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Statement by the Seplat Women’s Awesome Network

Dear Colleagues,

The Seplat Awesome Women’s Network (fondly known as “SWAN”) has observed with dismay the misleading and distasteful public propaganda against our CEO, Roger Brown, owing to the blatantly false allegations contained in certain Petitions to the Ministry of Interior and the Federal High Court. Curiously, we are unable to identify any of the individuals alleging these falsehoods as our fellow employees – past or present. It is therefore concerning that persons outside of our employee population can purport to speak so purposefully and publicly on our welfare. The unfortunate (but perhaps intended) consequence of these efforts is to disparage the sterling record of our corporate champion and steadfast cheerleader while diverting the much-needed time and resources of our Ministry of Interior and Courts away from legitimate concerns requiring their attention.

As a body of women who stand for the utmost truth and equity for all, we are resolved to rise in support of our beloved CEO and take a firm stand against the public attacks on his person and his leadership. Therefore, the SWAN proudly stands alongside Roger Brown and joins the Seplat Board of Directors to declare our utmost confidence in him as our CEO and foremost champion for diversity and equality. Our very existence is a testament to Roger’s drive for equality and mutual advancement, and it was under his leadership that a vision for gender equality finally crystallized at Seplat – after a decade of the Company’s corporate existence. Persons external to Seplat can only speculate about (or worse still, maliciously fabricate) the disposition of our CEO on this subject, but in the interest of equity and truth, we have come forward to authoritatively and unequivocally underscore our CEO’s unblemished record of diversity, equality, and inclusion at Seplat. On this matter, there can be no stronger voice or authority than the SWAN because we are a body of Seplat employees comprised only of women (the gender globally recognized as victims of workplace discrimination, prejudice, and inequality). In addition, and germane to the fabricated allegations, the SWAN is predominantly comprised of Nigerian employees. Therefore, as a female (and predominantly Nigerian) body of employees, we wish to authoritatively set the record straight and we urge all Stakeholders to heed our collective voice of truth and first-hand experience and to further disregard all malicious allegations circulating against our CEO and Champion-in-Chief.

Following a decade of Seplat’s corporate existence, it was under the leadership of Roger Brown that the following feats were achieved:

  1. The SWAN was formally launched with a Diversity Champion appointed from the highest level of Management and a dedicated Diversity & Inclusion Manager.
  2. One of our own, a Nigerian female staff with longstanding service at Seplat, was appointed as the very first Female Managing Director of the Oil & Gas subsidiary operating our Eastern Asset.
  3. Soon after his assumption as CEO, we saw a striking increase in the maternity and paternity leave periods for Nigerian staff, after many years of desperate calls for the increase.
  4. Going further, a pioneer Creche facility was launched at our Temple Towers office, with ongoing plans to launch Creches across other locations.
  5. In the past 17 months of SWAN’s existence, Roger has consistently (and sometimes, sacrificially) provided funding for all SWAN activities in support of our collective works on gender diversity and equality. This critical funding enabled our collaboration with industry partners and other key stakeholders on high-impact and upskilling programmes to break the bias and advance the cause of women at Seplat and at large.
  6. In 2022, for the first time ever, an audit was formally conducted on Seplat’s facilities at its field locations to ensure equal access and use for women. This resulted in upgrades to our field facilities, which was much celebrated within our Company, especially by the women who proudly represent us at the field operations.

How else do you determine the measure of a man and a leader, if not by the conduct that he has consistently shown and the unprecedented decisions that he has made to elevate a minority group that the United Nations itself is calling for global recognition through its Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 initiative. It is never equitable and it must never be acceptable by any standard whatsoever that such a man is then sacrificed on the public altar of selfish and malicious propaganda by those who are foreign to our employee population. We, as a body of female employees, firmly resist this strange interference with our employee welfare and wholly reject its false projections to the entire public. We are intentionally charting a course of leadership in our respective professional fields, some of us being further determined to make history and break stereotypes. We know that this cannot happen if at this critical moment in time, we remain silent and do not collectively rise up to speak for truth and equity; to protect the very man who has been unwavering in his support for all of us; to protect our fellow colleagues who have been unfairly and falsely denigrated in such a public manner; and to protect our Company, whom we consider to be the darling of the Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry, whom so many of our fellow Nigerians count on for their livelihood, welfare, and business continuity. We consider the great heights that our Company has reached and SWAN has achieved under the masterful leadership of Roger Brown.

Today, by this public statement, we the SWAN demonstrate our leadership by standing in support of our beloved CEO, Roger Brown, and urging all Stakeholders (including our steadfast supporters) to likewise denounce these blatantly false and malicious allegations of discrimination, racism, intimidation and unfair prejudice against Roger Thompson Brown. To you, Roger we say, enjoy the final moments of your time off because there is much more to be achieved, many triumphs still in the pipeline, and we look forward to your return and uninterrupted leadership of our great Company and its extraordinary employee population.

Let this statement stand as evidence to all.