By Eric Teniola
On Friday, March 13, Professor Emmanuel Ola Adegbeyeni will be 80. A man of humble background, Professor rose to be acting Permanent Secretary in the Federal Civil Service.
He was President United Nations Committee on Shipping, Geneva, (with the late Secretary General of United Nations, Kofi Annan as Executive Secretary),1982-1986, Global Program of Economic Development Institute of the World Bank in Transport Policy (USA), 1980-1981, International Certificate of Outstanding Contribution to Information Technology and Mass Transit in the World (USA),1980, Chairman, African Group and Accredited Nigerian Signatory to diplomatic Conference on the International Multimodal Transport of Goods (UNCTAD) (1st part) 1980, Chairman, African International Preparatory Group (IPC) on International Multimodal Transport of Goods, (UNCTAD), Geneva, 1982, Chairman, African Group (Diplomatic Conference on Convention on International Multimodal Transport of Goods, UNCTAD, (2ND Part), 1983, Leader of Nigerian Delegate (Diplomatic Conference Convention on the condition for registration of ships (1st part), 1984, Leader of Nigerian Delegation (Plenipotentiary Convention on the conditions for Registration of ships (2nd part, 1985, Chairman African Group (UNCTAD Committee on shipping), 14th session Geneva, 1991, Chairman, African Group (The Resumed Session of the Review Conference, Geneva, 1991, Chairman, UNCTAD Expert Group on Multimodal Transport (Diplomatic Conference, Ghana), 1993, Leader of Nigeria Delegate and accredited representative of Honorable Minister (7th min meeting of Transport, Communications), 1989, Chairman International Groups of Experts (African Ministers of Maritime Transport, 1st, 2nd, 3rd meeting: Addis Ababa, Lagos), ECA, 1989-1990, Accredited Representative of Nigerian Minister and Chairman (African Ministers of Transport, Communication and Planning), Morocco, ECA,1989, Chairman of Experts (International Group of Experts), Chairman, African Experts (8th Inter-government meeting of expert of transport, Communications and Planning, Abuja), 1991, Chairman, Group experts (African Ministers of Maritime, Abuja), 1991, Delegate 12th session of Economic Commission Committee for African and 17th Conference of Minister, Addis Ababa, 1991, Chairman of African Expert (Negotiating Committee for African Countries with EEC and others on shipping matters in Brussels,1989-1991, Experts and Coordinator for Nigeria (ECA preparatory meeting on preparation UNCTAD II Program, Addis Ababa, 1980-1990, Expert and Coordinator for Nigeria (ECA preparatory meeting on preparation, articulation and implementation of UNCTAD I, 1980-1991, Leader of Nigerian Delegation (Conference of MICROMAR in West Africa Countries) spanning over ten years, 1980-1990.
He was born in Idanre in Ondo state. He attended Ibadan Grammar School ,1957-1963, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, 1964-1967, University of Aston, Birmingham, England, 1968-1970, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, 1975-1977, Indian Institution of Science, Bangalore, India, 1976-1977and the Economics Development Institute of World Bank, Washington, DC., USA, 1980-1981.
Professor Adegbeyeni started his professional career at Unilever, London as a Data Processing Manager in 1970 and a Research Executive at RBNL (UAC) in 1971. He moved to University of Lagos, Akoka as a System Designer/Lecturer II from 1971-1976 and a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science, from 1976-1979.
Professor Adegbeyeni was as an Assistant Director at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Communication from 1979-1982, a Director National Transport, Coordinating Department (grade level 17) from1982-1992. He was Director, Maritime Service Department from 1992-1997 and Acting Federal Permanent Secretary, 1999-2003 of the same Ministry.
He was a Professor of Computer Applications, M.B.A., Faculty of Business Administration, University of Lagos (on contract), 2000-2006, Professor, Master of Information System (on contract part time), Lagos State University, LASU, 2003-2005 and a council member, Institute of Operational Research.
Professor Adegbeyeni was one of the brains behind the National Shipping Policy. He is indeed the architect of the National Transport Policy. He was the Secretary of Presidential Task Force and Committee on Urban Mass Transit of Nigeria. He also rose to the plum post of coordinator of World Bank project till 1994, as well as one of the few Africans to become the president of the entire committee of shipping of UNCTAD, and United Nations for 2years.
He is a member of the Anglican Communion. Professor Adegbeyeni is married to Mrs Funke Adegebeyeni nee Olaborede who is also from Idanre and they are blessed with children and grandchildren.
*Eric Teniola is a veteran journalist.