Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma

General TY Danjuma GCON (Rtd) had an illustrious 19-year career in the Nigerian Army. During this time he rose to the rank of Lieutenant General and served as Chief of Army Staff before he retired in 1979 – aged 40.

He then focused on his business career, which has seen him become a distinguished and highly successful businessman with over 40 years’ experience – founding many Nigerian companies including the NAL-Comet Group (one of the most successful indigenous shipping agencies and terminal operators in Nigeria) and South Atlantic Petroleum Limited (an oil exploration and production company). In 2008, General TY Danjuma set up TY Danjuma Foundation – a private, independent grant-making philanthropic organisation based in Abuja, Nigeria – to aid less-fortunate citizens in Nigeria.

General TY Danjuma sits on the board of several publicly quoted and privately owned companies in Nigeria – spanning all kinds of global sectors – and is a strong supporter of democracy in Nigeria. When Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999, General TY Danjuma accepted an appointment as Minister of Defence to president Olusegun Obasanjo’s Cabinet (1999-2003) – the only government position he has ever held. In 2010, he accepted a purely advisory role as the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council by the then-acting-president Goodluck Jonathan, during prevailing difficulties between March and May of that year.

As for national honours, General TY Danjuma was named Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) – the highest award given in Nigeria to a non-head of state. He also has several other national and international awards and titles, as well as honorary doctorate degrees from notable Nigerian and foreign universities.

In 2011, he was recognised as the Leadership Person of the Year by the Leadership Board of Editors in Nigeria. Two years later, the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji (Dr.) Shehu Idris CFR, conferred the highly esteemed title of Jarmai Zazzau on General TY Danjuma, where he then served as a Chairman of the Victims’ Support Fund Committee – supporting the victims of terror such as the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping. In 2015, he was awarded the ‘Champion for the Conservation of Biodiversity’ award by president Muhammadu Buhari GCFR. More recently, General TY Danjuma was appointed as a Chairman of the Committee to rehabilitate infrastructure and resettle internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the North-East sub-region of Nigeria. In July 2016 General TY Danjuma was appointed as Board Chairman of Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL).

COMET Shipping Agencies Nigeria Ltd

COMET Shipping Agencies Nigeria Ltd. was established in 1984 by General TY Danjuma, primarily to act as an agent for Nigeria American Line (NAL).

By the late nineties, COMET had become one of the leading independent agents operating in Nigeria with vast experience in handling all types of vessels and cargo. In 2005, NAL-COMET acquired a roll-in-roll-out (RORO) port in Lagos, which made it the largest independent port operators in Africa. This terminal is operated by COMET’s sister company, Five Star Logistics Ltd., and, in 2018, COMET handled over 100 vessels as full agent and more than 280 as husbandry and protective agent at the ports of Lagos, Harcourt, Calabar and Warri.

With over 30 years of experience, NAL-COMET is one of the most successful indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria. Together, the NAL-COMET Group consists of nine companies and offers comprehensive services spanning:

  • Shipping
  • Oil servicing
  • Terminal operation
  • Clearing and forwarding
  • Underwater engineering
  • Electrical and electronic supply and installation
  • Transformer manufacture
  • Fishing
  • Food importation and distribution
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Nigeria America Line (NAL)

In 1979, General TY Danjuma (Rtd) set up NAL on Warehouse Road, Apapa, which was within walking distance of the busy Apapa Port Complex: the hub of maritime trade in Nigeria.

Back then, Nigeria’s bilateral trade agreement had opened the sea routes to economies in the South American markets. NAL started by initially leasing a ship called ‘Hannatu’, which traded between Lagos and Santos in Brazil, before going on to win patronage from Nigeria’s National Supply Company (NNSC) to bring in government goods from abroad. The company did so by chartering, on average, two ships a month to haul bulk cargoes like sugar, rice and cement. NAL’s list of prestigious clients included DICON Salt (Nigeria) and project cargoes for Iwopin Paper Mill, ANNAMCO and Volkswagen Nigeria.

