The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mele Kyari has has mourned the death of the pioneer Managing Director of the Corporation, Festus Remi Ayodele Marinho.

In a statement on Tuesday, the NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Kennie Obateru,  stated that Marinho, was the first and only Managing Director of the defunct Nigerian National Oil Corporation (NNOC) – the forerunner of NNPC.

Orient Energy Review reports that Marinho was the only one who served twice as Group Managing Director of NNPC having served from 1977-1979 and 1984-1985 respectively.

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His last appointment was made by President Muhammadu Buhari as Head of State.

In a condolence message to the family of the late pioneer MD of NNPC, Mallam Kyari described Chief Marinho as “the Father of Oil & Gas Industry in Nigeria” because of the pioneering roles he played in the crafting of the institutional framework, infrastructural development and international best practices being used in the Corporation till date.

“His role in refinery and pipeline construction and human capacity development are all testimonies of his contribution to national development,” Kyari stated.

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He said Marinho’s visionary leadership provided the foundation for what has come to be known as “Nigerian content”, adding that his achievements in the Corporation would be a beacon and inspiration for many future generations of staff and leaders.

“He was indeed a rare gem and we will surely miss his wisdom and wealth of experience,” Kyari stated.

By Peace Obi

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