By Amos Fofung
A leading expert in Africa’s oil and gas industry, N.J Ayuk, Chief Executive Officer of Centurion Law Group and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber has maintained that the oil and gas sector in Africa is witnessing a new dawn as the continent gradually recovers from the 2014 slump.
In a televised TV interview granted recently, N.J Ayuk was categorical that despite the challenges witnessed by the sector in the past, a new era awaits the industry especially as more young Africans take over their oil and gas.
“The state of the oil and gas industry in Africa is currently strong, it has picked up from the slump that we saw in 2014 from the market crash with the fall in oil prices, but the prices have gone a little bit up, and are stabilizing, there is a lot of activity happening around the oil and gas industry in Africa, he said.
Citing examples such as South Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, and Angola that are all picking up at a fast-paced, the energy expert was optimistic about better days to come for the oil and gas industry which literally sustains most African economies.
Urging for better management of the industry which he says can “lift” Africa’s economy to fathomable heights, NJ Ayuk referring his much-awaited book, “Billions at Play: The Future of African Economy” to be released this October, said young people need to get more involved in the sector.
“We are going to start moving forward, it’s a new generation of Africans today, and we have to start looking at how do we train young people, get them involved in oil and gas, but also we need to look at how we can manage those resources well to create jobs for our people.”
“Yes, it has not really been in the past as we would have all expected, but there is a big issue that we have to challenge our self, and that’s what I write in the book, which is going to be really amazing by the way, is the issue of women. We still have to explain how, in all or a majority of the oil and gas industry, women still represent 2% of that industry when it comes to management…we have to start empowering them.”
He maintained that he was very proud to witness the era as African is more and more been used to power the continent.
Recounting success stories and initiatives taken by most African States, the Pan-Africanist once more reiterated the desires for Africa to rise up and work for the growth of their continent rather than waiting for foreigners to come to develop it for them.
About N.J. Ayuk
Cameroonian-born N.J. Ayuk is the managing partner of Centurion Law Group, a pan-African corporate law conglomerate that specializes in energy, extractive industries, and the financial sector. Headquartered in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, Centurion has offices in five countries across the continent.
Ayuk has been active in the structuring, negotiation, and implementation of natural resource projects in sub-Saharan Africa, with extensive experience in advising both international and local companies and governments.
He recently advised Oranto Petroleum, one of Africa’s largest oil exploration companies, in the landmark acquisition of four strategic oil blocks in Niger Republic. Centurion Law Group has been ranked among the first 18 law firms actively doing deals and legal work in Africa.
The recognition by international business magazine, Financial Afrik, further endorsed the law firm among the most credible legal entities in Africa, and on the international stage.
N.J. Ayuk earned a degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland College Park, a Juris Doctor in Law at the William Mitchell College of law and later an MBA from New York Institute of Technology.
Starting out, he worked for BakerBotts LLP, the United Nations Development Programme, Vanco Energy ,and later founded Centurion Law Group.
NJ Ayuk is currently one of Africa’s most prolific energy dealmakers at a relatively young age, many regard him as an exemplary Pan-Africanist for his contributions and desires towards the continent.