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OVH Energy Marketing Partners NGO to curb the spread of Malaria
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In commemoration of the 2022 World Malaria Day, OVH Energy
Marketing, the leading indigenous marketer of choice, has partnered with the
African Clean-up initiative, a non-profit advocacy organisation, for another
edition of the Roll Back Malaria campaign. The campaign marked under the theme
"Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save
lives" empowered local communities within Lagos and Rivers state.
The Roll Back Malaria campaign is a partnership program
conceived and implemented out of the need to educate people on Malaria
preventive measures. The initiative seeks to identify and eradicate the
associated effects of Malaria through education, empowerment, and treatment.
Beneficiaries were enlightened on preventive measures and practical steps to
prevent malaria outbreaks. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets were also
distributed to men, women and children from the host communities.
World Malaria Day is marked annually to focus global attention
on Malaria, and its impact on families, communities, and societal development,
especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the 2021 World Malaria Report by
the World Health organisation, the African Region carries a disproportionately
high share of the global malaria burden. In 2020, Africa was home to 95% of
malaria cases and 96% of malaria deaths, with children under 5 accounting for
about 80% of all malaria deaths.
Speaking on the impact of the initiative, the Chief
Executive Officer of OVH Energy Marketing, Huub Stokman reiterated the
company's commitment to malaria prevention and control to build a healthy and
conducive environment for members of its host communities. He mentioned that
Malaria remains a significant public health and development challenge that
requires collective human efforts and technological innovation to manage.
"The WHO has warned that malaria deaths will probably
dwarf direct deaths from COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria also poses a
socio-economic challenge; sadly, it remains a burden costing the continent an
estimated $12 billion yearly. Therefore, the fight against Malaria is a
critical issue requiring strong private sector engagement. At OVH Energy, we
are deeply committed to eradicating this disease amongst Nigerians while
improving our host communities' social and economic development in alignment
with United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal three, which is good health
and well-being." He said.
Also commenting on the initiative, Alexander Akhigbe,
founder of the African Cleanup Initiative (ACI) said, "Malaria
is a preventable and treatable disease that continues to affect the health and
livelihood of people worldwide. Thus, when individuals are properly educated,
the spread can be prevented, and with the right treatment, the mortality rate
OVH Energy's commitment to enriching its host community is
commendable. Through various corporate social responsibility initiatives such
as the University Scholarship Scheme, OLEUM Academy, amongst others, the firm
continues to impact the lives of those within its host communities.
Break The Bias; Find Your Path
The Chief Marketing Officer of OVH Energy
Marketing, Lilian Ikokwu, shares her perspective on women in marketing and the
power of finding one's path.
Lilian Ikokwu had finished
a Bachelor's in computer science from Nnamdi Azikiwe University when she had an
epiphany. "Computer science is defined by rules and codes, programming
languages and artificial intelligence," she said. "Shortly after
graduation, it clicked for me; I wanted to try out other things. I wanted to
develop creative solutions for ingenious business problems."
She navigated to
marketing with her creativity, communication skills, and analytical abilities;
she felt right at home. With her background in computer science, Lilian
understood the numbers; she quickly realized that data-driven marketing is the
backbone of all laser-sharp understanding of one's target audience.
trajectory has been an interesting one. Fresh to working in the oil and gas
industry, she tried different size roles. She worked as a commercial branch
manager, Lubricants and VAP Manager, Customer Care Manager, Network
Optimization Manager, Head Lubricants (Sales & Marketing), and now Chief
Marketing Officer (CMO). Lilian has come a long way with an impressive role as
CMO of one of Nigeria's most prominent indigenous marketers of choice, OVH
She had been laying
the groundwork for years. "Radical changes do not happen overnight.
Thousands of seemingly insignificant blocks build a mansion; I believe the same
thing happens with opportunities." Lilian said, "Laying the
groundwork and capacity building sometimes take years; its back-breaking work
that eventually pays off. Then, when the right opportunity comes along, you
think to yourself, this is it! This is the moment I've been preparing
Sharing her views on
women's progress in the marketing industry, Lilian said, "I am an
optimist, so is it progressing? Yes. Is it fast enough? I don't think so.
Across the spectrum, from client to agency side practitioners and through
content creation to messaging, the business case has been made for the
incredible upside to full female participation. It is proven that having women
in leadership roles positively influences consumer representation. This should
ordinarily be a no-brainer. But if it is so obvious and simple, why hasn't it
been solved yet?"
