– Nigeria has lost one of its notable citizens, Festus Marinho, to the cold hands of death
– Marinho who was the pioneer Group Managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC died on Tuesday, January 19
– The deceased played a prominent role in the construction of some major oil refineries in the country, among other key achievements
Festus Marinho, the first Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is dead
According to The Cable, Marinho who was born on December 30, 1934, died Tuesday, January 19, at the age of 87.
Legit.ng gathers that the deceased was the first and only managing director of the defunct Nigerian National Oil Corporation (NNOC), the forerunner of the NNPC.
He was born at Ijebu-Ode in Ogun state and attended St. Gregory’s College Obalende, Lagos state.
The late former NNPC boss graduated with a bachelor of science (special honours) in physics from the University of London in 1960.
He then proceeded to Imperial College, London for post-graduate studies in petroleum reservoir engineering from 1960 to 1961.
He was also the only one who served twice as GMD of NNPC, having served from 1977-1979 and 1984-1985 respectively.
Achievements at NNPC
During his tenure, Marinho supervised the planning, construction and management of the three major refineries, depots and pipeline network that transverse the breadth of Nigeria.
After his tenure at the corporation, he played further background roles in the oil industry.
These include serving as alternate chairman of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited and the Bonny Gas Transport Company Ltd.
He also served in various capacities in the oil and gas industry, including former chairman of Lekoil Limited.
Life after public service
After his retirement from public service, Marinho bagged traditional chieftaincy titles, professional and religious awards including the papal knighthood of St. Sylvester.
Mallam Mele Kyari reacts
In his condolence message, Mele Kyari, current NNPC GMD, described Marinho as “father of oil and gas industry in Nigeria”.
The NNPC chief said:
“His role in refinery and pipeline construction and human capacity development are all testimonies of his contribution to national development.
“He was indeed a rare gem and we will surely miss his wisdom and wealth of experience.”
Meanwhile, about seven months ago, the immediate past GMD of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, also died.
He was 60 years old as at the time of his death and only two months away from his 61st birthday.
Baru’s death was announced via a tweet on Saturday, May 30, by Mele Kyari, the current GMD of the state-run oil company.