Professor Okeke Gerald Ndubuisi bares his mind and speaks about global climate change & remedies in an exclusive interview with Hotmedia.ng.
Hotmedia.ng – Tell Me The Journey Of Your Successful Career.
Prof Okeke Gerald Ndubuisi – The journey of my life has been with so many obstacles, especially, during my childhood days. I lost my father in 1981to the cold hands of death. My father was in the mortuary when my JAMB result came out, but there was no one to foot my academic bills. After my father’s burial, I was told to go and learn a handwork as a mechanic, after which my late sister Angela ( may her soul rest in peace) would be betrothed to an elderly man in marriage. Her supposed dowry was to be used to buy mechanic tools and pay for a store rent to enable me practice my trade. It was then that it dawned on me that I may not realize the burning academic ambition in me. So , I had
to leave the village for Lagos to join my mother’s younger brother ( Mr Julius Emefo) who took good care of me and enrolled me into school of Journalism at Ijaiye, Ogba in Lagos State. I joined a popular security company then named Vanni International security, as a security guard.
So what I do is to study during day time and turn to security guard at night.
It was a very pathetic, harrowing and terrific experience for me. During morning hours, you would see traces of mosquito bites all over my body. It was a nightmarish experience I would not forget in a hurry.
When I finished my Diploma program, the hunger for more academic heights was still burning in me, so I continued without looking back till I got married in 1992.
No one in my immediate family could give account of how I acquired all the academic laurels that are obviously celebrated today. All doxologies to the Almighty GOD, who kept and preserved me till today . I did not allow my father’s death to rock my academic ambitions. As at today, I have 2 post graduate degrees, 1 Masters degree, 2 doctorate degrees and presently pursing my third doctorate degree. I equally have one honorarium doctorate degree bestowed on me by United Nations POLAC as a Peace Ambassador.
Hotmedia.ng – You Worked In An Oil And Gas Company For So Many Years, How Does It Connect To What You Do Currently?
Prof Okeke Gerald Ndubuisi : I am still working in the oil & gas industry and still lecturing on part time basis. I have just few years to quit the oil & gas industry. I have spent close to 34 years in the oil & gas industry as Health , Safety & Environmental Specialist.
The oil & gas industry has prepared me seriously to face some challenges as I shall soon veer into full time lecturing. I am going to impart the knowledge I garnered these years from the oil & gas industry into the youths or students that I lecture.
Safety & Environment is the real deal now all over the world, so I would advise parents and guardians to allow their wards to pursue full time courses on Safety & Environment at tertiary level.
Hotmedia.ng – Any Challenges Encountered Since You Took Your Current Position?
Prof Okeke Gerald Ndubuisi – Of course there are challenges here and there. But I don’t see them as challenges, I see them as ” joyful troubles”, cause it would help you to advance and expose you to new things which apparently would tingle and excite your intellectual capacity and would ultimately, bring out the best in you.
Since I received my full professorial seat, I have been inundated with calls from prospective students on the best way to veer into safety & environment.
Another thing worthy of mention here is that many media houses look for me to talk in their radio and television stations. At times, I see myself as a beautiful bride being wooed by media houses and I enjoy it a lot. At this juncture, I must appreciate the entire crew of DRTV Delta state for giving me my real first baptism of fire in broadcast journalism. I must equally appreciate our general Const Supts ( Engr Henry Ohondor & his alternate Engr Uche Ajero ) . I must mention my direct Supts ( Fidelis Owunna & Bosun Ajayi for their encouragements . Finally i must appreciate my direct bosses ( Sanusi Adebayo & Mike Ogunbor) for always being there for me.
Hotmedia.ng – In Your Field What Are The Achievements You Have Made So Far?
Prof Okeke Gerald Ndubuisi – I have made some remarkable achievements in my chosen profession in the oil & gas industry, spanning over a period of 34 years. The achievements in Safety & Environment could be summed up as follows:
Clocked 5 million manhours without any recordable incident or LTI @ Franti Nig Ltd, NISSCO, ETC.
Trained close to 5,000 students in the higher institutions in Nigeria on pro bono basis during students Engineering week, e.g., Auchi Polytechnic, Ambrose Ali University, Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun.
Trained close to 2750 members of some churches on basics of Domestic Safety Awareness (Pro bono services).
Have been running a Radio & Television program titled “Safety & Environment Corner” at Delta Broadcasting Services, Edjeba, Warri.
Have written a lot of research papers on Safety & Environment, which students in higher institutions of learning use a reference point for their academic works eg – Causes & Consequences of Accidents in the Oil & Gas Industry, Global Climate Change a view on our Environment.
Safety Orientation: A gateway to Accident Prevention & increased productivity in all sectors of the economy.
Carbon Footprints: The implications on health & local economy .
Biological hazards associated with electromagnetic radiation, etc.
•Other initiatives/ achievements/milestones are as follows:
Won the Best Behavioral Safety award (BBS) in Chevron, 2004.
Won Best HSE Officer award from Noble Drilling MD, USA, in 2001.
Won award during ACI Conference at Accra Ghana on a paper I presented titled “Global Climate Change: A View in our Environment in 2019.
Awarded Safeer Ambassador plenipotentiary by World Safety Organization in USA.
Won an award as Best TV/ Radio program from DRTV, Warri.
Written a book on “Basics of Industrial Safety – Volume1.
The importance of Tailgate meetings . Etc
Hotmedia.ng – You Lecture On Climate Change, How Do We Create A More Friendly Environment For Ourselves?
Prof Okeke Gerald Ndubuisi and –
Yes dear, I lectured on global climate and implications of carbon footprints during the last African Environmental conference that took place at Best Western Hotels, Ikoyi on the 2nd of December, 2021.
