Benedict Peters is a businessman, entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of Aiteo Group – one of the largest and most successful corporations in Nigeria. He has a track record of excellence spanning over 20 years in the commodity and energy trading industry as well as the banking sector.
Peters got involved in the Nigerian oil and gas industry in the 1990s, working for companies like Ocean and Oil Limited and MRS Oil and Gas Limited, where he served as a pioneering Managing Director. Driven by strategic vision and a passion for business and leadership development, he founded Aiteo Group in 2000, and has built it into a business that not only employs thousands of workers but is also strengthening Nigeria’s capacity to manage its natural resources.
Benedict Peters was named Man of the Year by Nigeria’s Leadership Newspaper in 2014. He has been recognized for his groundbreaking contribution to strengthening Nigeria’s control over its strategic assets.
Ranked by Ventures Africa as the 17th richest person in Africa, Benedict Peters is an innovative businessman considered to be one of the pioneers in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. The Guardian Newspaper, Nigeria in June 2018, named him “Oil and Gas CEO of the Year.” Later the same year, Forbes honoured him with the ‘Africa’s Oil and Gas Leader of the Year’ award in September 2018.
Benedict Peters was born in Abakiliki, Ebonyi State, on the 5th of December, 1966, although his roots are from Onicha Oloma in Delta state.
He attended Ekulu Primary School, Enugu, for his elementary education and Federal Government College Enugu.
He later proceeded to the University of Benin, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) Hons degree in Geography and Town Planning in 1989 at the age of 22.
His father retired from banking while he was still a student at the university, prompting the young Peters to develop entrepreneurial skills and work harder ahead of many of his contemporaries to be able to supplement his financial needs.
He had his early education in eastern Nigeria and finished his secondary school education at Federal Government College Enugu. He got admission into the University of Benin, Edo State and bagged a first degree in Geography and Town Planning.
A native of Onicha-Olona in Delta State, Benedict Peters was born in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State in 1966
Peters is married and has four children.
Upon graduation, Benedict Peters started as a cross-country merchant with interests in agricultural produce. He began trading tomatoes and cocoa from Northern Nigeria to the south for local consumption. He also invested in new and used cars for sale, as well as real estate.
At different points, Benedict Peters turned down various job offers which had very promising careers and attractive incomes. One of which was a job offer by Union Bank, which was where he completed his compulsory Youth Service year.
Benedict Peters believed in having multiple sources of income and diversification. In the year 1999, he established Sigmund Communecci – a petroleum product supply and trading company. On October 12, 2000, the company secured a credit line of N250 million from City Express Bank with a 365-day repayment time frame.
Given the good turn out of the first loan, the company received other loans in hundreds of millions; ranging from 500 million Naira in 2002 from the same bank and another 350 million Naira in June 20 2002.
The successful repayment of the loans was proof of Peter’s business intellect, finance management and commitment.
Sigmund Communecci was rebranded in 2008 and was renamed Aiteo with eyes on phenomenal future growth and Aiteo’s strategic strides have contributed to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which was worth over US$4 billion to the economy of Nigeria.
In the 1990s, he was a co-founder of Ocean and Oil Limited, now known as Oando, a petroleum exploration and trading company.
Peters began his career in the oil and gas industry in the early 1990s, working with the founders of Ocean and Oil, the entity now known as Oando Nigeria Plc, Adewale Tinubu, Mofe Boyo and Onajite Okoloko.
He moved to MRS Oil Nigeria PLC as Group Executive Director, ending as its Managing Director, before leaving in 1999 to establish Sigmund Communecci.
In February 2008, Peters founded the Aiteo group (Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited), the successor entity to Sigmund Communecci. The company owns one of the largest petroleum tank farms in Nigeria with facilities in excess of over 250 million litres on over 100,000 square meters of landmass. It also owns and operates the Abonnema Storage Terminal.
In 2014, Aiteo acquired a controlling stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 and the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) in the Eastern Niger Delta from Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
According to Wood Mackenzie, “OML 29 is a large block located in the southeastern Niger Delta. It contains 11 oil and gas fields”.
“The 983-square-kilometre OML 29, onshore in the Niger Delta region, is the site of Nigeria’s first-ever commercial discovery”, in 1956 at the Oloibiri Oilfield.
Peters is also rapidly diversifying with his founding of Aiteo Power, of which he is chairman.
He leads the Aiteo Consortium and EMA Consortium which has won separate bids to acquire three power generating companies and is set to build a 100,000 barrel refinery in oil-rich Warri in Delta State.
The Start Of Aiteo Group
Aiteo Group has grown to be a grand establishment in the country. The company supplies the global market with oil and gas products while also executing oil exploration projects.
Since the company was created, it has been one of the most successful energy providers in Nigeria and is now considered a major player in the international oil industry.
Source of wealth
Oil and gas
Benedict Peters’ Aiteo Group, is one of the largest oil-producing firms in Nigeria. And Peters himself was estimated to have a net worth of US$2.7 billion as of the year 2014.
In 2017 the Supreme Court of Nigeria in Abuja ordered the immediate lift of an Interim Forfeiture Order on Peters properties in the UK. The Interim Forfeiture Order was obtained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC. The court accused the EFCC of “gross misstatements, concealment and misrepresentation of facts”.
Benedict Peters was accused in the Pandora Papers leak of bribing a Nigerian oil official (Diezani Alison-Madueke) with overseas luxury real-estate in order to secure favors with the Nigerian Ministry of Petroleum Resources. Benedict has denied the allegations.
In 2018, The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has obeyed the order of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, directing the removal of the Executive Vice Chairman of Aiteo Group, Benedict Peter’s name, from its list of wanted persons.
The action was in compliance with the judgment handed down in March 2018, by Justice O.A. Musa of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.
Justice Musa had ordered that Peters’ name be taken down from the anti-graft agency’s website, describing the process leading to his declaration as ‘wanted’ by EFCC as unconstitutional.
The EFCC in March 2017 declared Peters wanted on its website. However, in response to suit, FCT/HC/CV/23/2017, the court reached the conclusion that Peters had never been charged with, nor tried for any criminal offence in any court of law.
The information in this article was curated from online sources. NewsWireNGR or its editorial team cannot independently verify all details.
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