AN ADDRESS OF WELCOME DELIVERED BY PROF. OLAYEMI AKINWUMI, Ph.D, AvHF, FHSN, FNAL ON THE OCCASION OF THE FIRST MEMORIAL LECTURE IN HONOUR OF ENGINEER JOSEPH OYEYANI MAKOJU, OON, OFR, mni
The Guest Lecturer, H.E. Amb. (DR.) Godknows Boladei Igali. The Matriarch of the Makoju family, Dr. (Mrs.) Gladys Makoju, Principal Officers of the University, Deans/Directors/Heads of Departments/Units, The President General, Ebira Peoples Association, Dr. Godwin Oyibo, Royal Fathers here present, invited guests, Gentlemen of the press, Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am delighted to have this array of personalities in Federal University Lokoja. This occasion is a celebration of the life and time of our late Sage, Engr. Joseph Oyeyani Makoju, a former Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Cement Nigeria Plc, Former Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, West African Portland Cement Company, former Managing Director /Chief Executive Officer of the Defunct National Electric Power Authority/ Power Holding Company of Nigeria and Nigeria National Electricity Utility, former Chairman, Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, former Chairman, West African Power Pool Electricity Board, Special Adviser (Electric Power) to three successive Nigerian Presidents, a First Class Mechanical Engineer from the University of Nottingham, an Officer of the Order of the Niger, an Officer of the Federal Republic, The Oyeyani of Ebiraland, the Egena Attah of Igalaland, an icon of Development, Leadership, and Technology, an astute Leader and Manager of human and material resources.
Engr. Makoju brought his knowledge of Science and Technology to drive every industry that he had worked and led with crystal-positive results. The University's partnership with the Joseph Oyeyani Makoju Foundation for Development, Leadership, and Technology which was unveiled on the 16th of July 2022 has given birth to the institution of this memorial lecture which will now be held annually going forward; where eminent scholars and industry players will deliver lecture to contribute to solving Nigeria's leadership, development and power problems.
As Chinua Achebe noted, the trouble with Nigeria is squarely the failure of leadership which has created several other problems. Hence, addressing this problem from an intellectual angle through intrinsic and intensive memorial lecture in honour of Engr. Joseph Makoju is not out of place in the University's efforts to fulfill her town and gown obligations.
It is against this background that the University Senate carefully selected the topic "Challenges of Electric Power Sector Reform in Nigeria: The Way Forward" which will be delivered shortly by an erudite scholar of international dimension and a Diplomat Extraordinaire, H.E. Amb. (Dr.) Godknows Boladei Igali.
There is no doubt that the power sector has contributed immensely to the dearth of development in Nigeria. Engr. Joseph Makoju's passion for power reforms in Nigeria was second to none. No wonder, he dedicated his entire life to power generation and reformation in Nigeria.
Distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen, there is no other time than now to immortalize this sage with University annual lecture series with a view to keeping his Flag Flying.
It is the determination of the University to partner with the Joseph Makoju Foundation for Development, Leadership, and Technology to contribute to solving leadership development and power problem in Nigeria.
I thank everyone present at this auspicious occasion, particularly the Matriarch of the Makoju Family, Dr. Mrs. Gladys Makoju for making this 1st memorial lecture a fruition.
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