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Aiteo raises alarm over fresh orchestrated campaign to malign its image

By News Express on 13/09/2017

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•Aiteo Spokesman, Ndiana-Abasi Matthew
•Aiteo Spokesman, Ndiana-Abasi Matthew

Aiteo Group has alerted its stakeholders including host communities, investors and the general public of a fresh campaign aimed at maligning the image of the company.

Ndiana-Abasi Matthew, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications of the Group, in a statement issued on Monday in Lagos said the campaign was clandestinely contrived and executed by a number of entities that have committed substantial financial and human resources aimed at impugning the company’s corporate integrity.

He said, “These hitherto nefarious and reprehensible efforts aimed at discrediting and tarnishing our reputation locally and internationally have now been unveiled as a large-scale orchestrated smear operation.

“This subtle campaign, which commenced a few months ago, had been clandestinely sustained but now appears to have shamelessly escalated. “Nevertheless, Aiteo has continued, unperturbed, to undertake and accomplish its identified objectives in its resolve to remain one of the foremost indigenous oil and gas companies in Nigeria.  Whilst we have previously raised alarm that this media-driven campaign of denigration has been at the behest of at least one major commercial entity, what we were not aware of is the scale and magnitude of this operation.”

He further stressed that, “What has now become clear to us is that this campaign now appears to be on the increase and that its instigators will stop at nothing to escalate the nefarious drive to whip up negative public sentiments aimed at soiling the astonishing and remarkable growth that Aiteo as a corporate entity and its Executive Vice Chairman, Mr. Benedict Peters, have attained in the Oil and Gas sector of the Nigerian economy.

“In what started as a laborious but futile struggle to present Aiteo as a commercial concern with questionable credentials and poor track record in the industry, on the back of the on-going investigation involving the former Minister of Petroleum Resources of Nigeria, this campaign has degenerated into a reprehensible ‘cash-for-report’ drive to incentivise disreputable journalism through plainly false as well inaccurate publications and online blogs, all with incomprehensibly low thresholds for truth and professionalism, to join their campaign of disparagement.” 

According to the statement, the latest in the series of plans to malign the reputation of Aiteo and its Executive Vice Chairman came to the fore when the attention of the company was drawn to “the fact that this group and their representative have started to distribute large amounts of cash to unleash a fresh campaign attacking our noble and altruistic sponsorship of the Nigerian Senior National Team, Nigerian Football Federation and the competition previously known as the Federation Cup.

“Ordinarily, we would have ignored this inglorious exertion as the result of our intervention in Nigerian football is evident to all, but for another alarm raised by a London-based journalist of international repute that she was offered a huge amount of cash in London with directives to write and syndicate damning reports to undermine the reputation of Aiteo. 

“This recent revelation has now given us answers to why everything we are doing in recent times is being disgracefully and unsustainably attacked to the extent that even our sponsorship of the NFF and the Federation Cup,  a corporate social responsibility initiative that has brought considerable delight to tens of millions of Nigerians is being astonishingly questioned. The recent successes recorded in Nigerian Football are pointers to the fact that these detractors have not, and will not succeed. Our social investment in our host communities has also not been spared these attacks to the extent that we have also become aware that sponsored fictitious ‘reports’ about our operations are being developed and circulated.

“In the past, sponsored smear articles were surreptitiously distributed. Now, the proponents of these campaigns have attained such heights of desperation that they have abandoned discretion in a bid to discredit Aiteo’s achievements to the extent of distributing cash for spurious reports. Our suspicion is that this is not unrelated to our drive to attract additional, increased direct foreign investment in expansion plans to our operations and output worth more than US$4 billion.

“There is incontrovertible evidence that this latest move will not be the last as the mischief makers have remained recalcitrant in the last few months. By and large, the truth always overtakes a lie, no matter how rampaging the lie is.

“Aiteo is fast becoming one of Africa's biggest energy leaders, tackling local challenges with local manpower and giving back to the community within which it operates. The result of this approach has significantly reduced capital flight and helped in relieving the unrest associated with oil exploration in Nigeria.”

The company assured Nigerians including its over 11,000 loyal employees, that it remain focused on its corporate goal of delivering efficient and effective services to Nigeria. We urge the public to assess our activities and operations in relation to the objective standards of the petroleum industry, “and not by the prejudicial sentiments or ill-feelings of hired authors and fly-by-night ‘investigative’ writers.” 

Source News Express

Posted 13/09/2017 3:01:58 PM


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