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NUPRC emerges Champion Newspapers’ 2023 Most Outstanding Regulator

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Blessing Akorowosi


The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has won the Champion Newspapers’ 2023 Most Outstanding Regulator of the Year  Award.

NUPRC was described as a model to other regulatory bodies in Nigeria and Africa, for its outstanding service delivery and economic growth enhancement.

The Group Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of Champion Newspapers Limited, Dr. Mrs Nwadiuto Iheakanwa, who disclosed this in a statement over the weekend, lauded the commission for its promotion of sustainable value creation from Nigeria’s Petroleum Resources for shared prosperity.

Dr Iheakanwa stated that NUPRC has become an embodiment of care, providing solutions channeled toward increasing and sustaining wealth.

She said, “we note with delight, that NUPRC has become a symbol of care, providing solutions carefully engineered to drive wealth creation.

“Particularly outstanding is the energy and vibrancy exuded by the brand through your firm’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for healthy competition among operators in the industry as well as ensuring the promotion of a sustainable value creation from Nigeria’s Petroleum Resources for shared prosperity.

“NUPRC’s steady rise in  Africa and the global stage has also been acknowledged; a fact underscored by the agency’s regulatory framework for energy transition, decarbonization and carbon monetization for upstream operations in Nigeria.

“As watch dog of society, it is our duty not only to track and document your outstanding performance but also to acknowledge your commitment to serve and the doggedness to transform our nation through effective deployment of operational and dynamic Petroleum Industry Act.”


The award presentation ceremony will hold on Saturday, May 25, 2024 at the Eko Hotels and Suites Victoria Island, Lagos.

Also recently, an award recognition and honour was bestowed  on  Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) as  the Regulator of the Year at the just concluded  Sub Saharan Africa International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (SAIPEC 2024), which  is a great testament of the commissions unwavering commitment to upholding regulatory standards within Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.

Therefore, the recognitions by SAIPEC and Champion Newspapers underscore the NUPRC’s firm commitment to ensuring compliance with regulations within Nigeria’s vital Oil and Gas industry and prodigious thanks to the man who is leading this great task, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, Commission’s Chief Executive, a great patriot and an astute engineer of repute.

He is clearly one of the leaders in the nation’s  oil and gas industry, that has distinguished himself not only as a dynamic  administrator, seasoned leader and technocrat but also shown a high degree of integrity and transparency in both private and public affairs.

His ingenious, creative, pragmatic, and resilient approach to regulations and leadership has brought a lot of transformation to NUPRC, an agency that is driving effective and efficient regulatory excellence and fostering investor assurance in nation’s energy sector

Since his appointment to lead the commission, Gbenga  Komolafe has effectively shown great Leadership in the  way he thinks and  acts and, most importantly, have shown efficiency in the way he communicates.

His profile shows that he is a thorough engineer, detailed as a lawyer, and firm as astute administrator. He is unwaveringly a loyal and a patriotic Nigerian, who has served excellently at the pleasure of four different Nigerian presidents. He has contributed immensely to a productive, progressive, and more prosperous Nigerian energy sector in every working day of nearly four decades.


The same year Nigeria became a republic (1963), Gbenga Komolafe was

born in Igbara-Oke, Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State. He had his primary and secondary education in the state before travelling up north to Kwara, where he studied Engineering, bagging his first degree in 1987 from the University of Ilorin.

For the next two decades of his life, Engr Komolafe was deeply

dedicated to learning and personal development, bagging more degrees and certifications from renowned institutions across the world. In the space of three years, he bagged two master’s degrees from Nigeria’s Premiere University, the University of Ibadan. His first MSc was in Industrial and Labour Relations, while the second was in Industrial and Production Engineering.

As a generational talent with three degrees, Engineer Komolafe wanted to be in a position to contribute even more to his nation which  informed his decision to journey to the University of Benin, where he bagged a Bachelor’s degree in Law in 2006, and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2008 after successful completion of the Law School Education at the Bwari Law School in Abuja.

Barr  Gbenga Komolafe has also been trained internationally at some of

the finest institutions in the world, where he took multiple courses through the Oxford Princeton Energy Programme in the United Kingdom. He has also learned global best practices across countries such as the United States of America, UAE, Canada, United Kingdom, Russia, Brazil, South Africa, India, and Australia, just to name a few.

From serving as a Process Engineer on the Anambra State World Bank

Project in 1987, the honoree has risen through the years, becoming the first Commission Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum RegulatoryCommission (NUPRC).

As one of the few professionals in his field with such extensive education as an engineer, data specialist and lawyer, Gbenga

Komolafe is a sound and versatile technocrat with a remarkably robust and successful career. His extensive employment history spans various parastatals in the Oil and Gas Sector and pivotal government agencies in Nigeria.

Demonstrating his prowess, he has attained and efficiently managed key executive positions, showcasing his dexterity as an engineer and lawyer. He has played pivotal roles in shaping the regulatory landscape. As the Pioneer Managing Director of the Nigeria Pipeline and Storage Company (NPSC) within the NNPC, he demonstrated leadership and strategic acumen in the management of crucial infrastructure.

His extensive experience extends to roles such as Group General Manager Special Duties and Group General Manager of the Crude Oil Marketing Division (COMD) within the NNPC.

In addition, he has served as the Executive Director (Commercial) at the

Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) of NNPC, showcasing his versatility in the petroleum industry.

His contributions include serving as the General Manager Operations for both the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). These roles underscore his

comprehensive understanding of the operational dynamics and regulatory frameworks within the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

In his service to four Nigerian presidents, he actively contributed to various high-profile committees, including serving on the Presidential Committee on Open-Access Common Carrier Regime as early as 2005.

He was also recognized for his expertise, which played a significant role on the Technical Committee on Downstream Petroleum Industry Deregulation. In 2015, he was appointed to the Presidential Investigative Committee on Crude Oil Theft, highlighting his consistent involvement in key initiatives aimed at addressing critical issues in the petroleum industry.

He holds membership and Fellow status in several esteemed professional organizations, including the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Microfinance Management Institute of Nigeria, Institute of Corporate Administrators of Nigeria, Council of Registered Engineers (COREN), Fellowship of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (FNSE), Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), and Nigeria Institute of Personnel Management (NIPM).

In terms of awards, Dr. Gbenga Komolafe has won over 40 local and

international awards, including the Presidency’s SERVICOM excellence in service award for commitment and support towards achieving the vision and mission of SERVICOM Nigeria, Award of distinction by Foreign Investment Network (FIN) and Award for excellence and commitment to the development of the oil and gas industry by the African Leadership Organisation. He was also a Presidential merit award winner of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE).

The Coalition of Civil Society & Human Right Organization of Nigeria

honoured him with Award of excellence for his doggedness, fairness, service orientation, resilience, and commitment to global leadership practice.

Not many professionals get the opportunity of being honoured by their own. But for Engr. Komolafe, he has received multiple awards from Nigeria Association for Energy Economics (NAEE), Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists, Petroleum Training Institute Nigeria (PTI) and Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) who gave him the Award for Revolutionary Industry Transformation.

In November 2023, he was awarded a honorary doctorate degree, Doctor of Science (D.Sc) Honoris Causa, by the University of Benin for his outstanding leadership skills, his immense contribution to university education, and his all-round excellence in the country.

When he’s not breaking records, setting new ones, or being awarded for excellent work, Gbenga Komolafe enjoys playing golf and table tennis, gardening and reading. He is happily married and blessed with children.


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