The the Akinjide Adeosun Foundation (AAF) has conferred its 2020 Leadership Award on the first Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO), Dr Olufemi Lalude, according to report monitored by NAN.
This comes decades after Lalude, who is the second National Chairman of Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, NIMechE, rejected a 6 million dollar bribe offer, the foundation said in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos.
The award, “Leadership in Integrity’’ was conferred on Lalude, now 81, during the AAF 5th annual colloquium with the theme: “Integrity – A Sine Qua Non to Building a Prosperous Nation’’.
Speaking at the event which held virtually, Mr Akinjide Adeosun, AAF’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer of St. Rachael’s Pharmaceutical Nigeria Ltd., said the recognition of Lalude was is in line with the core mandate of the foundation.
The core mandate is based on the belief that life would be good for everyone if the nation gets leadership right in all spheres.
“Integrity is an essential building block to building a prosperous nation. Truthfulness, honesty, respect for people, hard work and humility are traits of Integrity.
“Many years ago, our awardee, Papa Olufemi Lalude, the first managing director of the Shell Nigeria Exploration & production Company SNEPCO was offered a bribe of 6 million dollars.
“The organisation that offered him the bribe moved against him. However, he refused to be cowed and stood his ground.
“He was sued with his employer but he triumphed. Lalude is a man of integrity, a rarity in our clime dwarfed by corruption and greed.
“Today, Papa at 81 is living a peaceful, joyous and fulfilled contented life.’’
He adds: “We are celebrating him today. He began his career with integrity as his legacy in mind.
“ We have many good people in Nigeria. We must celebrate them to dwarf the bad publicity the few bad people is giving our nation.”
In his presentation, Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State said that Nigeria would continue to find it difficult to grow without putting structures in place to strengthen openness, truthfulness and transparency in leadership.
According to him, the absence of a structure for checks and balances is likely to continue to stunt the growth of the country.
“There is a large trust gap between the citizens and leaders of this country due to lack of transparency on the part of the political class.
“When we talk about integrity in governance, it entails honesty, transparency and accountability in governance.
“Integrity is tied to prosperity of any nation in so many ways and as a leader, you have to be very honest,” he said.
The foundation called on leaders in government to drive patriotism and prosperity by upholding trust and demonstrating transparency.
Speakers at the event unanimously said that the nation had lost its old value system by embracing dishonorable practices and lack of accountability in all spheres across the family, school, business, government and society levels.
A communiqué was also issued which stressed that integrity and honesty remain the collective responsibility to save Nigeria.
Engineer Dr. Olufemi A. Lalude attended the Ibadan Grammar School (1952-1958) before proceeding to the University of Minnesota in the United States where he obtained B.Sc. (1962) and M.Sc. (1963) Mechanical Engineering. He subsequently proceeded to the University of California where he earned a Ph. D. in Engineering in 1969.
Between 1964 and 1969, Engineer Lalude worked as junior and later as Research Engineer at the College of Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles.
He also worked as part of a team that developed medium sized factories for the manufacture of ceramics, paper and electronic radios as part of the regional development plan for North-East Brazil.
Thereafter, he joined Bechtel Corporation in September, 1969 as a Senior Engineer on a design team working on a novel sodium-cooled fast breeder nuclear power plant planned for North-East Pennsylvania, United States.
Following his decision to return to Nigeria, he joined The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria in December, 1970 where he worked in various capacities and rose to become the first Nigerian to occupy the positions of Chief Engineer for the Eastern Division (1980 to 1982) and the Engineering Manager for the entire company from 1984 to 1989.
After a stint as General Manager of Shell’s Western Division(1989 to 1992) he was appointed as the first Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) which is now a major operating company in deep water offshore, and served until he retired in December 1996.
Since January 1997, he has co-founded with others Petrodata Management Services Ltd. (Currently serving as a Director) and Crestech (formerly Crestville) Engineering Ltd. (Serving as Chairman), served as a Director of Addax Petroleum Company and engaged in part-time engineering consultancy with Elkgrove Ventures Ltd.
Engr. Lalude is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, a past Chairman of the Mechanical Division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, (1994-1996). Honorary Member of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists, and a Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and has published several articles in learned journals.
He is a foundation Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering and was honoured with the Pathfinder Award for meritorious contributions to the development of the Nigerian Oil Industry.