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Deadlock Part 1 BY …Kay Lord

Deadlock Part 1 BY …Kay Lord

Renato Oil and Gas is a multinational oil company in Nigeria. It is also operating in over 10 other countries across Europe, the Middle East and the Americas with their global headquarters in Kohln, Germany.

This oil company has been operating in Nigeria for 25 years with German expatriates as MD/CEO for thesame number of years. Recently, the current MD, who’s the third since Renato started operations in Nigeria sent in a notice of retirement letter to the Board at their global headquarters in Germany.

The Board, after deliberation decided that after 25 years of operation in Nigeria, they’ve been able to grow and train people capable and equiped enough to take charge of the Nigerian operations, hence it was decided that a Nigerian amongst the top Executive Directors of the company in Nigeria should henceforth be appointed to preside over the affairs of the Nigerian subsidiary as MD/CEO.

Immediately the news of this decision filtered into the company in Nigeria, every staff already narrowed it down to two EDs. These two, most senior of the four EDs, came in as members of the pioneer staff of the company. Over the years, apart from their top academic qualifications from Ivy League institutions, they’ve been fortunate to have undergone series of training abroad on several occasions, and have both at one time or the other worked at the global headquarters and other subsidiaries of Renato oil around the world.

The Board asked any of the EDs interested to apply. The four EDs applied and after series of interviews both in Nigeria and Germany, true to speculation of most staff, the two most senior and experienced EDs were finally shortlisted for the final interview.

Fredrick Wale Coker is Executive Director, Accounts & Human Resources. He’s 46 years old, married to Jane Olanike Coker and they are blessed with 3 kids ages 16, 13 and 10. Fred is a first class graduate of Accounting at the age of 19 years from the University of Lagos. He later went back to the University of Port Harcourt to earn another degree in Petroleum Engineering (2:1) and an MBA (Oil & Gas) from University of Dundee, Scotland UK. He’s also a chattered accountant and an alumni of Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University. His wife, Jane runs an expensive private nursery and Primary school in the highbrow old Ikoyi on Lagos Island.

Nosa Oladeji Osogbe is Executive Director, Operations & Engineering. He attended the premier University, University of Ibadan where he studied Mechanical Engineering and bagged a first class and the best graduating student of his faculty. He thereafter proceeded to MIT where he did his masters in Engineering specialising in oil and gas engineering. He also attended Harvard for his MBA degree. He’s happily married to Erica Osogbe, an insurance broker with one of the top insurance brokerage firm in Nigeria and they are blessed with two kids, 18 and 16 years respectively. Nosa is 47 years old.

They were called to Germany to face the global Board of Renato Oil at the company headquarters for the last interview. There are 10 categories of areas in which they would be asked questions and each of the 10 member board are to score each candidate over 10. At the end of the interview, there was a tie. 5 board members score Fred higher while the other 5 members score Nosa higher. After much arguments, they could not reach a consensus. The Chairman decided to call off the meeting for another day. They asked Fred and Nosa to go back to Nigeria while the decision of the Board would be conveyed to them soonest.

It’s been 3 months and nothing has been heard from Germany. Meanwhile, Mr Goldberg the current MD has a month before his final bow out. His farewell ceremony is already been planned with a cocktail and dinner to be held at the prestigious Eko Hotel in Victoria Island. The global Chairman of the board, global MD/CEO and 3 other members of the board would be coming from Germany for the farewell ceremony for Mr Goldberg who has put in 35 years in the service of Renato oil.

The question is, who takes over Renato Nigeria? The Chairman does not believe in appointing people in acting capacity, and does not at the same time to want to leave a vacuum once the current MD leaves. When the German team arrived Nigeria, at their meeting with Mr Goldberg, he made them to understand that having worked with both Fred and Nosa for 7 years, he would be okay if any amongst them is appointed as they are absolutely super qualified and capable. The only woman amongst the board suggested that since Fred and Nosa’s wife would be coming for the cocktail/dinner party, they should one on one engage their wives to see the other side of this two gentlemen. Let’s have an informal chat with each wife, I am sure that would break the deadlock. Not that who they are at home or with their wives has anything to do with their job performance which we already know, but in situation like this we can use it to break the deadlock. Funnily, all of them agreed to this proposal.

On the night of the party, both Fred and Nosa arrives with their wives. Mr. Goldberg had been instructed to fully engage Fred and Nosa in order for their wives to be free. Unknowingly as cocktail is served, the Chairman and his crew gets to work, engaging Jane and Erica separately and informally.

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Posted by:- on October 12, 2018.

Categories: Literature

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