ENGR CHRIS OGIEMWONYI- HEALTHY MIND, GREAT BRAND

  1. ENGR CHRIS OGIEMWONYI- HEALTHY MIND, GREAT BRAND

Jeffery Igbinigie,

Sometime in the year 2009, I watched a movie titled : A New Hope.”Facing the a desperate situation, against a better-financed and more ruthless opposition, Princess Leia Organa makes a desperate plea: “This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”

In a galaxy much closer home today, the Edo APC, seems to be facing similar prospects in the race to defeat Governor Godwin Obaseki in November. In this world, however, it’s becoming more and more clear that former Honourable Minister of State for Works, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Engr.(Dr) Chris Ogiemwonyi will be playing the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Edo 2020 APC governorship race.

Now, Let’s look at the Engr.Chris Ogiemwonyi, the Edo people Know :

His admirers and detractors alike agree that he has always demonstrated the fear of the Almighty God in his conduct and relations with other people. Building on a family background of sound moral principles, his exemplary character, humility, grace and sense of propriety have become reference points for leadership in the land.

Engineer (Dr.) Sir Chris Ogiemwonyi, FNSE, KSC,JP, has an interesting blend of academic and professional training within and outside Nigeria. He has no doubt become a household name, especially in Edo State, where he hails from, live, attended his educational institutions, served and still serving his people.His name, too, rings bell across Nigeria, especially in the nation’s petroleum, oil and gas industry, where he traversed for 34years and carved an enchanting niche for himself as a top-level manager of men and resources.

His name has equally been heard audibly in boardrooms, business discourses, media space, political space, and within the quiet confines of several human hearts, across the world, all for the right and positive reasons.

I am re-presenting this excellent personality of note, a committed hardworking, team-playing professional, an astute businessman, a massively strong tower of integrity, a quintessential father-figure, a consummate mentor and a generous philanthropist,

Such is the remarkable setting, giving enormous fillip to the divinely-guided story of Engr. Sir (Dr.) Chris Aigbovbiosa Ogiemwonyi, FNSE, KSC, JP, former Honourable Minister of State for Works, Federal Republic of Nigeria, who only a couple of years ago, retired from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, after putting in a 34-year service and rising to the enviable position of Group Executive Director, Exploration and Production.

Engr. Ogiemwonyi, who today stands admirably tall amongst his peers, rose from a humble family background in Idumwebo village in Orhionmwhon local government area; with an enterprising dint of diligent hardwork, and following the divine patterns of fate and destiny, he has, all the while, held the belief that nothing good comes easy.He appreciates the fact that the roughness of the road, its ruggedness, and the intricacy of the challenges, make a better personality of the man that emerges from the reflexes-sharpening, firing process that is usually the liturgy of fate and life’s true sojourn.

He is a graduate of the University of Benin, where he bagged a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Hons., in Applied Physics in1974. Two years later, in 1976, he obtained a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Ibadan. His next stop was the prestigious Harvard Business School, where he attended top management courses to sharpen his managerial and technical skills that would later qualify and attest to his excellent performances when duties and responsibilities beckoned. Later in life, Engr. Ogiemwonyi would receive the academic awards of the Doctor of Engineering, PhD (Honoris Causa) and the Doctor of Science, PhD (Honoris Causa) in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

With an excellent career that began in 1975, when he was employed as Petroleum Engineer II, competence, discipline, creativity and secured achievements took young Ogiemwonyi through the ranks in challenging managerial postings, moulding him into full maturity in 1999 when he was promoted General Manager, Operations, National Petroleum Investments of the National Petroleum Investments and Management Services, NAPIMS.

From then on, there was no looking back as he progressed from one challenging top management position to another. His visible creativity quickly took him to the position of Group General Manager, NAPIMS a position he occupied from 2001 – 2003. And during this period, he actualized various projects, especially the Local Content Initiative of the Federal Government. As Group General Manager, NAPIMS, he overlooked the whole industry including the Joint Ventures (JV) and the Production Sharing Companies (PSCs). While in NAPIMS, he served as Chairman, Nigeria OTC Committee for 2002 and 2003.

Between 2001 and 2003, he galvanized the birth of key projects, including EA field, Erha field, Bonga field and Agbami field, amongst others. At NAPIMS, he also achieved zero cash call arrears by October, 2003.  As GGM, NAPIMS, the oil industry was encouraged on joint utilization of assets such as offshore swamp rigs, etc.

In November, 2003, Ogiemwonyi was reassigned to Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, Benin City, as Managing Director and his efforts showed quickly in increasing NPDC production from 20,000 bopd to 70,000 bopd. He served as chairman, Project Monitoring Committee, PMC, of Okono/Okpoho Development Project, a strategic alliance between NPDC and Agip Energy Limited, AENR.  He also served as Chairman, PMC, of OMLs 64 and 66 Project, another strategic alliance between NPDC and SINOPEC of China.

Achieving promotional success became his trademark, so much so that shortly in March 2005, he merited a reassignment to direct activities at the Nigerian Gas Company Limited, Warri, as Managing Director. While there, his focus was to increase gas supply to major customers like, PHCN, SNG, GASLINK, WAPCO, SHAGAMU, and EWEKORO, NOTORE FERTILIZER PH, OBAJANA CEMENT COMPANY, etc, even as the Nigerian Gas Company, then coordinated 130mmscf/d gas supply (WAGP West Africa Gas Supply Project) to the Republic of Benin, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast; TSGP – Trans Sahara Gas Project, the 2 billion scf/d supply from Nigeria through Algeria to Europe was another portfolio under his supervision as the helmsman of the Nigerian Gas Company.

