Prince Engr. Abidoye Ayoola, MON, FNSE
Born on the 22nd of November 1947 to the Royal House of Ibapala Agunbiade of Ajaawa, Ogbomoso, Oyo state, Engineer Abidoye Ayoola attended Ogbomoso Grammar School, where he obtained a division 1 WASC in December 1965. Thereafter, he gained admission to the prestigious University of Lagos, Yaba, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1970. By June 1975, he obtained the Masters of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of South-western Louisiana, Lafayette, LA, USA.
Immediately after graduation, he was promptly grabbed by the former Gulf Oil Company Nigeria Limited where he worked as a Petroleum Engineer in various capacities in drilling, reservoirs and oil and gas production operations from 1970 – 1973. In 1974, he continued with Gulf Oil Company (U.S.) in Lafayette, Louisiana, United States of America where he had responsibilities for well drilling and work over programs; production facilities design and maintenance programs; and reservoir performance tests and evaluation. From 1975 – 1979, he served as an Application Engineer in Solar Turbines International Company, San Diego, California, United States of America where he shouldered the responsibilities for:
- designing, building and testing of gas turbines, compressors, pumps and generator packages;
- pipeline and power systems analysis;
- optimizations relevant to the sizing, configuration of gas compressors, pumps, generators, pipelines and power lines; and
- preparation of specifications and bids proposals.
On account of the unusual professionalism and the high integrity he displayed in the execution of his responsibilities, Solar Turbines appointed him, in 1977, the Manager – in – charge of its business in the West African District to oversee all its turbo machinery business in Nigeria, Cameroon, Zaire, Gabon, Ivory Coast, and Angola, reporting directly to the company’s Eastern Hemispheres Office in London.
In 1980, he took the bold step of disengaging his services from Solar Turbines to set up his own Equipment and Engineering Services Company. Over the years, the company has flourished into conglomerates: Negris Limited, a foremost company in equipment, procurement and construction, commissioning and maintenance of gas turbines and related rotating equipment services; Energy Company Nigeria Limited (ENCON) which provides power generation, power transmission and power distribution and independent power plants services; Okipp Limited which is engaged in the production of news print and allied products; and All – Seasons Property Company Limited, a property development company.
Operating as a value driven Company in the last thirty years, the Negris Group as detailed above has employed over six hundred employees (men and women) with forty percent of this figure or two hundred and forty making up Engineering and Technical Manpower Competencies of the Group. Projecting for a five year period, the Negris investment company through the vehicle of OKIPP would be employing about five thousand employees with an estimated thirty percent of this figure to serve in Engineering and Technical capacities. The Negris Group has been a training platform for a good number of engineering professionals who now run their own Engineering Companies; while others occupy strategic positions in many other Engineering enterprises.
Engineer Ayoola, a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers and Nigerian Institute of Town Planners is a patron of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers Foundation. He has been honoured with: the Doctorate of Technology by LAUTECH, Ogbomosho; Chairmanship of the Governing Council of the Polytechnic Ibadan. the distinguished alumnus of the University of Lagos; and John Wesley Knighthood of the Methodist Church of Nigeria.
In recognition of his immense contributions to the growth and progress of Nigeria, Engineer Ayoola has been decorated with the Member of the Order of Niger (MON).
Engineer Ayoola has been happily married to Olulanu Ayoola (nee Oyemade) since 1972.