It was a Yoruba Poet who, in describing the late Moshood Kashimawo Ologundudu Abiola in the superlatives, said when rich men choose to play the ‘game of handshaking’ only a few among them would draw out their hands to shake the subject matter’s hand. That was complete communication as any listener knew what the stuff of Abiola’s wealth was. And it was several years before Nigerians got to know the MKO identity.
In engineering and among Nigerian engineers, they know themselves. Only a few would draw out their hands to shake a few when the chips are down and the game is one of ‘handshaking’.
Many in that class however did not live to old age. In fact, it was Ayodele Awojobi I was profiling in year 1999 when I ran into the name of Edet James Amana because they both, being the earliest Nigerians, made outstanding grades, the former in post graduate work and the latter in first class of Bachelors in engineering of Imperial College, London.
The big boys in engineering are however now living into old age. And if you want a roll-call, go to the Nigerian Academy of Engineering where the average age is still higher than seventy. A few weeks ago, the children of Olawale Adeniji Ige rolled out the drums. Today the children of Edet James Amana are rolling out too.
I do not know about you but I will be there today to celebrate the iconic engineer at 80.
In 1972, Engr Dr Edet James Amana set up Amana Consulting Engineers. Over its first 15-year period, the firm handled the design and construction of projects valued at about $2bn. The engineering services division held services for A.W. Chesterton of Boston, and Hewlett Packard among the top names. In 1981 a joint venture was set up with Earth Technology Corporation of California for geotechnical and geophysical surveying and mapping. Another venture involving Israeli interests covered architectural planning. At its peak, the company employed 30 engineers, including 10 expatriates. From 1980, the group began to develop rubber farms and also established a rubber processing venture. The group is also involved in insurance brokerage and trading in supply for the oil industry. Investments were also made in banking, publishing and property.
Engr Edet Amana was a founding director of Citibank Nigeria Limited and served on the board of that bank from 1985 to 2010.
Today he is the chairman of Amana Group of Companies and he is EIGHTY YEARS old.
He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers; Fellow Nigerian Institute of Management; Fellow International Institute of Directors; Past President of the Association of Consulting Engineering in Nigeria, Fellow and Past President, Nigerian Academy of Engineering.
An Officer of the Order of the Niger; a Knight of John Wesley and recipient of Doctor of Science DSc (Honoris Causa) of University of Uyo.
At the Event today his biography “SOJOURN of PROVIDENCE, Sir Edet Amana @ 80”, and the Edet Amana Foundation will be launched.
Oga, Happy birthday sir.