The massive crisis in the oil and gas industry is an opportunity for African governments to do what we have long needed to do: keep the remaining fossil fuels in the ground and invest in a Green New Deal to save the planet and stimulate the economy. NJ Ayuk of Centurion Law Group and the African Energy Chamber will disagree.
The oil industry is an increasingly unreliable source of secure employment for African workers. Crises from volatile oil prices will persist, and jobs will become at even greater risk, as the industry is forced to ratchet down output. Workers can be sure that when the management of this contradiction is left to CEOs and shareholders looking primarily to protect their profits, guaranteeing jobs won’t be a priority. That’s why we can’t allow a conflict between protecting good jobs and saving the climate to emerge.
If NJ Ayuk was in the United States in America, he will be campaigning for the President of the National Refile Association, the Tea party or the US Chamber of Commerce.
He attacks Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the International Energy Agency and any financial institutions that refuses to fund Fossil Fuels. Don’t be fooled, NJ Ayuk of Centurion Law Group and the Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, according to tax fillings, made about $3,000,000 in speaking fees paid for by oil and gas companies, LNG Suppliers, Private banks, investment banks and financial advisories. He has not disclosed how much money he has received from the same African governments that he criticizes for not embracing Capitalism, pro Zionist and pro Oil agenda.
When you reach out to those who know Mr Ayuk, and you will understand how the machinery works. You will hear words like “don’t let them steal your future” you will hear words like “Government and politicians are the problem of Africa” and not the corporate interest that he represents. He shamelessly advocated for Nigerian oil traders to get special contracts for crude supply against Geneva based companies.
We contacted Mr Ayuk for an interview and after listening to the questions we had for him, he laughed and said, “I revel in your hatred because if I weren’t effective, you wouldn’t hate me so please make my day and proceed with your stupid article. I love Africa and I love Oil and Gas”. Ayuk laughed off and hung up.
Teflon and Media darling
Mr Ayuk is not a Pan African energy advocate. He is a skillful media manipulator, who understands media, American style advocacy, and a master orator who will dreams of making Africans stick with oil and gas against their own detriment rather than abandon oil and pursue clean energy. He demonizes socialism and blames socialism for Africa’s problems. Mr Ayuk has sold his soul and Africans to the oil and gas industry, and they could not have found a better advocate. His entire slogan of making energy poverty history is appalling and an oil industry game plan to slow down the climate agenda.
Here is his playbook, Cape Town and South Africa is a disaster with Covid. South Africa’s African National Congress have corruptly and careless handled the Covid crisis. Africa Oil Week decided to move to Dubai which is safer than South Africa or any African country. Mr Ayuk resorted to his textbook hardball tactics. He went on the offense. Attacked Africa Oil Week for going to Dubai. Launched an African conference by the Oil industry sponsored African Energy Chamber called African Energy Week and went toe to toe with London based Hyve Group and its African Oil Week show. African Energy Week is oil and about Oil and Gas. It has nothing to do with clean energy.
African Minister announced their withdrawal from the Dubai conference. If a Minister does not, Mr Ayuk contacts their President and puts pressure.
Facing lack of sponsorship dollars from the financial sector, he resorts to his hardball tactics. He threatens the financial sector with a boycott for not funding African fossil fuels. Don’t believe the threats. That’s his base. The AEC just wants the money from them and wants it fast.
Another example, he attacks donors of critical aid to Africa and compares them to be like Guyanese cult leader Jim Jones who gave people kool aid with cyanide in it. How dangerous. Why is he telling Africans that they only have a future with Capitalism?
