Shell Nigeria has commended the effort of a foremost entrepreneur and beneficiary to document the truth in a book that would soon be released to the public.
The book, ‘Push Through the Wall…Way of Success’, the Story of a Resolute Maverick, was presented to the Managing Director/Country Chair of Shell, Osagie Okunbor, at the Shell Residential Area (Shell RA) on Aba Road in Port Harcourt last week.
Osunbor was represented by the General Manager (External Relations), Igo Weli, who said only a few beneficiaries open up to the many things that Shell Nigeria has done to boost human capital development in the country.
He commended Membere-Otaji who was the subject of the book (biography) which chronicled his 65 years so far on earth. The book took time to mention the periods that Membere-Otaji’s companies did business with Shell and the grant that his hospital group secured that helped to establish one of the most sophisticated hospitals in the Niger Delta which actually is the multi-specialty Signature Wing of the Princess Medical Centre in Trans-Amadi area of Port Harcourt.
The hospital has state-of-the art facilities and is a floating centre in the sense that it can network its diagnosis and treatments with its affiliates (the best) around the world. It is believed that by the presence of this specialist medical centre, most cases flown out of the oil region to foreign countries would no longer be necessary.
Membere-Otaji’s maritime company, Elschon, was documented in the book to have executed jobs for the IOC over the years, a business relationship that also helped to build up one of the most successful indigenous companies in Nigeria.
The Shell MD thus observed that more books detailing the true impact of the IOC over the decades would help put the role of the company in perspective in a region where only negative stories seem to be peddled about oil companies.
It is on record that Shell companies and investments have played a pioneering role in onshore, shallow and deepwater oil exploration and production. Shell has also been at the forefront of gas development, producing and delivering gas to domestic consumers and export markets for over 40 years.
Shell and partners including GroFin of South Africa also established a $30m fund branded Aspire Nigeria to serve as a catalyst for the development and growth of Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The Fund has helped many including Membere-Otaji’s the Princess group.
Shell through schemes as LIVEwire has trained and empowered over 5000 businesses in Nigeria. Shell has also given scholarships to hundreds of thousands of Nigerian scholars.
Weli, speaking on behalf of Okunbor, commended the book subject (Membere-Otaji) for chronicling his story to inspire and motivate others.
The Shell official also commended Membere-Otaji for including the mutually beneficial relationships that existed between Shell Nigeria and his companies in the book. Shell demanded for copies of the book for the various Shell libraries and for the Port Harcourt Library currently being renovated by Shell.
Membere-Otaji, a Unilag-trained medical expert, was once the Rivers State Commissioner of Health. He was also the special adviser to then Gov Peter Odili on Investment apart from also being two-time chairman of the West Africa Glass Industry (WAGI), the youngest ever.
At the presentation, the Kalabari chief said the book was sponsored by him through the ‘Dr. Emi Membere-Otaji Foundation’ with Godwin O. Orovwiroro as the principal story writer.
He told the Shell officials that the book project was initiated from feedbacks his Emi’s mentees, journalists that had interviewed him, and the many people that he has had opportunity to lead over the years both in private and public sectors. He said reviews were done by the Lt General, Kenneth Minimah (Rtd.), the former Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, and many other prominent Nigerians, the Amanyanabo of Bonny, the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Holding, and many more.