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Engr. Andy Yakubu signing the recipients column in the presence of the new president, Engr. Prof. Raifu I. Salawu with the GMD’s son, Mr. Samuel Yakubu and others watching in admiration

The former Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engr. Andrew Laah Yakubu added yet another golden feather to his befitting cap. Recently, the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE) inducted him as a fellow of the prestigious Academy at the University of Lagos, Akoka. Along with him on the award list were 12 other recipients.

In his opening speech, the outgoing President of the Academy, Engr. (Prof). A. F. Ogunye, informed the august gathering that the Nigerian Academy of Engineering is an elite professional body founded in 1979 for the purpose of promoting excellence in technological and engineering training and practice in Nigeria.

It also facilitates the dissemination and exchange of ideas among members and other similar bodies and establishments.

He said the Academy, in pursuit of its objectives, could apply or petition for any legislation, parliamentary or otherwise that would enhance any of her purposes. The Academy is also engaged in the anticipation and assessment of the changing needs of Nigeria so as to advise appropriate bodies on the technical resources that should be applied as well as sponsor programmes aimed at meeting those needs.

Overall, the body provides independent and expert advice on matters of national importance pertinent to engineering and technology and related disciplines.

The Nigerian Academy of Engineering is not an island all to itself; it interacts and cooperates with other engineering and scientific professional bodies and other academies locally and internationally. The body as a professional group serves as a forum for Nigerian engineers to report on research and development activities in engineering.

Ogunye went further to explain that Fellows of the academy are drawn from among very senior Nigerian and foreign engineering professionals who have distinguished themselves in business, academia and government. ‘Fellows are drawn from the widest spread as regards engineering discipline, occupation and geographical location, he said.

The outgoing President told his audience that to be eligible for fellowship, a person must be a registered engineer and should have made substantial contributions in the pioneering of new and developing field of technology, engineering knowledge or engineering science; made significant contribution to the art and practice of Engineering and recognised by his or her peers for accomplishment in engineering related discipline as well as having professional integrity.

Honorary Fellows are drawn from the class of Persons who, not being registered Engineers have in the opinion of the council, made distinguished contribution(s) to the practice of engineering.

Lastly, Engineers who are not Nigerian Nationals but are in the opinion of the council have achieved international distinction, shall be eligible for election as Foreign Fellows.

Responding on behalf of other Awardees, NNPC’s former GMD, Engr. Andrew Yakubu, thanked the academy for the recognition and honour bestowed on them. He stressed that recognition of the Awardees has opened newer and wider doors for the advancement of the ideals of the academy. He urged them not to relent in their drive for excellence and provision of the effective guidance for the engineering profession in Nigeria.

Engr. Yakubu reiterated the need for collaboration with all sectors of the economy with a view to providing engineering and technical support necessary for economic development. To underscore this point, the GMD took his audience down memory lane on the evolution of the Oil & Gas industry in Nigeria, which according to him, is traced back from the highly expatriate-driven industry in the 1960s when production was just a few barrels of crude per day to our current level of over two million barrels with substantial Nigerian workforce.

A congratulatory handshake to the former GMD from the new president, Prof. Salawu flanked to the immediate right by his predecessor, Prof. Ogunye, Mr. Samuel Yakubu and Engr. (Dr.) Joseph I. Folayan

He emphasised that Nigerian companies and by extension Nigerian Engineers, have acquired Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) capabilities in complex engineering projects across the Oil & Gas value chain including the deep offshore.

Highlighting the ingenuity and capability of the Nigerian Engineers in handling complex\ engineering projects, the former GMD said “we are coming from a loss centre concept to a profit centre concept.

The refineries were operating a deficit balance sheet but today, two of the refineries are on profit balance sheet. The pipelines are systematically being rehabilitated starting from the Port-Harcourt- Aba axis to the Benin-Ore-Lagos route. Escravos to Lagos line has also been rehabilitated and re-routed. According to him, all these were achieved by Nigerian Engineers.

On gas utilization, the former GMD noted that the nation has moved from 400 million cubic metres to 1.5billion cubic metres. He proudly announced to the academy that the Upstream, Downstream and Gas Directorates of the NNPC are all headed by Nigerian engineers.

In spite of all these, he stressed that there is still room to build more capacity and capability of the Nigerian contractors and staff to match the inherent energy opportunities and challenges.

In conclusion, he pointed out that all these achievements could not have been recorded without the approval and active support of the Honourable Minister of Petroleum resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke and President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who saw the former GMD’s infrastructural rehabilitation initiatives as an integral part of the overall government infrastructural recovery policy as well as the promotion of the Nigerian content initiative.

In addition to the former GMD’s Fellowship award, NNPC also won the Gold category of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE) Corporate Appreciation Award.

© 2015 NAPIMS
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