In Honour of Pat Utomi @ 50

The man, Pat Utomi; (c) Google Images The man, Pat Utomi; (c) Google Images“Whoever compiles any list of Nigeria’s most authentic role models and refuses to include the name of Dr. Patrick Okedinachi Utomi simply wants to team up with those who quarrel with success… If you have ever read a newspaper or watched television, you must know Prof. Pat Utomi… Those who have encountered him say he can motivate you to walk through a wall and listening to him is like listening to a sage…”
— Sun Newspapers

Mentorship. Leadership. Next Generation… If those words mean anything to you, then you will understand why it is important to celebrate Nigeria’s best while they are with us. Pat Utomi needs no introduction. From discussions and newspaper pages to boardrooms and your living room (through the television), he brings his wealth of wisdom to bear on issues such as entrepreneurship, mentorship for young Nigerians, good governance and upholding the common good.

A fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria and a senior Faculty of the Lagos Business School (Pan African University), Prof. Patrick Okedinachi Utomi is a Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director of the Centre for Applied Economics at the Lagos Business School. He has served in senior positions in government, as an Adviser to the President of Nigeria (at the age of 27); the Private Sector, as Chief Operating Officer for Volkswagen of Nigeria; and in academia. He is the author of several management and public policy books including the award-winning “Managing Uncertainty: Competition and Strategy in Emerging Economies”. His academic background covers a range from Policy Economics, Business Administration, and Political Science to Mass Communication. As an entrepreneur he has founded or co-founded companies that are active in fields including financial services, ICT, and media. Among the 16 boards on which he serves as Chairman are Platinum Bank Limited (now Platinum-Habib Bank, following the banking consolidation exercise), Leapfrog Venture Partners, BusinessDay Media Ltd, Graceland (the New Jersey, USA, Chocolate manufacturer), and Arivia.Kom Nigeria, the subsidiary of the South African IT Group.[1]

Prof. Utomi is married (with five children) to Dr. Linda Ifeoma Utomi, a consultant orthodontist and member of the Faculty of the College of Medicine, Lagos University Teaching Hospital. A look at the life of this distinguished son of the nation and tall citizen of the world reveals that no one — except maybe you — can stop you from attaining to the heights you so much desire! This year (on the 6th of February), Pat Utomi turns 50. It is instructive to note that in these days that Nigeria — and Nigerians — are coming to terms with the need for exemplary leadership, mentorship for young people and elevating the common good above self interest, honouring individuals such as Prof. Pat Utomi go way beyond individual celebration.

Scheduled to hold the day before Pat Utomi turns 50, a forum has been put together with young people in mind — with the hope that Nigeria’s youth will have the opportunity to learn from the life of this mentor of mentors, and also join hands in weaving a New Nigeria (one that we can all proudly call home). Details of the event follow:

Lead Speaker:
Prof Eghosa Osaghae, Vice Chancellor, Igbinedion University

Panelists:
Segun Adeniyi, Hon Chris Asoluka, Niyi Adesanya and ‘Gbenga Sesan

Theme:
“Advancing the Course of Democracy and Rule of Law in Nigeria: Beyond a Messianic Agenda”

Venue:
Resource Centre, Anifowoshe street, Victoria Island, Lagos

Date:
Sunday, February 5, 2006

Time:
2pm prompt (Guests must be seated by 1:45pm)

Meanwhile, other activities that have been designed in celebration of Prof. Pat Utomi include:

24th January:
Special edition of Patito’s Gang (“Leadership, Mentorship and the Next Generation”), with the panel led by Rueben Abati, and featuring ‘Gbenga Sesan, Linus Okorie, Niyi Adesanya, Fela Durotoye, Lanre Kupoluyi and Taiwo Akerele;

31st January:
Readings from the book, “Why Nations are Poor,” at the Lagos Business School cafetaria (from 3pm to 5pm) by Prof. Pat Utomi, Doyin Salami, and others;

4th February:
Thanksgiving Mass at the Church of Assumption, Falomo (2pm). Mass will be co-celebrated by Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie and the Archbishop of the Owerri Catholic Diocese;

6th February:
Center for Values in Leadership 3rd annual lecture and book presentation (“Why Nations are Poor”) at 11am. Venue will be the Nigerian Institute for International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island.

[1] Culled (with adaptations) from http://www.whartonglobal.com/wgbf2003/africa/pat_utomi.asp

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