The Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry is blessed with many exceptional personalities, and Engr. Andrew Omomehin, FNSE, is an Ilaje man from Ondo State who is making a very strong statement in the industry. This young man from both Mahin & Ugbo Kingdoms and a First class graduate of Civil Engineering, is presently the General Manager Operations, NNPC/CNL Joint Ventures based in Escravos, Nigeria. The COREN registered engineer and multiple award winner who has worked tirelessly in developing Nigerian Engineers, local businesses and local community projects in the oil and gas sub-sector of the economy, has proved to the whole world that with God, hard work, perseverance and patience, nothing is impossible. In this interview with IBIKUNLE IKUYINMINU, EDITOR AND HEAD SPECIAL PROJETS, he speaks on his recent award as Ondo State Oil and Gas Man of the Year, his passion for community development, the Akeredolu Administration in Ondo State, and other topical issues. It is a library material.
Let us start this interview by asking you to tell us a little about yourself for the benefit of some of our readers who may not be very familiar with you sir.
My name is Andrew Ajinde Omomehin, born to the family of Late Most Rev. Apostle Stephen Babatunde Omomehin of Maran in Mahin Kingdom, Ilaje and Mrs. Christiana Kehinde Eretan – Omomehin of Ugbo Kingdom, both in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State. I had my primary school education in Ori-Oke Iwamimo, Ilaje, Ondo State and later in my pre-teen years, moved to Lagos in search of the greater purposes of life. I went on to attend the Community High School (CHS), Ilado, now at Osborne Road Ikoyi, closing the chapter by obtaining my West African School Certificate with distinctions. In furtherance of my ambition, I received the Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Civil Engineering, from the Enugu State University of Science and Technology in 1992, graduating with First Class Honours and as the best graduating student of the year. I also obtained a Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering (Structures) from the University of Lagos, and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Ado-Ekiti.
Ok sir, a run down of your professional profile
Upon graduation, I joined Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) as a Facilities Engineer in 1996 after working for about 3 years as a contract employee. I am currently the General Manager Operations, NNPC/CNL JV, based in Escravos, Nigeria. In the course of my career, I have managed very complex major capital projects and have held numerous positions of increasing responsibility, including the following to mention a few:
– Site Fabrication Manager, Middlesbrough, Teeside, in United Kingdom
– Discipline Engineering Advisor, Agbami Development Project, Nigeria
– Global Facilities Engineering Sponsor, Houston, Texas, United States of America
– Project Manager for the Escravos Gas Project EGP3B and World Class Sonam Development Project, Nigeria.
– General Manager, Facilities Engineering and Major Capital Projects, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Lagos, Nigeria.
I am a Fellow of the Nigeria Society of Engineers and I also received the Chevron Global Facilities Engineering Excellence Award in 2017 on behalf of Chevron Nigeria Limited. I am a COREN registered Civil Engineer and a great advocate of Nigerian Content Development who has worked tirelessly in developing Nigerian engineers, local businesses and local community projects in the oil and gas industry across Nigeria. I have also facilitated the delivery of oil and gas courses to students ofat University of Lagos (UNILAG) Faculty of Engineering by Chevron Engineers.
You seem to be very passionate about service to humanity.
It is the right thing to invest significantly in human capacity development, and this we have got to do, particularly in Nigeria. It may interest you to know that I coordinate the execution of several community development projects both in my native Ondo State and in neighboring communities in Lagos. I am a member of the Board of Trustees of the renowned Ilaje Development Summit Groups (IDSG), a citizen – led organization comprising highly successful sons and daughters of Ilaje Land from different walks of life. I am also a member of the Board of Trustees of Youth Educational and Skill Acquisition (YESA) Trust Fund, an NGO supporting indigent students in Lagos, Nigeria. I am a strong supporter of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu Aketi (SAN) and the drive for the infrastructural development of Ondo State.
On the religious front, I have limitlessly supported church organizations and church projects in Lagos, Ondo and other states in Nigeria as well as in the United States. I have spent most of my working life serving at different times as Building Committee Chairman, Pastor’s warden, People’s warden, and as Harvest/Fund Raising Chairman at St. Peters Anglican Church, Ikota, Lekki, Lagos, where I am a proud member of the Church.
Our contributions were recently further recognized by the church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion when I received an Episcopal Award, the highest in the series of awards for the laity in the Church.
You bagged merit and outstanding leadership awards almost every time, what is the magic wand? And with the recent conferment of the Ondo State Oil and Gas Man of the Year Award by Hero Magazine, to what would you attribute this rare feat?
