity of approximately 210 million litres.