Late Festus Remi Ayodele Marinho
…Says his achievements will be beacon of inspiration for generations
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mele Kyari, has lamented the death of the pioneer Managing Director of the Corporation, Festus Remi Ayodele Marinho.
A press release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Kennie Obateru, stated that Marinho, who passed away was the first and only Managing Director of the defunct Nigerian National Oil Corporation, NNOC – the forerunner of NNPC – and the only one who served twice as Group Managing Director of NNPC having served from 1977-1979 and 1984-1985 respectively. His last appointment was made by President Muhammadu Buhari as Head of State.
In a condolence message to the family of the late NNPC boss, Kyari described Marinho as “the Father of Oil & Gas Industry in Nigeria” because of the pioneering roles he played in the crafting of the institutional framework, infrastructural development and international best practices being used in the Corporation till date.
“His role in refinery and pipeline construction and human capacity development are all testimonies of his contribution to national development,” Kyari stated.
He said Marinho’s visionary leadership provided the foundation for what has come to be known as “Nigerian content”, adding that his achievements in the Corporation would be a beacon and inspiration for many future generations of staff and leaders.
“He was indeed a rare gem and we will surely miss his wisdom and wealth of experience,” the GMD stated.
In a related development, the management of LEKOIL, the oil and gas exploration and production company with a focus on Nigeria and West Africa, announces the passing away of its pioneer Chairman, Festus Marinho earlier this week.
Marinho was a leading light in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry as he devoted his entire career to developing the industry which is today the mainstay of the economy. He served as pioneer Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, from 1977 to 1979 and served a second term between 1984 and 1985.
“Words will fail us to describe the enthusiasm and devotion exhibited by Chief Marinho while he served as Lekoil Chairman. Even after retirement from our Board, he remained a confidant and advisor to me personally. He will be sorely missed.,” Chief Executive Officer of Lekoil, Lekan Akinyanmi, said.
Marinho was Chairman of Lekoil between 2011 to 2013 and oversaw the groundwork of the company which has grown to become a major indegenious oil and gas industry player in West Africa.
“His insights and passion for industry growth will be sorely missed. We express our deepest condolences to his family,” Akinyanmi said.
Born on 30, December 1934 in Ijebu-Ode, Chief Marinho’s childhood was spent at the “Brazilian Quarters” of Lagos Island where he attended St. Gregory’s College.
In 1956, he matriculated into the University College, Ibadan, became a ’College Scholar’ in 1957 and graduated with Bachelor of Science (Special Honours) in Physics in 1960. He thereafter proceeded to Imperial College, London for post-graduate studies in Petroleum Reservoir Engineering from 1960 to 1961.
During his years of service, he contributed to drafting many of the legislations that continue to guide the oil and gas industry.
A devote Catholic, Marinho was recipient of numerous professional, social and religious awards, including the Papal knighthood of St. Sylvester.
He is survived by his wife, Yetunde Oreoluwa Marinho, 5 children, 14 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.