Profile of His Royalty Engr. OTIS ANYAEJI, KtSGG, FAEng Obi Onowu II n’Okija
Traditional Head of Ubahu Okija
President, West African Federation of Engineering Organisations
Vice President, Federation of African Engineering Organisations
HR OTIS ANYAEJI, a mechanical, automotive, plastic, cost and valuation Engineer, and strategic planner, was born on 4th March, 1951 in Onitsha, Anambra State. He entered the Holy Ghost Juniorate Ihiala, in 1962 with the aim of becoming a priest but had to withdraw at the end of that year. Between 1964 and 1971 (excluding the civil war years), he attended Christ the King College (CKC), Onitsha – primus inter pares, where the authorities record him as possessing an outstanding ability in mathematics. In June 1971, he obtained the West African School Certificate.
- Proceeding for the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in September 1971, he studied for and bagged the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in June 1976.
- From August 1976 to September 1977, Engr. Anyaeji served as NYSC Pupil Engineer with the Nigerian Railways at the Central Mechanical Workshops Ebute-Metta.
- After stints with Alecon Associates and Peugeot, the next experience station was Nigerian Airports Authority where he worked briefly in 1980 as Senior Mechanical Engineer for Maintenance, first in the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, and later the Maiduguri International Airport. It was from here he moved over to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in November 1980 as Mechanical Engineer 1.
- He became NNPC Site Representative on the Petrochemicals Phase 1 Projects Ekpan/Warri. This entailed at a time overseeing up to 4,500 personnel on site working for NNPC, the Managing Consultant (BEICIP of France), the Engineering Contractors (TECNIMONT of Italy, and LUMMUS of UK and France), the Civil Works Contractor (DAEWOO of South Korea) etc.
- Engr. Anyaeji left NNPC to found the Consulting Engineering and Management Consulting outfit – OTIS CONSULT LTD/OTIS ENGINEERING.
- From March 1990 – July 1993, Engr. Anyaeji served as Deputy Chairman of the Standing Technical Committee on the Nigerian Automotive Industry (STC), with the Hon. Minister of Industry as Chairman. During this period, he midwifed the establishment of the Center for Automotive Design and Development, Zaira, acting in the capacity of Chairman, Low Cost Vehicle Project Committee. The National Automotive Policy approved by the Federal Executive Council in 1993 was drafted under his Chairmanship. Subsequently, Mr. President appointed him on merit as founding Chairman of the National Automotive Council (NAC) which the policy created to replace STC. During his brief tenure as Chairman NAC (up until August 1994 when all Federal Boards were dissolved), he established the magazine – AUTO NIGERIA, gazetted a Federal Government Circular directing all Federal, State and Local Governments and Agencies to buy only Made-in-Nigeria vehicles, oversaw the establishment of the Council Secretariat, and initiated the commencement of the implementation of the National Automotive Policy.
- As the Chairman of the Technical Committee of the Board of the Center for Automotive Design and Development, Engr. Anyaeji supervised the R&D activities of the Center up to the completion of the design work on the CADD Mark I Low Cost Vehicle Model. Before this assignment, he was a member of the National Committee on Engineering Infrastructures working with the Engineering Materials Sub-committee, and the marketing of the committee’s report with Various Publics. In 1996, he served as Chairman of the Raw Material Research and Development Council’s Multi-disciplinary Task Force for the Techno-Economic Survey on Motor Vehicles and Miscellaneous Sector which successfully updated the 1989 Report on the same subject. He produced in 1997 as an invited Resource Person, a strategic plan for the Review of the 1986 National Policy on Science and Technology.
- He is a UNIDO expert on Automotives and has served as Chairman of UNIDO sponsored Nigerian Low Cost Vehicle Foundation. In November 2015, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) invited him as a Resource Person on the Workshop on the Development of the Automotive Industry in West Africa (Lagos, December 2015) with the mandates to prepare and present the documentary review of all national import policies as well as regulations, and preparation of plan for establishment of an integrated automotive industry in West Africa, amongst others.
- A 14-time recipient of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (1988, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2011×2, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019) Merit Award, and Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (1997) Service Award. Engr. Anyaeji is a member of several learned professional societies associated with advancement of engineering. They include, the Automotive & Locomotive Engineers Institute (Auto EI), the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), the Nigerian Society of Engineers NSE), the Institute of Appraisers and Cost Engineers (IA&CE) and the Energy Institute (UK). He founded IA&CE (2001) and Auto EI (2006) both Divisions of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.
- He was elected Secretary General of the Nigerian Society of Engineers in December 1988 and was subsequently re-elected for two more terms. Engr. Anyaeji was Chairman, Institute of Appraisers & Cost Engineers (2003-2010) and Chairman, Automotive Engineers’ Institute (2006 – 2011). Engr. Anyaeji was elected Vice-President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2013, he was elected Deputy President/President-Elect of NSE. Engr. Anyaeji assumed the Presidency of NSE on 1st January, 2016. He served as Vice President of West African Federation of Engineering Organisations (WAFEO) from 2012-2017. Engr. Anyaeji became President of WAFEO in November 2017, concurrently serving as Vice President of Federation of African Engineering Organisations (FAEO). A member of the Governing Council of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), he was the pioneer Chairman of COREN’s Regulation and Control Committee (1990-1992), and later became Vice President of COREN (2015 – 16). He recently served out his 3rd term in the Governing Council of COREN.
- As member of COREN Governing Board, and Chairman of COREN’s Regulation & Control Committee, Engr. Anyaeji established the Regulations & Control Committee (1991), prepared the schedule of Man-day/ Man-week/ and Man-month remuneration rates (2015); prepared the draft regulations for licensing of firms (2015), draft construction industry regulations (2016), draft engineering appraisal/valuation regulations (2017), draft engineering economy regulations (2017), and draft cost engineering regulations (2017). These regulations have been passed by the Hon. Minister with responsibility for Engineering in Nigeria since 2018. These are the first regulations to emerge from COREN since 1970.
- In 2019, the Anambra State Government appointed him Chairman of the State’s Committee on Power.
- In philanthropy, Engr. Anyaeji in 2014, donated a fully-equipped metrology laboratory to the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), Ekiti State. The official commissioning was held in May 2015. Subsequently that year, Engr. Anyaeji and his amiable and supportive wife endowed a Research Chair in the University of Port Harcourt, which in their honour has been christened ‘Nkechi & Otis Anyaeji “Distinguished Professorial Chair” in Engineering Valuation, Engineering Economy and Cost Engineering’.
- In recognition of Engr. Anyaeji’s contributions to the growth of The Nigerian Society of Engineers Maitama Branch, and by extension the Engineering profession, the Branch instituted in 2015, the annual Distinguished Lecture series in his honour.
- Engr. Anyaeji is a recipient of more than 300 awards and 18 Fellowships, including
- Fellow, Nigerian Academy of Engineering;
- Fellow, Nigerian Society of Engineers,
- Fellow, Automotive Engineers’ Institute;
- Following passionate calls for higher community service by his kinsmen, Engr. Anyaeji accepted his nomination for the Obiship of Ubahu, thus becoming Obi Onowu II n’Okija (the traditional head of Ubahu – Okija).
- His Royalty Otis Anyaeji, knighted by Pope Francis in December 2015 as Knight of St. Gregory the Great, is also a Knight of St. Mulumba. He is happily married to HR Dame Nkechi Anyaeji DSGG, Ugoeze (nee Chukwuemeka, an Administrator) also a Dame of St. Gregory the Great, and they are blessed with four children and two grand-children.