Clarity on the root
issues and a concrete plan to solve them are critical. For example, despite
near-parity in entry-level numbers, women are outnumbered almost 2 to 1 by men
in first-level manager jobs that are the bridges to senior roles. Lilian
believes that levelling the playing field by dismantling obstacles that impede
retention will increase female participation within the industry.
There is a dogged
stubbornness that one needs to possess to succeed. This attitude serves Lilian
well in her time at OVH Energy Marketing. Lilian said the fact is, "the
profession attracts more females at entry-level. However, in Nigeria, upward
mobility becomes a challenge due to the disproportionate duties a woman carries
because of culture and non-supportive practices" This often results in a
career break leaving few women at very senior levels to drive the change.
Policy and implementation
are the solutions, Lilian explained. To support female employees for
professional development while on maternity leave and for re-assimilation to
the workforce is a game-changer.
She discovered through
experience the importance of continued education and having a solid network.
"I recommend both to ascending talents, sometimes it's exhausting, but it
is worth it. Continue learning, dabble into different things because you'll
never know if you don't try, and that is the only way you keep learning." Always
a scientist at heart; she believes that even failed trials reveal helpful
both women and men as allies. You are only as strong as your network, and while
this may sound cliché, it is the truth. I have also noticed a reluctance in
women to leverage their network. When this happens, I tell them why buy a fancy
car if you won't take it out for a ride." Lilian said
mentorship is critical in life," she said. "Seeing someone that is
where you want to be, just has an impact on your life." Particularly as a
Nigerian woman working in marketing, Lilian appreciates the unique impact her
visibility can have on fellow women pursuing careers in Marketing.
"I am inspired by so
many great mentors who have helped me on this journey; I hope that I can serve
others like that." By sharing our stories, Lilian reminds us, we equip
each other with insight. Those are the most valuable gifts as we continue to
find our path
Break the Bias, Closing the Gender Leadership Gap
Adaeze Nwakoby, Company Secretary/Group Head Legal and Human
Resources for OVH Energy Marketing, talks about the status of women in
leadership and the urgent need to break the bias.
When Adaeze Nwakoby began her legal
career in the mid-2000s, she inadvertently walked into a male-dominated terrain
where she had to work twice as hard to gain the professional respect of her
colleagues. Having risen through the ranks to become a leader herself, Adaeze
cannot help but notice the deep-seated gender leadership bias prevalent across
In her experience, the
"bro-culture", overt patriarchy in the workplace, as well as other
more subtle forms of bias against women sometimes preclude their attaining
"In the conventional work
environment, it is far more likely that a female would be required to prove her
capabilities than it is for a male to be”, she says.
According to Adaeze, despite marked
advances in gender-equality over the last decade in Nigeria, women are still
grossly underrepresented within the corporate leadership landscape here.
"When I graduated from the
Nigerian Law School back in 2004, there were far more male graduates than
female, but today there is nearly an equal proportion of both genders
graduating. Ironically however, the male-dominated leadership within legal
academia, corporate law, and the judiciary in Nigeria has remained almost
entirely the same way since 2004”, she says.
Again, in her words, a close
examination of industries in the country – from oil and gas, to corporate
legal, to healthcare, and even to the ultra-progressive entertainment industry
– will show that while qualified women for leadership roles abound,
opportunities for them do not.
“The outcomes are cyclical – the fact
of very few women in leadership roles shape expectations and the value system
accordingly: women are less likely to be given opportunities if the systemic
paradigm is for them not to be, and with a dearth of female leaders as role
models, young women are less likely to be inspired towards toward leadership”.
In Adaeze’s experience, the woman is
sometimes vilified for the same attributes that would be idealized or
overlooked in a man in her position. The strong, uncompromising woman is easily
branded ‘difficult’, and the empathic woman is considered ‘too emotional’, in a
way to suggest that for reason of her gender she is less capable than a man to
take on the hard decision making the leadership role demands.
Nevertheless, Adaeze says, the tide
is turning, howbeit slowly. More women are attaining C-suite management roles
across industries in Nigeria, and these elite few are leading a spirited charge
to inspire more gender inclusion, and to
inspire the next generation of female leaders to demand an equal seat at the
In her opinion, organizations need to
regard gender inclusion, especially at the leadership level, as a key area of
focus. She believes that gender diversity in the board room allows for a
broader perspective in decision making and a more strategic divergence of
opinion, which would improve the quality of business decisions. She however emphasized
the need to generally recognize that the push for gender inclusion is not an
undue plea for attention towards women, but rather a conscious effort to fairly
reward excellence regardless of gender. For women, she said that they must also
realize that gender inclusion does not translate to preferential treatment, and
as such, they must, just like their male counterparts, proactively stay abreast
of relevant industry and political discussions, upskill from time to time, and
develop essential soft skills to make them deserving contenders for leadership
Finally, she said, everyone must
self-examine for even the smallest gender-biases.
