Monday, 6 April 2009
Vice President Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan (second right), Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (right), Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Odein Ajumogobia (left), vice chairman Petroleum Club, Otunba Funsho Lawal (second left) and chairman of the club, Dr. Oduimo Itsueli.
BY TOPE TEMPLER OLAIYA
MAGBON Close, and its environs in Ikoyi, Lagos, was on the evening of March 26, 2009, awash with security operatives, as an elite operators (serving and retired) in the oil and gas industry, drove their choice, posh automobiles into the secured premises.
The event, which required a security clearance for the dilettante, was not an economic summit or a forum to discuss the mess at the Niger Delta, it was the launch and official opening of the Petroleum Club; and the frenetic security detail was in expectation of the arrival of the Vice President.
At exactly 6:30pm, the long wait for the cocktail party to begin ended with the arrival of Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan, with the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, following in his trail. After being received by the Chairman and Board of Governors of the club, the Vice President was led on a tour of the clubhouse, before making his debut at the party to declare the club open.
Not an evening for long speeches, Jonathan charged the influential gathering of operators in the country’s oil and gas industry to be the government’s unofficial think-tank on matters concerning the industry. “You are not just to come here and have a good time, but see yourself as the chief adviser to Mr. President on oil matters. We want an advice from you to the government on the way forward and how to manage the industry better,” he said.
Governor Fashola, responding to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Odein Ajumogobia’s earlier comment that the price of oil will continue to rise to a point where for economic reasons, people will look for other energy sources, said, “now is the time to respond as a people to what others are doing to avoid challenging times ahead.
The chairman of the club, Uduimo Itsueli, said the establishment of the club was in fulfilment of the need to have an avenue where experts and professionals in the oil and gas industry could unwind and share ideas on industry issues.
The Club will among its services, serve breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekdays, while it will serve brunch and dinner on weekends. Private rooms can be reserved for lunch and dinner and meeting rooms will be available on reservation for business meetings. The Club’s dress code will be business casual during the day but jacket and tie or national dress for dinner. Jeans, shorts, T-shirts or sneakers are a complete taboo.