To God be all the glory. I thank God for His unmerited favour over me and my family. With the grace of God, laser focus, consistency, perseverance, patience, hard work, and dedication, nothing is impossible. I want to sincerely appreciate the Board and Management of your Media Organization, Hero Magazine International, for the honour done me. I also appreciate the dynamic presence of all the dignitaries who were at the International Culture and Events Centre, De Dome, Alagbaka, Akure on Sunday September 12 to honour me and other awardees. I am full of gratitude for the Deputy Governor of Ondo State His excellency, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa who history has conferred on as the first Ilaje man to be Deputy Governor of the state. Let me also remarkably say that I was proud of the impressive array of traditional rulers at the event, including the Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom who was then the Chairman of the Ondo State Council of Obas, H.I.M Oba Fredrick Enitiolorunda Akinruntan, the Amapetu of Mahin Kingdom, H.I.M. Oba Oluwasegun William Akinyomi, and many other great Kabiyesi’s and other eminent personalities at the event. Also of great profundity was the support and presence of friends, families and associates who had come from far and near to honour us.
But what message has the award left in your mind?
The message is that there is reward for every deed on earth, good or bad. The message is for me to keep doing that which I know how to do best: service to humanity. I have come to realize that service to humanity is service to God. The award is a stimulus for me to do more and more in the effort to leave the society better than I met it.
Opinion polls parade you as a man who does not cherish publicity, but in spite of this, your silent contribution to the development of the society has come to be openly recognized by the good people of Ondo State. Engineer, isn’t this an official confirmation that a golden fish has no hidden place?
One of the prices of success in one’s career and by contributing to the development of society is that people will find you out sooner or later. I thank God for the opportunity to make a difference and feel very humbled for the recognition and support from friends, family, well wishers and particularly, the good people of Ondo State
It is a common saying that behind every successful man, there must be a woman. How would you assccess the contributions of your wife to your present attainments?
I have been very fortunate to have a great woman, a devoted and supportive woman as my wife. She is an embodiment of beauty, brain, dedication, grace, and style. I call her my one and only Yellow Pawpaw! I love her very much.
How would you describe the Akeredolu Administration in terms of infrastructural development in the state, particularly in Ilaje axis?
The current Administration has very bold plans for Ondo State and particularly for Ilaje axis – sea port, Ilaje to Lekki road, provision of electricity, security, water, health care, schools etc.
My prayer is that may God may grant the Administration the grace to achieve the above and more. I look forward to a day when all the villages in Ondo State, particularly Ilaje, will be connected by good road networks, provided with electricity, water, hospitals and more.
It is not impossible sir. But as they say, if the East defends her territory, and the West defends hers, the whole of nationEngland would have been defended. Your message to other well-meaning sons and daughters of the state on the need to merge strengths with the government in the upbringing of a greater tomorrow when all these infrastructures are put in place?
The importance of citizens’ partnership and collaboration with Government is now even more critical in Ondo State in view of the challenges in Nigeria and the State, hence the formation of Ilaje Development Summit Group (IDSG) to help focus the people in Ilaje Local Government to work collaboratively with the State Government irrespective of party affiliation or religious beliefs. This model can also be adopted by other local governments in the State as well.
Ok, but what in your opinion, is the way out of the over 14-year power outage in Ondo South Senatorial District of the State?
It is sad and unfortunate to leave about 1/3 of the State in darkness for these many years. With the ongoing effort by the State Government, NDDC, NDPHCN, and support of the people, I hope that this power outage will soon become a thing of the past. The people of Ondo South deserve better
Your role model, your greatest challenge as a top manager, and your management philosophy?
My role model is Alhaji Lateef Kayode Jakande, of blessed memory. It was he who, as Governor of Lagos State, set the foundation for and drove the monumental infrastructural and educational development of the state within 4 years of being Governor. He will never be forgotten by the millions who benefitted from his selfless service and leadership. As to my management philosophy, I believe in Transformational Management Style/ philosophy. I believe that change and growth are the only way to stay ahead of the curve, so I push my employees past their comfort zone, but I also provide them the enabling environment by being supportive and proactively removing barriers to achieving set targets. My greatest challenge is the security situation of Nigeria which is driving up the cost of doing business and also killing businesses and investments in the country
Of the four M’s of Management, which one do you consider most important and why?
Man. This is very simple. To ensure sustainable development at Federal, State and Local Government levels, it is critical to have the right person in the right job at the right time and in the right place -4Rs.
Finally, how do you unwind after a typical day’s work?
I unwind at the end of the day by listening to good music while taking a walk.
We want to thank you very sincerely for this very warm interview sir.
Thanks so much for the insightful questions. I appreciate the opportunity