"Most people have unconscious
prejudices that they have been conditioned to harbor by their environments.
Unravelling these biases is an important step to eliminating them. A lot of our
gender bias is rooted in our cultural, and even moral ideals. If we are to
progress towards inclusion, we must unlearn and relearn on many deep-seated
levels, as a society really”.
Adaeze believes that gender equality
in corporate leadership within Nigeria is not a pipe dream, but rather
something that is attainable in the short rather long term.
OVH Energy Marketing provides valuable recommendations to drive the Nigerian Midstream Sector
Abuja, Nigeria: March 2022: Nigeria’s
leading indigenous marketer of choice, OVH Energy Marketing (Oando Licensee)
has proffered strong recommendations on the development of the midstream and
downstream Oil & Gas industry in Nigeria, suggesting that the sector needs
significant infrastructure investments. This was
discussed at the just concluded 5th Nigeria International Energy
Summit (NIES) held in Abuja themed: “Revitalising the Industry: Future
Fuels and Energy Transition.”
summit which, has gathered momentum on the global scene, is a platform for
Nigeria to engage both local and international stakeholders towards the
effective development of the oil and gas sector as a strong catalyst for
The second day of the five-day conference
featured a CEO roundtable with Mr. Huub Stokman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
of OVH Energy Marketing Ltd, Oando licensee, advocating for more collaboration
amongst relevant stakeholders in the industry to develop on the necessary
measures that can improve infrastructural development in the sector to meet
Midstream and Downstream infrastructural development, the industry needs more
investment to expand and boost our jetties, the pipelines, depots, trucks and
human capacity development for a safe operation. We recognize that the industry
needs more funding and investment to achieve all of these whilst customers’
demands are met and creating values to the end users.,” he said. He further stated that the new refineries
will change the supply landscape, and Nigeria becoming self sufficient in the
production of refined fuel. This is a major milestone. He noted. If this
happens combined with a good competitive environment (a level playing field),
the customer can decide the best price served and who they want to buy from. A
regulated market slightly distorts these elements.”. According to Mr. Stokman,
new refineries will produce cleaner fuels which is good for the environment,
and for the good health of all Nigerians. The current challenge around fuel
supply and distribution shows us that as an industry, we need to have a good
emergency plan (e.g. the refineries go
down for maintenance, what then do we do?). We should use today’s challenges as
a learning opportunity for the future, he advocated.”
commended the Federal Government for the signing of the PIA and the swift
response of the Authority Chief Executive in the implementation of the Act,
however, he observed that the postponement of full deregulation of industry
will pose a lot of challenges to the industry.
As it is the decade of gas, we should also capture gas (LPG, CNG, LNG)
as a substantial part of the energy mix of Nigeria: - in terms of Energy
Self-sufficiency and towards a sustainable future.
Stokman further commended the efforts to bring together industry stakeholders
to share ideas on how to move the country forward, “this is our fourth
participation at the NIES, and it is a wonderful platform for players in both
upstream and downstream. This a great event which brings in foreign and local
experts to exchange ideas, opinions, trends and outlook for the future.”
Energy Marketing also won the 2021 Best Downstream Company Award. The award was
conferred on OVH Energy Marketing at the gala night of the fifth Nigeria
International Energy Summit in Abuja on Monday.
on the award, Mr. Stokman explained that the award is a reward for the
company’s repeated commitment to be customer-centric whilst contributing to the
development of the downstream sector. In his words, “we are always humbled to
receive recognitions like this and a big thank you to our customers for their
unwavering patronage over the years”.
Energy Marketing will continue to provide exceptional services to our
customers, as our strong unrivaled heritage drives to impact our customers’
lives positively while distributing over 1 billion liters of refined petroleum
products annually and providing trusted petroleum services including, supply
reliability and technical expertise nationwide”.
recent times, Nigeria has made strategic moves towards becoming a foremost oil
and gas investment destination, through ongoing strategic sectoral reforms and
engagement with host communities. This year’s NIES conference continues to
engage industry experts and investors on developing hedging strategies to
combat prevailing sectoral challenges towards unlocking inherent value in the near
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