NAL became a member of the American West African Freight Conference (AWAFC), Brazil-Nigeria Freight Conference and the Mediterranean Line (MEWAC). Between 1987-1988, after the formation of the National Maritime Authority (NMA), the profile of NAL increased as NMA encouraged indigenous operators to claim their share of internationally traded cargo involving Nigeria. As you can imagine, General TY Danjuma’s line grew even bigger during this period.

What started out as a 12-person line in 1979 has since become a 250-strong workforce that makes up NAL-COMET. From its Lagos office, the NAL-COMET Group has opened branches in Port Harcourt, which serves Onne, Warri and Calabar seaports.

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South Atlantic Petroleum Ltd (SAPETRO)

SAPETRO is a Nigerian oil exploration and production company that was founded in 1995 by General TY Danjuma who, at that time, had more than 15 years’ experience in shipping and served seven years as Chairman of Agip Nigeria Plc.

The ministry of Petroleum Resources in Nigeria awarded the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 246 to SAPETRO in February 1998 for US$25 million. The block is deep offshore (water depths of 1,100-1,800 metres), it covers a total area of 2,590km2 (1,000 sq. miles) and is 120-160km (74.5-99.4 miles) off the coast of Nigeria. SAPETRO partnered with Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd. (TUPNI) and Brasoil Oil Services Company Nigeria Ltd. (Petrobras) to start planning for OPL246.

At a time when the price of oil was US$11-13 per barrel, SAPETRO was taking a big risk purchasing the OPL, especially due to the technical costs associated with exploring such a deep offshore block as 246. In 2005, however, SAPETRO received Oil Mining License (OML) 130 to mine on roughly half of OPL 246.

Akpo (a condensate field) was discovered in April 2000, after Total – a French oil and gas company – drilled the first exploration well (Akpo 1) on the block. Other discoveries made on OPL 246 include the Egina Main, Egina South, Preowei and Kuro (Kuro was suspended as a dry gas/minor oil discovery).

Following an appraisal drilling program on Akpo, comprising of four vertical wells, two sidetracks and detailed reservoir and development studies, a Field Development Plan (FDP) was submitted to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for approval. The FDP proposed 44 wells – comprised of 22 producers, 20 water injectors and two gas injectors – with a network of umbilicals, flowlines and risers, which connect the subsea production systems to the FPSO.

In February 2005, SAPETRO was granted OML 130 and, from thereafter, the federal government backed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). A year later and SAPETRO divested part of its contractor rights and obligations to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

SAPETRO produced its ‘first oil’ (condensate) on the 4th March 2009. Condensate export lifting is carried out via a buoy – located 2kms from the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit – and Akpo gas is transported via 150 KM of pipelines to the Amenam/Kpono platform for onward delivery to the Bonny Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant.

In December 2009, SAPETRO donated a new state-of-the-art medical centre to the Nasarawa State University. The medical centre, known as South Atlantic Petroleum Medical Centre, is available to the university and local and neighbouring communities – offering the best emergency-care facilities and children wards.

A proud, indigenous Nigeria company, SAPETRO is set to become one of the country’s largest oil producers.

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TY Danjuma Foundation

TY Danjuma Foundation was established as a private independent Nigerian philanthropic organisation in 2009 by Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma.

The Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life of Nigerians – primarily supporting health and education interventions implemented by Not-for-profit, Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) registered and working in Nigeria.

With a pledged endowment of US$100 million, the TY Danjuma Foundation seeks to alleviate poverty in communities by providing basic amenities and education for children and young adults, and free medical care for indigent people. Over the last decade, TY Danjuma Foundation has awarded N3 billion naira (approx. US$8.2 million) in grants – implementing over 200 projects across 30 states in Nigeria that reach over 8 million people.

TY Danjuma Foundation collaborated with Development Africa – a charity and international non-governmental organization – to develop a modern, sustainable, and specialised mother and child facility in Takum Local Government, Taraba State, Nigeria. The Rufkatu Danjuma Maternity (RDM) centre opened its doors in December 2017 and has contributed to addressing the challenges of maternal and child mortality and morbidity in and around Takum. It is also positively impacting the socio-economic situation of the people in Takum by providing an estimated 100 direct job opportunities.

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