When it comes to silent billionaires, Benedict Peters who is the founder of Aiteo Group, which has primary interests in energy and is the largest indigenous oil producing firm in Nigeria based on output, is one of the topmost silent or rather low key billionaires in not just Nigeria but in Africa. Mr. Peters is one of the real oil magnates who’s oil wealth is stemmed from his career in the oil and gas industry in the early 1990s, working with the founders of Ocean and Oil, now known as Oando Nigeria Plc. From there, he moved to MRS Oil Nigeria PLC as Group Executive Director, ending as its Managing Director, before leaving in 1999 to establish Sigmund Communecci.
He established Aiteo group (Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company Limited) in February 2008, which succeeded the Sigmund Communecci entity. The company owns one of the largest petroleum tank farms in Nigeria with facilities in excess of over 250 million litres on over 100,000 square meters of landmass. The diverse oil company also has controlling shares in a large oil block in the Niger Delta known as Oil Mining Lease 29 (OML 29) and the Royal Dutch Shell Plc. With an estimated net worth of over $2.7 billion, he has been ranked as the 17th richest person in Africa and the 7th richest in Nigeria.
However, the oil magnate had the EFCC on his radar when two of his London properties among others were ordered to be forfeited to the Federal government on the claim that their ownership was traced to the massive corruption allegations against ex-petroleum minister, Mrs. Deziani-Alison Madueke in the course of their investigation. Earlier this year, Mr. Peters emerged victorious against the EFCC when a Federal High Court judgment in Nigeria directed the immediate release of the properties to him. He is currently said to be focusing mainly on his plans to further expand his oil corporation away from the eyes of the public as usual.
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