Refusing to condemn Trump and Big Oil Companies
The African Energy Chamber has spent a lot of money paying Trump and Biden lobbyist in America to influence decisions that would favour the African Oil Industry. Clearly Mr Ayuk and the Oil and Gas industry are desperate and he even hired Trump campaign staffers to work for him as his advisors. This move created internal rivalries in the African Energy Chamber as he refused to criticized Donald Trump or repudiate him. He told colleagues that “that’s America’s fight. The AEC will not be involved in America’s political issues and criticizing any President” snipped Ayuk. “ we work with Biden, we work with Trump, we work with Exxon, we work with Chevron, we work with Google and Apple as long as they want to promote capitalism and free markets in Africa” finished Ayuk. Employees like Samantha Roux, Mickael Vogel, Mandisa Nduli and Zwelahke Gila quit in protest. You will think he will back down from his pro-oil positions and criticize Donald Trump, He shamelessly will never apoogise and rather he doubled down. Long time associates like Guillaume Doane and Declan Byrne disassociated themselves from Mr Ayuk and the African Energy Chamber. Mr Ayuk continues to refuse and stubbornly rejects any condemnation of the Oil and Gas industry. He shamelessly does not want to acknowledge the role of climate change in destroying African economies.
Pro climate groups should know this is the most dangerous man in Africa. He has a crazy ability to weather any scandal or criticism. Don’t lets his charm, smiles and charisma deceive you. The African Energy Chamber has lost its moral position and it needs to push Mr Ayuk to resign. This Orgarnisation with a great reputation for promoting Africa should not be led by Mr Ayuk and his henchmen in South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Angola, Nigeria, and Texas.
When covid 19 became a problem, rather than push the Oil and Gas industry to help Africa, Ayuk called for a relief package for the oil and gas industry and urge a tax cut for corporations because the oil companies had given him money. When Africans were asking for support from the world bank and IMF, Ayuk was pushing a for a tax cut and waivers for Oil and Gas companies. He famously said, “While the Chamber believes that market forces need to determine the industry’s future and advocates for limited government across the industry, the time calls for urgent actions. We cannot let our companies and industry collapse for the fear of losing jobs and investments that would sustain our economies for decades to come. It is worth bearing in mind, that activity in and income from Africa’s energy sector generates significant amount of demand and services from other non-oil and gas sectors of the economy” Ayuk said at the time.
“Key measures amongst the Africa’s Commonsense Energy Agenda released today are the extension of PSCs and work program adjustments to boost exploration and ensure the resumption of drilling activities. While exploration is a major part of our Call to Action, the Chamber also strongly advocates for tax relief on services companies, reforms of upstream fiscal regimes, banking and financial support, regional content development, incentives to infrastructure projects, and bold actions on removing fuel subsidies”. These his positions and no one should be fooled.
He focusses on a group of hardcore backers and then goes for those who attack him. He viciously attacked Equatorial Guinea’s opposition blogger Delfin Mocache Massoko, who dared to criticize his friend Gabriel Obiang Lima. Mocache never knew what was waiting for him when Ayuk unleashed and legal and PR attack. Mocache did not help himself given that his father is part of the corrupt Equatorial Guinea government and had allegedly received payments to join the country’s dictatorship and become a Minister. It is alleged that Mocache negotiated a deal for his father to become a member of government. Ayuk found out due to his well-connected network within the Equatorial Guinea security and political apparatus and made Mocache pay the price.
He is no Pan Africanist
He works with more Europeans and Americans than Africans. He does not promote Africans. He uses foul language in meetings and in the office. If you are German and white, you get a job. Take a look at Ayuk’s German lieutenant, Sebastian Wagner who is known for fiery displays and direct personal attacks, harangues peppered with expletives against anyone who does not follow strict instructions from Mr Ayuk or Zion Adeoye the incompetent Director of the firm.
The work of the African Energy Chamber and Mr Ayuk is incompatible with the needs of social justice and public health, the Paris Agreement, and the goal of keeping average global temperatures from rising beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The pandemic has made painfully clear that there are two ways the age of oil might end. There’s the status quo path, in which we are so overcome by the disasters brought about by our oil reliance—calamities in the forms of war, political upheaval, and the climate catastrophes of worsening drought, floods, hurricanes, fires, and disease—that we are unable to consume oil. And there is a more intentional, thoughtful path, one that embraces justice, equity, and sustainability. If we take that route, the end of oil and gas in Africa will be a commitment to live in peace with one another and the planet. The choice is up to us, and we must fight to save and help the Africans.