Audrey Joe-Ezigbo: The woman prodigy who decided to solve the gas flaring crisis in Nigeria.
We have all heard how important it is, as an entrepreneur, to bring about change and transformation in our field of activity and, by extension, in the nation. Audrey Joe-Ezigbo, our WCW for this week, shares this same belief as she rightly states that it is important for you to place yourself on the national development agenda. According to her, it had to be part of the solution to the problems of the oil and gas industry.
His foray into the energy industry began with a sincere desire to make an impact in the industry. She worried about how gas flaring was having a negative impact on people’s health and the concomitant loss of billions of dollars to the national economy. Audrey and her husband, Dr. Joe Ezigbo, followed this path to position themselves as part of the solution. Together with her husband, Audrey co-founded Falcon Petroleum Limited in 1994, where she is currently the organization’s Deputy Managing Director. The company is the industry leader in midstream and downstream energy, gas distribution and trading.
She served on the Executive Board of the Nigerian Gas Association, the organization that represents companies and individuals involved in the Nigerian gas industry, for several years in various capacities. Until 2021, Audrey served as President of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA), where she became the association’s first female President. It is also a chartered member of the International Gas Union, which serves as the voice and umbrella organization for companies and individuals working in the Nigerian gas industry.
Foray into the oil and gas industry
“You have to be part of the solution. So I got into the gas business because I came into contact with a gas plant. I had never heard of such a thing in my life and knew there was oil but had no idea. I worried about gas flaring and its impact on people’s health and the loss of billions of dollars to the national economy. My husband and I were then able to situate ourselves in the solution”.
This led to the formation of Falcon Group, which became one of three licensed Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) operating in the domestic gas sector in Nigeria.
She currently serves as Executive Director, Business Operations, with primary responsibility for finance, business development and business strategy at Falcon Petroleum. Falcon Petroleum Limited has won numerous accolades and accolades over the years in recognition of its significant contributions to the gas industry and its role in facilitating the commercial and industrial utilization of Nigeria’s rich natural gas reserves. In addition to the Falcon Group, she and her husband also co-founded Falcongaz Limited, founded in 2003, where she serves as Managing Director and Chief Business Strategist.
In addition to sitting on the boards of many companies, Audrey Joe-Ezigbo is the president. Audrey is a member of the Energy Institute (FEI), a professional organization of energy experts from around the world. She is also a founding member of the Women in Energy Network and an international role model for the Nigerian chapter of Women in LPG. She participates in the NCCF Diversity Sector Working Group (NCDMB) of the Nigeria Content Development & Monitoring Board.
In addition to executive certifications in management, leadership and governance from Harvard Business School, IE Business School and IESE Business School, Audrey is an accomplished professional. She has earned several Masters in Finance, Marketing and Business Administration from Lagos Business School, University of Nigeria and Nnamdi Azikiwe University.
Business woman, speaker and animator
With over 19 years of business and entrepreneurial expertise, Audrey Joe-Ezigbo has been a serial entrepreneur. An enthusiast of education and a strong believer in growth, she has extensive expertise as a highly effective trainer, facilitator and speaker in various areas of interest in management, entrepreneurship and business strategy.
Audrey, a giver and an encourager
Audrey contributes to society, humanity and women through various roles as co-founder, member, program secretary and advisory board of various non-profit and socio-philanthropic organizations dedicated to improving the women’s lives. Some of the organizations include: Woman Act Now (WAN) Nigeria Chapter, International Women’s Society (IWS) and Women in Management, Business, and Public Service (WIMBIZ).
Her mission is to add value to the lives of everyone she meets. She is incredibly passionate about mentoring start-up and growth-stage entrepreneurs to help them take their lives and businesses to new heights. As a result, she volunteers as a mentor in various non-profit organizations she belongs to. Audrey Joe-Ezigbo is also a bestselling author with two books to her credit: “Uniquely Woman” and “Double Impact”. She was the host of the Parenting section of Today’s Woman (TW), a well-known lifestyle publication in Nigeria.
Winning first in the mind
According to her, “So whether we like it or not, most of us are willing victims of what’s called confirmation bias…that is, you try to find a balance between justifying yourself and seduce others to your opinion. So it is very comfortable for us to just complain about Nigeria, however, in this same country, we see unicorns being born in the same context. So I submit to you that those who will win will win first in their minds. For example, my business is still here after almost 28 years and that’s because you know we had a global vision from the beginning…”
Constantly improve as an entrepreneur
Strong supporter of being on the national development agenda, she says, “Look at the problems and see how you can be part of the solution; believe me, this solution will require you to be brave in the face of all obstacles. We have too many successful people at an apparent level of success that they have achieved and are satisfied with. The country is collapsing and bleeding, so we have to develop our capacities by constantly improving ourselves as entrepreneurs and by building our capacities, even if it is about knowledge and information, that is to say adopting technology and building relationships that can facilitate the growth of your industry”.
Not compromising on ethics and integrity is a matter of the heart/mind
Speaking to business owners and entrepreneurs, she talks about the importance of adopting an ethical mindset if someone wants to think globally. Listen to her: “How stubborn are you in refusing to compromise on ethics and integrity?… You are not going to complain about why the government wants you to pay taxes – which is not not the language of the global thinker. So we have to be very careful with these things…. and while we talk about it, a global perspective is also a matter of heart and mind for those who are already determined to do things the right way, and who have a commitment to excellence, best practices and sustainability. ‘integrity, a global perspective is not a hard sell’.