In a recent study conducted by Perri Precious, a Development Consultant and Research Staff at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, titled; “The Roles of the Nigerian Youths in Nation Building: Challenges”, the author had insisted that the role of the youth in the nation building is a crucial one.
The youth, Perri argued, have the ability to create an identity for themselves and move their nation forward even in a hostile, discouraging and cruel environment like ours. In the face of this hostility, some youths have been able to distinguish themselves both in personal development, education, training and immeasurable contribution to their country. One of these youths making great exploits and giant strides in their walks of life is our own intellectually radiant virtuoso, agropreneur, administrator, and an oil and gas specialist, Hon. Engineer Michael Ogbuekwe.
Engineer Mike, a certified Member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (MNSE) and Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), garbed himself with required knowledge and training to do uncommon exploits both in the private sector and public service. His story could be summarized as ‘Gifted Hands’ as titled by Dr Ben Carson’s bestselling book.
After his secondary school education at the College of St. Joseph, Vom, Plateau State, Mike proceeded to the prestigious University of Nigeria, where he bagged a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Engr Mike Ogbuekwe is currently the Adviser to Governor of Enugu State on Agriculture. Prior to this, Engr Ogbuekwe was the Director General, Project Management and Monitoring Office, Anambra State Government. He served with Governor Willie Obiano in various capacities in Anambra State Government from 2014 to 2019 as: a Member of the Anambra State Economic Think Tank, Senior Special Assistant on Agriculture to the Governor of Anambra State, Secretary of the Anambra State Land Acquisition and Mediation Team; Head, POS Internally Generated Revenue Supervising Team, Secretary of Anambra State Agriculture Transformation Implementation Team, Member of Roads Design Review Committee, and Secretary of Standards and Modernization Committee.
While serving as the Secretary, Anambra State Agriculture Transformation Implementation Team, the State was able to implement its agricultural blueprint which helped farmers boost their production compared with previous years. This strategy encouraged influx of youths into agriculture. This, by implication, meant more employment and economic development.
As Secretary to the Anambra State Land Acquisition and Mediation Team, the government was able to acquire land from communities without glitch to meet the surging demand for land by investors for large scale commercial agriculture.
In October 2019, Hon. Mike was welcomed to his home state by Rt. Hon. Dr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, hence, his appointment as Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture and Focal Person, Enugu State Non-Oil Export Program.
With the Governor’s mentorship and guidance, he started the Agribusiness Hub. Through this programme, lots of youths have been trained in packaging and marketing agro-products as a way of earning a living along the value of chain of agriculture. Enugu State has also branded and started marketing the Coal City Rice, an indigenous brand that aims to aggregate and expand the economics around rice production in the state. Other products trademarked for organized marketing are Enugu Garri, Enugu Honey, Nsukka Pepper, Enugu Palm Oil, Enugu Cashew and Enugu Okro.
Upon graduation from the university, Engr Ogbuekwe served his country in the NYSC programme and was retained as a Business Development Officer for Intercontinental Bank PLC between 2007 and 2008.
He however resigned from the bank and joined Baker Hughes Incorporated, a multinational oil and gas service corporation, where he rose rapidly to the position of a Field Engineer- General. He was one of the selected few globally that tested the field workability of new technologies developed by Baker Hughes in Houston, USA by applying practical field knowledge to product development.
Mike, as a global citizen, has acquired some technical and professional trainings in different parts of the world. In 2008, he attended the Intercontinental Bank Training School in Ofada, South Western Nigeria. Afterwards, on joining Baker Hughes, he enrolled at the Baker Hughes Engineering Academy in Aberdeen, United Kingdom. Thereafter in 2012, had a follow up course at the Baker Hughes Engineering Academy in Houston, United States thereby attaining proficiency in Oil Well Drilling/Logging While Drilling LWD.
He was also in Paris, France, for the Field Engineer Development Program Geo-market Review which ultimately qualified him as a Field Engineer- General.
In 2016, Mike went to the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), South Korea, for a technical course in Developing Economies of Rural Communities, a training which has deepened his passion for developing the youths and our rural communities.
Between 2017 and 2020, Engineer Mike enrolled at the Lagos Business School and Enugu State University of Science and Technology Executive Business School for a course in Non-Oil Export Development and bagged his MBA in the respective institutions.
Hon Engr Mike Ogbuekwe has distinguished himself as a young man with competence and requisite experience to show exemplary leadership and administration to the youths of Nigeria.