It’s often said that in giving we receive. For billionaire oil mogul and philanthropist, Prince Arthur Eze, he perfectly believes in this maxim as it’s obvious he understands the art of giving. He gives and as he keeps giving, the returns on his ‘social investment’ are tripling in many folds. And as the quid trickle in, the billionaire is ever as happy as a clam at the high tide. Just a couple of days ago, in order to enhance production from the Ejulebe marginal field, Prince Eze’s Atlas Petroleum International resumed the development of its OML 109 in Nigeria —the OML comprises 14 identified and mapped prospects and leads, and an unrisked resource potential in excess of 500 million barrels of oil equivalent. Awarded to Atlas Petroleum International in 1991, the block entered into production through the development of the Ejulebe discovery in September 1998. Its low cost operating environment in shallow water and proximity to existing oil and gas infrastructure such as the Escravos Terminal makes it one of the most attractive assets in the Niger Delta, with significant untapped and under-explored hydrocarbons potential. “The renewed development of OML109 will bring a boost to local content development in Nigeria, and support the industry’s recovery following the COVID-19 crisis. As Nigeria multiplies efforts to build domestic capacity and develop the Nigerian content, we intend to live up to expectations as one of the country’s major indigenous players,” said Prince Eze, who is also the Executive Chairman of Oranto Petroleum.
“We expect the ongoing wells interventions on OML 109 to deliver quick wins on the recovery and enhancement of production from the field, and express our thanks to the Department of Petroleum Resources for facilitating all permits,” he added. Atlas Petroleum International and Oranto Petroleum represent one of Africa’s largest Nigerian and privately-held exploration and production groups. The companies currently have an extensive footprint across the African continent, holding 22 oil and gas licenses in 12 jurisdictions including Nigeria, Sudan and Equatorial Guinea. Meanwhile, as his wealth and fortune keep soaring, the billionaire —who stirred the hornet’s nest last week with his honest declaration of how he was made by the people of Northern Nigeria who favoured him, despite being an Igbo, with juicy contracts and fortune-changing oil mining licence, a confession that provoked a barrage of attacks from a section of his people— has rather ramped up his philanthropy.
The Ezenu Ukpo has not been dampened by the actions of the few who will not protect their own but rather drag their illustrious sons. Prince Eze might be from a royal family with his elder brother as the traditional ruler of their Ukpo village in the Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State, yet his actions and mien are naturally regal and noble. That the Forbes-rated billionaire was bestowed with the traditional title of Ozo Igbo Ndu —Saviour of Ndigbo— might not be a misnomer. Evidence abound aplenty. It is a common knowledge that anyone who visits the billionaire —whose middle names are charity and philanthropy— in his palatial mansions in Ukpo, Lagos or Abuja gets a welcoming kola running into millions of naira —irrespective of the calibre of guests. He is known for giving to ease other people’s heartache. He has come to represent a protective shield and an umbrella for vulnerable people. This has also forced many to name him Oji-ego-eme-oji! In the recent past, Prince Eze has donated close to $10 million to various relief efforts in Nigeria. Yet the 72-year-old oil magnate carries on as if he is not doing anything; since to him, philanthropy is just a way of life and not a means to show up.