Undoubtedly, Benedict Peters is one of Nigeria’s most industrious business icons. The reclusive founder and CEO of Aiteo Group has been navigating the stormy oil business world and escaping the sharks coming his way. He has survived several economic blizzards that would have sunk many. Peters and his company, Aiteo Group, had recorded victories in court against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The highlight of the chain of legal successes was the eventual removal of his name from the list of wanted persons by the EFCC, which had previously declared him wanted on multiple graft allegations. Despite the good news of Peters’ technical declaration as a free man which means he can formally return to Nigeria at his convenience, sources say the billionaire might not leave his Ghana abode so soon. He fought doggedly to extricate himself from some alleged infractions and claims that he’s a front for controversial former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The oil mogul seems not yet comfortable coming home at this time, more so, at a time the country’s leading anti-graft agency is said to be making frantic move to extradite the former powerful oil minister from the United Kingdom. Aside the Diezani’s rumour angle, Peters is said to be really keen on expanding his frontiers in the international arena as his company was recently awarded a mining licence in Congo with another firm called Bravura. He was said to have even relocated now to the Central African nation to explore fresh challenges and reap immensely from his quest.
After cutting his business teeth under oil tycoon Wale Tunubu at Oando Plc and later Sayyu Dantata’s MRS Group, Peters founded Aiteo Group in 2008 and within 10 years, he has turned the company into the largest indigenous producer of oil in the country. Peters’ Aiteo, which prospered under former President Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure, was said to have recently battled with the hefty repayments to some Nigerian creditors that helped his trading firm acquire OML 29 from the Royal Dutch Shell Plc. With an estimated net worth of over $2.7 billion, Peters has been ranked as the 17th richest person in Africa and the 7th richest in Nigeria.