Ogiemwonyi’s boat of managerial acumen again moved and berthed in 2007 in the office of the Group Executive Director, NNPC, where he called the shots between September of that year and April 2009.  As group Executive Director, GED, Exploration and Production, Engr. Ogiemwonyi was in charge of seven NNPC companies and subsidiaries, which included National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS; Nigerian Gas Company, NGC); LNG & Power Division; Integrated Data Services Limited, IDSL; Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC; Crude Oil Marketing Division; Local Content Division.  His performance at this tasking responsibility, as Group Executive Director, continued to soar until he retired meritoriously after an excellent, impeccable 34-year sojourn.

Though, as a young, growing man, Chris Ogiemwonyi left his rural community, in quest of education and a secured future, he has never, for once, forgotten his roots. He has remained a loyal and dedicated member of the community.  Over the years, it is on record that he has built a personal home in the village, where he has also built and donated a church to the local congregation there in the village where he came from. He has over the years granted scholarship awards to intelligent but indigent students at all levels of education, even as he has equally established a skill acquisition centre for out-of-school youths to acquire marketable skills that would make them more productive to themselves and even become employers of labour.

As part of his contributions to the economic life and wellbeing of his immediate community, Engr. Ogiemwonyi has a huge palm plantation that provides direct and indirect employment for all ages of people, a development that has upped the socio-economic standards of the community. Adequate and functional boreholes have equally been sunk across the communities to provide clean, drinking water, a situation that has drastically reduced the risk of the people contacting diseases that thrive in unclean and unpurified water, which had hitherto been the only one available in the community.

It has equally become a welcome tradition, over the years, for Engr. Ogiemwonyi to sponsor into Edo State, a team of medical doctors and personnel, on the occasion of his birthday anniversary, to provide free breast and cervical cancer (for women between ages 18 – 65 and prostrate cancer screening for men above 40 years, in conjunction with the Lagos based Optimal Cancer Care Foundation and the C. O Ogiemwonyi Foundation. This exercise, according to him, arose from his strong belief in the fact that early detection of the growing cases of these ailments would dislodge the potency to become full-blown terminal cases. Several thousands of indigenes and residents in the state have, over the years, benefited from this life-saving philanthropic largesse.

On politics, Engr. Ogiemwonyi, who is ready to contest the governorship primaries of his political party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in this 2020, is also prepared to run a decent, virile, issue-based and integrity-laced campaign across the three senatorial districts of the state, ahead of the Edo 2020 gubernatorial election, maintained that he remains resolute to keep working to uplift the living standards of the people of the state in particular and Nigerians in general.

In his words, “Democracy, as we know it, is a system of political governance that is wholly based on the people. It is of the people; it is by the people and it is for the people. So, if the people, therefore, do not show or are not allowed to show effective interest and participation in the operational activities of the system, then, it should be called by a different name altogether.

This meticulous achiever, who within the brief period he stayed as Minister of State for Works, influenced, amongst several others, the flag-off and completion of the first phase re-construction of the Benin – Abraka inter-state road, beginning from Ekiosa Market at the popular Third Junction, Benin City, a project from which over thirty Edo communities would have massively benefit from, on final completion. This is because the new road would have open up these communities, creating in-roads for other socio-economic activities and interests to flood in. However, sadly enough, this project was abandoned by the past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi, who proudly holds the membership and fellowship of several professional bodies, including being a Member, Society of Petroleum Engineers, a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, and former President, Nigeria Gas Association, is reputed to have equally chaired several boards and committees while in service, all attesting to his enticing capacity and capability to perform at top level administrative and managerial positions. It is on record that apart from chairing the N-Gas board, Hyson/Calson JV and directing NETCODIETSMANN, Ogiemwonyi equally was member, NNPC Corporate Board; member, Presidential Committee on Independent Power Project, IPP development for Niger – Delta; member, Presidential Committee on accelerated Expansion of Electricity Infrastructure; member, Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN; Former Council Member, Petroleum Training Institute, Warri; and former member Nigermed. Only recently, Engr. Ogiemwonyi was appointed member, Board of Directors, Petroleum Equalization Fund, by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ogiemwonyi, today, is a proud recipient of the prestigious traditional Bead from the revered Oba of Benin; a recipient of the Justice of Peace, JP, Edo State Government; a recipient of the Kwame Nkrumah Leadership Award; a recipient of The Navigator Newspaper’sEdo Personality of the Year 2016 Award; Patron, National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS; Patron, Association of Community Newspapers Publishers of Nigeria, ACNPN; Patron, Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, Edo State Council; A Knight of Sacred Order of Saint Christopher, KSC; Life Patron, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN.

It is pertinent to observe that while discerning Edolites identify Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi as worthy patriot to be given the mantle of leadership, come Edo 2020 APC governorship ticket , to deny him of that opportunity to serve his fatherland and take the ship of Edo State to safe shores of economic prosperity, will mean the majority, long-suffering Edo people will be the ultimate losers.



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ENGR CHRIS OGIEMWONYI- HEALTHY MIND, GREAT BRAND ENGR CHRIS OGIEMWONYI- HEALTHY MIND, GREAT BRAND Reviewed by Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah on May 16, 2020 Rating: 5

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