The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has restated the commitment of the corporationâ€™s commitment to continue to support Arco Group Plc and other indigenous companies that have proved their mettle in the area of engineering technology and innovations.
Speaking in Lagos yesterday at the occasion of the induction of the Group Managing Director of Arco Group Plc, Mr. Alfred Okoigun as Honorary Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE), Baru lauded Okoigun, who is an ex-staff of NNPC, for creating and re-creating value to the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Baru recalled that Okoigun resigned from the NNPC at a very young age to set up Arco Petrochemical Engineering Company in 1980 to provide engineering capability on rotating and reciprocating equipment â€“ gas turbines, steam turbines and compressors.
According to the NNPC boss, Okoigun had all the opportunity to stay employed at the NNPC but opted to set up the company, which has transformed into Arco Group Plc, comprising of Arco Maintenance and Engineering Company Plc, Arco Worldwide Services, Arco Marine and Oilfield Services and Arco Integrity Services Limited.
Baru noted that Okoigunâ€™s resilience had paid off when his company became the then sole Nigerian representative of Nuovo Pignone SPA, the Italian government-owned manufacturer of Steam/Gas Turbines, gas compressors and pumps.
â€œHow else do we honour this man who has continuously identified and supported various engineering initiatives in Nigeria for several decades? Through Arco, he has sponsored over 40 engineers, technocrats and energy correspondents for training programmes and facility visits to oil and gas equipment manufacturing firms and to exhibitions and seminars on energy matters in Nigeria, Italy, Switzerland, US, Brazil and Argentina. Also, to demonstrate his support for the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, he recently inaugurated a joint committee known as the NAE-ARCO Group Academia and Industry Linkage with the objective of identifying viable engineering innovations by Nigerians and to assist in translating them into scalable commercial activities,â€ Baru explained.
In her remarks, the President of The Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE), Mrs. JO Maduka described Okoigun as a strong believer in the development of engineering services in Nigeria.
According to her, Okoigun is also a philanthropist of the rate type, who continues to invest in human capital development, endowments and community-related projects.
She also added that Okoigun is a role model in the engineering profession.
In his lecture titled â€œEngineering Innovation and Last-Mile Development: Towards a Synergy between investors and Research,â€ a former Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos and the Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo in Ebonyi State, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe tasks the professionals to focus on how to translate engineering innovations to the benefits of the society.