Emmanuel Egbogah: Commemorating the Doyen of Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry

-By Felix Douglas

The Emmanuel Egbogah Foundation (EEF) had its 10th Legacy Lecture Series at the Emerald Energy Institute (EEI) auditorium, University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) on the theme “Global Energy Transition: Implications on and Opportunities for Petroleum Dependent Economies” to commemorate the legacies of Nigeria’s foremost petroleum engineer, Dr. Emmanuel Egbogah.  

The story of Nigeria petroleum industry will not be complete without giving credit to Dr. Egbogah who for many years in the oil and gas industry contributed immensely to companies and countries across the globe helping to manage resources.

Thus, “We are here today because of his love and compassion for the academia. He seamlessly walk as a bridge builder between the industry and the academia by instituting a lot of chairs across the universities helping in development as much as he could. His legacies and footprints cannot be forgotten.”

The 10th Legacy Series was in honour of the memories and legacies of Dr. Egbogah who served the industry and Nigeria meritoriously. He was the Presidential Adviser on Petroleum Matters to late President Umar Yar’Adua, progenitor and architect of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

As part of his contributions to professionalism in the oil industry, he served as African Regional Director of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) for many years.  

The Legacy Lecture was attended by the Deputy Vice chancellor Research and Development representing the Vice chancellor of UNIPORT, former Vice Chancellor and current Emmanuel Egbogah Chair in Engineering, UNIPORT, Professor Joseph Ajienka, Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) Chair of Petroleum Economics and Management, Cape Coast University and Executive Director of EEF, Professor Wumi Iledare, Professor Michael Onyekonwu, Managing Consultant for Laser Engineering, Dr. Emeka Egbogah and Chairman of EEF,  Acting Director of EEI, Dr. Chijioke Nwaozuzu among other dignitaries in the industry and academia.

In his opening address, Professor Ajienka revealed that Dr. Egbogah was a great man who pioneered his own legacy lectures.

He said “It is important that on this occasion we pay tribute to Dr. Egbogah. Celebrating one of the principal architects of PIB which has just been passed by Act of Parliament and accented by President Mohammadu Buhari after twenty years of cautious legislative rigmarole.

On the occasion of his 10th legacy lecture series, we are happy that the PIB has become a petroleum industry Act. About 2017, he also gave a lecture at the University of Ibadan, on the auspices of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, University of Ibadan Chapter.”

Continuing, Professor Ajeinka stressed further on “The legacy of this great Nigerian, there is need to remember him. He was an adviser to several countries before he became an adviser to former President Umaru Yar’Adua. We are celebrating a man, a great gentle man, a very selfless Nigerian, pioneer and first petroleum engineering lecturer in this country, we are celebrating a very polished African.”

The Vice Chancellor of UNIPORT, Professor Georgewill Owunari, giving his speech, said it was always a pleasure to be associated with activities of late Dr. Egbogah and described him as a man of uncommon knowledge with global disciplines. He was a God sent vision to UNIPORT.  A man of experience in the petroleum industry with engineering background and adviser to governments and energy consultants. “The university is blessed to have been associated with him.”

Professor Owunari acknowledged the support of Dr. Egbogah to the university, “because of him there is a household name planted in our soil Emerald Energy Institute (EEI), a solid corporate and energy mix with the ability to provide special lectures, consultancy, mentoring, research related activities and programmes.” EEI has provided the role of intellectual deep-wide operating in a more complex studies in support of the universities including the Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS).

Nothing done to honour the memory of Dr. Egbogah will ever be too much.

He thanked the Emmanuel Egbogah Chair for Engineering for the excellent works they have done over the past 10 years in making EEI an institution to reckon with world-wide. 

In his good will message, Dr. Chijioke Nwaozuzu, Acting Director of EEI was of the view that Dr. Egbogah impacted the oil industry positively. He stated thus, “Those of us who considered him as a mentor have greatly benefited from his generosity, kindness and opulence.”

One of his key objectives was to build the next oil and gas generation and to endow them with equipped and proper knowledge for the industry. A man can only be remembered by the good works he had done. He chose to be involved in endowment because it will solve sustainability issues and engender perpetuity.

Nwaozuzu enjoined other intellectuals to learn and follow Egbogah’s footsteps in terms of endowment. In his words: “those of us that are privileged to be called his mentees to sustain his vision by constantly remembering his way of thinking around endowment and factor his input in our activities.”

Speaking further he said; “For some of us that our heavenly father may bless with abundant wealth, let us remember too as much as possible to follow Dr. E’s great footsteps on endowment.”

He referred to him as a truly successful man and will forever be remembered as a son in the hearts of the academic community.

In his remarks on Dr. Egbogah legacies, the Executive Director of EEF, Professor Wumi Iledare said the foundation was created to remember the legacies and good works that he did for the petroleum industry. In his words, “We saw that it is possible for a Pharaoh to come and may not remember Joseph and so we say let us start Emmanuel Egbogah Foundation in case it happens and am glad that three years later we able to continue.” 

According to the Professor of Energy Economics, “two years ago was traumatic, last year was excellent, and today was beautiful.” He added that on the aspect of posterity, “When someone takes over from you and the event did not continue, you are the failure. No past leader should ever wish a new leader a failure. I am glad that EEI continue to shine and will continue to shine.”

He commended the Acting Director of EEI, Dr. Nwaozuzu because the essence of EEF is to support EEI and he should continue on Egbogah’s legacy hence the lecture took place in the institute’s auditorium at UNIPORT.

Iledare also eulogized the previous and present Vice Chancellors of UNIPORT who had always act as chairman to EEF legacy lectures. He said prosperity without posterity is a waste.

The former Director of EEI expressed appreciation to sponsors of EEF for their continued kind and in-cash support to keep the legacy lecture alive adding that those involved in project management have held forth tenaciously over the years.

The EEF objective is to continue to advocate petroleum industry economic and policy that will add value to Nigeria which was the motivation Egbogah had. The mantra is how energy can be used for prosperity. It was initiated to continue his legacy.

Comment here