One of the best ways of creating a more friendly environment is to reduce the emission of carbons.
Secondly, we should desist from deforestation and encouraging afforestation and planting of more trees around our environment. Man has apparently betrayed the marriage of alliance that exists between us. We cut the trees and mangroves with reckless abandon and this has invariably plunged us into serious environmental quagmire.
So we need to start doing something humanly possible to ameliorate the deplorable state we have plunged mother earth into.
Go the the book of Deutronomy , chapter 19 verse 20. You will see how GOD admonished the Israelites not to put ax on the trees cause they are the source of life.
But the question is this, why are we messing up the environment? Look at the importance the Creator of the universe bestowed on trees, but man has apparently failed in this regard.
So we must go back to the drawing board and return mother nature to its proper place. Though this may not be totally achieved, but we should to talk about the anthropogenic activities of man on planet earth.
Proper waste management cum segregation is another way of creating a healthy environment around us. Wastes should be properly handled from cradle to grave.
Hotmedia.ng – You Also Spoke On Reduced Levels Of Green House Emissions For A Cooler Climate, Can You Share More Light ?
Prof Okeke Gerald Ndubuisi – Yes, we need to reduce the levels of green house emissions. The green house or carbon emissions is causing serious collateral damage to planet earth. The chlorofluorocarbons and other gases are contributes to high temperature rise that is presently ravaging the entire globe. We should start talking about less carbon emissions , just like what we had during the last Cop26 conference.
Hotmedia.ng – As An Environmentalist What Can You Say About Our Environment And How Do We Get Cleaner environment?
Prof Okeke Gerald Ndubuisi – As an Environmentalist, we are not doing the right things. Our anthropogenic activities is causing us so much pains and we are paying dearly for the price of our inexperience.
If you move around Lagos and other major cities in Nigeria, you would be greeted by heap of wastes all over. The only city or state capital that is leaving up to expectation for now is Cross River State. The reason is that the Governor of Cross River State ( Prof Ben Ayade ) is a sound professional Environmentalist. He understands the importance of protecting the environment and that is the reason why , you will be greeted with trees and green vegetation as you enter and move around Calabar city. Other states of the federation should emulate the good works of Prof Ayade on the environment. My own state, which is Imo state comes second in this aspect of environmental clean up and green vegetation. We should discourage indiscriminate burning of bushes and other unwholesome activities around our environment. During this yuletide period now, you would definitely see bushes burning, which is the handiwork of vandals and miscreants.
Finally, the government should come up with serious enlightenment campaign about protecting the environment. Govt should as a matter of urgency reduce the price of cooking gas as a way or reducing carbon emissions. People are now resorting to use of firewood to cook because they can no longer afford the price of cooking gas which is soaring to the sky.
Hotmedia.ng – All Around Us Are Companies Producing Harmful Gasseous Emissions, How Do We Reduce This From Our Environment And How Do You Think These Companies Can Create A Safer Environment For People Around?
Prof Okeke Gerald Ndubuisi -You are correct. A lot of companies and factories are producing carbon emissions on daily basis.
If you go to some flow stations, you would see the flaring of gas which should have been turned into real use and generated money to our national economy.
MOCs and industries should emulate companies like Chevron, ExxonMobil and Total elfina ,etc.
Now in Chevron, we have the EGTL ( Escravos Gas to Liquid) project, where natural gas is compressed into liquid and sold to generate more income to this nation. Flaring is almost a thing of the past in Chevron. Chevron cares much about the environment and that is why I would advise you to.visit the Lekki conservation park or garden. ExxonMobil on their part are doing really good in the reduction of carbon emissions with about few MOCs in this nation.
Other companies, factories and industries should emulate the Chevron way of protecting the environment.
Secondly, the regulatory bodies should up their game by making companies or factories that continues generated carbon footprints or emissions in excess to pay heavily for it. This would go a long way to make other companies, factories or industries to sit up and reduce carbon emissions in our environment.
Of recent, we have been receiving complaints from Port Harcourt axis about sooth that is pervading the atmosphere on daily basis. Sooth is unburned hydrocarbons coming out in the form of sooth . At times it contains benzene which is very lethal to our health, and this is what some people breathe in on daily basis around the environment.
Hotmedia.ng – Being A Busy Person, How Do You Create A Balance Between Your Personal Life, Family And Work?
Prof Okeke Gerald Ndubuisi – My brother, busy is an understatement. At times, I forget about eating food because I want to achieve one goal or the other, unless I am severely battered and mesmerized by hunger. Hahahaha.
My wife will at times shut down my computer and drag me to the ” other room” for safety reasons.
But I have been coping somehow with this busy schedule. Once in a while, I take my family out and spoil them a little. I am a very lucky man with a wonderful wife, married for about 29 years or probably going to 30 years now. I am happily married to Dr Mrs Ngozi Gift Ndubuisi ( a retired Shell staff) and blessed with two lovely twin daughters – Chioma Melody ( Banker / Hollywood diva) and Dr Marvellous Chimgozirim ( a medical doctor and Oncologist Specialist). Then I have my troublesome ” girlfriend ” Miss Amanda Fumfum who happens to be my last daughter and the charismatic Ezeafulukwe 1 of Obowo – King Davidgerald Ebube himself. I am a complete family man and firm believer of ” democracy of the stomach”, which is three square nourished meals a day Hahahaha.
Hotmedia.ng – What Are Your Hobbies?
Prof Okeke Gerald Ndubuisi – My hobbies are football, writing and reading.
I love to watch football matches a lot. My favorite team is Enyimba football club Aba.