Leading Woman

The rise and rise of OGE MODIE

by Kemi Ajumobi

May 11, 2018 | 1:37 am
  |     |     |   Start Conversation


Oge doubles as both the Chief of Staff to the Honourable Minister of State, Petroleum Resources and Coordinator of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources’ Project Management Office, charged with the implementation and provision of leadership direction for the 7 Big Wins – Nigerian Petroleum Roadmap of the Ministry which focuses on short and medium term priorities to grow Nigeria’s Oil and Gas industry.

Oge earned a Bachelor of Science with honors in Economics from University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN). She attended the Cranfield School of Management where she was awarded a Master of Business Administration degree.

She is the founder of a youth capacity building organisation called Kairos Knowledge Centre and also founder of First Born Foundation.

She is a member of ESOMAR World Research (Netherlands), a Distinguished Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Brand Management of Nigeria (FIBN) and a Fellow of the Institute of Credit Administration of Nigeria (FICA).

Early years and influence till date

I was born in Ibadan on the 12th of January, and my most intimate childhood memories were shaped growing up in Enugu, Nigeria. Growing up for me was a fun and great experience. My upbringing was well fashioned by parents, who were astute professionals and devout Christians, their values shaped my thinking and values. Last out of five kids, I was a late bloomer to my parents and was mainly at home whilst my siblings were in boarding schools and in University. Dad (God rest his soul) was my best friend and mentor, retired as the Associate Dean School of Medicine at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, he played a vital role in cheering me on my chosen career path, he was a positive influence and taught me the important lessons of hard work and integrity.  Mum who retired as the Chief Nursing Administrator at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu was a woman of great strength and ambition. She taught me tenacity, boldness (standing up for your beliefs) and administration.

Transitioning from NOI to NNPC

The transition was quick, exciting and challenging. It was just the kind of growth I needed at that time of my career. I was headhunted from my role as MD/CEO NOIPolls (a pioneer opinion research company) and had only about a week to make a decision and move to NNPC. New and uncharted for me, I was hungry for knowledge.  My role as the Chief of Staff (CoS) to the GMD revolved largely around leading teams, managing institutional change and coordinating every activity in the GMD’s office, later about three months later this role doubled as the CoS to the GMD/Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum. The Public sector isn’t radically different from the Private sector, navigating my first year was helped mostly by a great team in NNPC that were absolutely supportive and mentors that encouraged me to be my very best at this new territory and to own it. Transiting required me to work extra hard, I took lessons on the global and local petroleum industry, I once went to meet with a former CoS to the President of SaudiAramco to understudy and exchange notes about the job and its challenges.  The CoS role was new to NNPC. I have been first person and woman to have this role at NNPC, so I basically had to define the role and execute clear responsibilities. It was tough but exciting.  I must also say that my previous roles over the years in Management Consulting, Corporate Finance, Private Equity and then Opinion Research also helped immensely in transiting as core business and general management principles apply. Counting into my third year, there is still much to learn and to do.

Managing being both the Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Petroleum Resources’ and the Coordinator of its Project Management Office

It has been a roller coaster of deliverables both on the job and outside the job. To succeed in any given role, the value of leading a team cannot be over emphasized. My job roles demand an excellent level of both servant leadership and transformational leadership. Aside managing people and ensuring that targets and deliveries are not only met but exceeded, I also ensure to help my team members to not only discover their greatest strengths but also to confidently bring these strengths to the table. That way, we all succeed not only because the job demands it but also the necessary ingredient of self-motivation is assured for everyone.


Ensuring integrity and probity in the energy sector within and outside Nigeria

Integrity and probity have been issues of great concern to Stakeholders in the sector. Reforming the sector and establishing the right policies help with showing integrity and probity in the sector. The 7 Big wins (www.7bigwins.com) Petroleum Road Map was designed to do this. Also, the restructuring of NNPC through the 21 Fixes now integrated into the 10 Business Focus Areas is concentrated on making the Corporation transparent and commercially viable. A clear example of ensuring probity in the sector was the commencement of the publishing of the Monthly Financial and Operation report of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), initiated by the current Honourable Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, when he was still the Group Managing Director (GMD) in August 2015 and still ongoing.

We have developed processes that have seen the need for integrity and probity in the energy sector to move from mere words to tangible and actionable elements. I personally believe that the three-pronged personal attributes of character, competence and capacity when intentionally embraced by the players in the energy sector will improve the existing gains and herald even new frontiers.

The short and medium term priorities to grow Nigeria’s Oil and Gas industry

The 7 Big Wins embodies a set of aspirations to grow the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry, aimed at developing a stable and enabling oil and gas landscape with improved transparency, efficiency, stable investment climate, and a well-protected environment. The 7BigWins was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on the 27th of October, 2016 in recognition of the critical role of oil and gas in the development of the Nigerian economy. The 7BigWins has seven major areas of focus including Policy and Regulation, Business Environment and Investment Drive, Gas Revolution, Refineries and Local Production Capacity, Niger Delta and Security, Transparency & Efficiency and Stakeholder Management and International Coordination. We have made key successes in each of these 7 areas- The National Oil Policy and the National Gas Policy has been approved by the Federal Executive Council and has now been gazetted. The peace building activities in the Niger Delta region has led to stabilizing production in the area and moving from a low of 800,000bpd in November 2016 to 2.1mbpd in May 2018. More results on the implementation of the 7 BigWins can be found on the website.

Though rich in oil, must Nigeria only focus on this for wealth generation? What are your suggestions? 

As an Economist, I believe that focusing on a single item for wealth generation is economically unstable. The most economically viable Nations are known to have multiple wealth generation streams with more Nations moving towards the knowledge economy. Diversification is the way to go and I believe that is the focus of the Government.

You sit on boards that have women and youths as its core purpose. Kindly share on reasons for your choice of association

I worked as a fund director and helped to generate interest in investing in women owned/managed SMEs across West Africa. I just have that in-born passion to see women succeed in their chosen careers and most importantly, in their places of assignment and purpose. I have a core ministry of mentoring young people and I am quite deliberate in my associations to ensure that the focus is consistent. I believe that young people are the catalyst for any real change.

Kairos Knowledge Centre and First Born Foundation

The Kairos Knowledge Centre and First Born Foundation are projects that are very dear to my heart. They are in their very early stages of existence.

For Kairos Knowledge Centre; the word “Kairos” means- timely, opportune moments in our lives where anything is achievable, everything is doable. This Knowledge Centre has as its mission, to daily create ‘Kairos’ moments for the Nigerian Youth through specialised courses and interventions. The Centre has three (3) key units: which comprises of the Youth Centre, Training School and Library.

First Born Foundation is focused on bringing souls to the knowledge of Jesus, the firstborn of the church and our mission statement is to daily contribute to the overall wellbeing of individuals through our three core activities, namely; Instruments of PeaceTM: Arbitration within three units: Family, Community, Country. The second is TentsTM: Providing temporary shelters for homeless and vulnerable poor, soup kitchen and skills workshops and the final one is WellsTM: provision of seed/growth fund for MSMEs and also serves as a business incubator, youth outreach centre and entrepreneurial development hub.

Final words

Women are gold. I believe more women should aspire to political office.

Kemi Ajumobi

by Kemi Ajumobi

May 11, 2018 | 1:37 am
  |     |     |   Start Conversation

Big Read |  


How more clannish can a government be?

July last year, the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf, was suspended by the Minister of...


Banking App