Hosts Hermelia Hayes and Valentin Mboumba
Hosts Hermelia Hayes and Valentin Mboumba

The goodbye cocktail party was held at Plaine 3 Culture Club in the presence of Shell Gabon employees, subcontractors and Gamba residents. Many guests paid tribute to the outgoing CEO, wishing him every success in his new role as Executive Vice President Production, Shell Group. He will take up that position shortly at Shell Group Headquarters in the Netherlands.

During the evening, personal testimonies and brief speeches were given, describing the positive effects of the projects carried out under his direction. These had been beneficial, especially, to the communities of Gamba and to the Département of Ndougou, as well as internally at Shell Gabon, where Godson Njoku had lent new impetus.

Adrien Moukabi, Départemental Prefect of Ndougou, giving his speech
Adrien Moukabi, Départemental Prefect of Ndougou, giving his speech

In fact, during his term of office, the CEO of Shell Gabon had instituted a new social investment policy aimed at the development of community projects in partnership with government. To name but a few, these had included: building 55 km of road between Louboumo and Mougagara at a total cost of XAF 32 billion; renovating Gamba Medical Centre for the sum of XFA 580 million; and modernising a secondary school, the Lycée Roger Gouteyron. Shell Gabon had financed the latter project to the tune of XFA 350 million.

Besides, headmaster Charles Rekoungouna made a point of listing the work done for the benefit of his school: the upgrading of eight buildings; erection of a perimeter fence; provision of student accommodation, a library and a sports ground; various forms of assistance to trainee teachers; and flights for teaching staff and their families during school holidays.

Speaking for the local authorities, Prefect Adrien Moukabi praised the quality of the relations between the local institutions and Shell Gabon, in the context of their various partnerships. He singled out the social investment projects and the various forms of logistical and material support given to the people of Ndougou Département.

Godson Njoku making his farewell speech in Gamba
Godson Njoku making his farewell speech in Gamba

The employees of Shell Gabon felt that Godson Njoku’s management had had positive effects on the company, since he had based his approach on pragmatism and setting a good example.  “The CEO never hesitated to visit the offices and operating sites to motivate us and make rapid decisions in order to achieve the results necessary to the smooth running of the company,” one of the employees acknowledged in a personal statement.

Encouraged by so many tributes, Shell Gabon’s CEO thanked everyone present for these tokens of their esteem. He nevertheless reminded them of the difficulties currently faced by the oil industry. “These are difficult times for the companies and all employees. However, we must redouble our efforts to secure the future of Shell Gabon, so that we continue to contribute to the Gabonese economy for the benefit of future generations,” he urged.

Her Worship the Mayor of Gamba, Ms. Mboumba Louey, presents a souvenir gift to Mr Godson Njoku, Chief Executive Officer of Shell Gabon
Her Worship the Mayor of Gamba, Ms. Mboumba Louey, presents a souvenir gift to Mr Godson Njoku, Chief Executive Officer of Shell Gabon

As he reviewed his career path in Gabon, Godson Njoku highlighted the warmth of the welcome he had received from the local authorities and residents of Gamba on arrival and throughout his term of office. He explained his choices of social investment for the wellbeing of the community in Gamba and the conservation of the region’s environment. “The vision of Shell Gabon is to be the most innovative and competitive partner for Gabon in the energy sector. To name but a few examples, we have made major structural investments such as the replacement of the export pipeline at Gamba Terminal. This should extend the life of our oil terminal for several decades. We have also redeveloped the Toucan field to assure national production for the long term. Finally, another Shell Group subsidiary made a deep sea strike in 2014, which is still being evaluated,” Godson Njoku recorded.

He warmly thanked Minister Désiré Guedon, who is from Ndougou Département, for all the support given to Shell Gabon’s activities, and the local authorities for their co-operation and understanding. Finally he thanked all the subcontractor companies in Gamba, and paid special tribute to all his colleagues and the directors who had supported him during this two-and-a-half-year period. “The trust, respect and, above all, the determination of all partners to work together for the Republic of Gabon and for their own benefit remain essential success factors for the future of Gamba,” he declared, before concluding with a loumbou proverb: “As a child of the village, I am leaving with my village in my heart. Gamba, I will never forget you.”