Thrills and frills of NOGIG 2024

By Jacob Ajom

The 19th Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Games ended in Abuja last Saturday with glamour, fun and fanfare. Thirteen major players in the country’s energy sector were fully represented by a total of 150,000 athletes. The participants were teams from NNPC, NCDMB, Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobil, NUPRC, PTI, ARADEL and NLNG. Others were OANDO, SEPLAT, NMDPRA and Total Energies.
Between April 21 and 27, the athletes shifted focus from competing in the Nigerian energy market to the field of play. It was fun to see some highly ranked staff of one company compete against some lowly ranked staff from another; thus amplifying the very essence of NOGIG, which is to create bonding, enhance inclusivity and networking among entities. Above all, as the theme of this year’s edition of the games reads:: Empower wellness, ignite productivity.
Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Ltd, Mele Kolo Kyari reechoed the import of this year’s theme. Said he, in his address during the closing ceremony, “The Theme of this year’s NOGIG could not be more apt. It speaks to the core of what we intend to achieve: a healthier and more vibrant workforce that is the key to unlocking unprecedented levels of productivity and innovation in our industry and in our country Nigeria.”
Chairperson of the Main Organising Committee, NOGIG 2024, Dr Ifeyinwa Mojo-Eyes put it more succinctly, “a healthy workforce engenders high productivity, what else does a company need to succeed?”

The athletes demonstrated the finest values of NOGIG. They competed in a very friendly atmosphere, devoid of the acrimonious ‘win at all cost’ syndrome. Losers embraced winners and the victorious consoled the losers in dignified manner. It was one week of pulsating competition and sportsmanship. Some athletes even called for the games to be staged annually.

The titanic clash between Keye Suraudeen Adekunle of NNPC L and Joseph Adebayo of NCDMB in the men’s singles semi final table tennis match was one of the memorable moments spectators will live to remember. Adekunle eventually carried the day.

Multiple medallist Otokini Ogwuche (Team Chevron) who defended her title as women’s champion in chess said “it was fun. I am just too happy that I retained my gold medal. I think I need tougher challengers.” Ogwuche also won medals in swimming(50 metres breaststroke) and table tennis.

On the final day, the athletes burnt the tracks, while the footballers turned heads on with their sublime skills and innovative moves. The dramatic penalty shootout in the losers final, NNPC overcame hard-fighting NMDPRA 3-2 (sudden death), after scores stood 1-1 at full time. NCDMB defeated NLNG to the football gold in the final with a lone strike Emmanuel Opuwari, late in the second half.

Characteristically, serial winners, Team NNPC successfully defended their title as they emerged winners of the 19th edition. The Nigerian oil giants topped the medals table with 19 gold, 10 silver and 22 bronze medals to beat NLNG with 15 gold,12 silver and 11 bronze medals.
Shell placed third with7 gold, 6 silver and 9 bronze medals, while NCDMB with 7 gold 5 silver and 6 bronze medals placed a close 4th.
Team Chevron also made a strong showing winning 6 gold, 6 silver and 6 bronze medals to finish 5th, while Total Energies with 3 gold, 4 silver and 13 bronze medals made the top 6 in the final standings.

PTI with 2 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze medals placed 7th. They were closely followed by ExxonMobil with 1 gold, 5 silver and 7 bronze medals. NMDPRA 1 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze medals and SEPLAT with 1 gold 4 silver and 1 bronze made the top ten. NUPRC, OANDO and Aradel followed in that order. Newbies in the Games Aradel didn’t win a single medal.

Mele Kolo Kyari said, “today, all of us are winners. “The spirit of participation, the grace of competing and the honour of representing our respective companies that truly define success.,

“our strength as an industry is exemplified in our commitment to transform, embrace change, foster innovation and drive sustainable growth as one big family unified in purpose.”
Mojo-Eyes: “In Oil and Gas we are very productive people and to get the best from your workforce, you must pay attention to their well-being and through that we do a lot of exercises. That is why these games have come to stay. This is very important to our managements . They know the importance of sports. Everybody is excited. You can see the glamour and exhibition of unity because we are people of like minds. People are even clamouring that NOGIG be held every year, instead of every two years.”


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