Engineer Femi Ariba an entrepreneur par excellence
Engineer Femi Ariba is a confident and enthusiastic professional team player with wide range of experience in the oil and gas industry. He was the special advisor on procurement and subcontracts for Amec Contractors (West Africa); one of the world’s leading Engineering, Project management and Consultancy Company and currently plays the same role for The National Engineering and Technology Company (NETCO) subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum on the Major Integrity Projects for Mobil Producing Nigeria.
Engineer Femi Ariba is an effective manager, with a track record of executing specific objectives and achieving deadlines under pressure. A recent encounter with Engr. Ariba at his sixty fourth birthday celebrations reveals a man imbued with deep humility, but beneath the humble disposition is a radiance and depth of knowledge which leaves no one in doubt of his intellectual and business acumen.Femi as he is fondly called is an accomplished Engineer, entrepreneur and trainer who have used his vast knowledge and experience to the benefit of the country. Though he retired from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation at a very young age, his contributions to the industry is unequalled.
Engr. Ariba is endowed with rich educational and professional affiliations with a Master of Science in Gas Engineering from the University Salford, UK; Diploma in Petroleum Economic & Gas Mgt, Oxford University, UK and Diploma in Mining Engineering Technology, Hailbury School of Mines, Ontario, Canada. He is a member of several professional bodies including Certified Member, Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply Mgt of Nigeria; Member, American Society of Mining Engineers; Member, Nigerian Society of Engineers and Member, Institute of Management Consultants.
On how he feels on attaining the age of sixty four, Femi expressed gratitude to God and responded that ‘physically I feel no difference; psychologically I feel stronger and more stable; mentally I feel more focused. There is a sudden realization when you get to a certain age that you must know what you are doing in life. The realization will make you become more determined in your cause, more unbending in your resolve to do what you are doing. I have the resolve that I should be more focused and serious in my calling because it has defined my existence on earth. You can start something like a child’s play either as a craftsman or an artist and before you know it, you assume a larger than life character and it becomes your stamp on earth. If you have cut a good image for yourself, then it will be better to maintain and sustain the tempo and make it worth your while’
When accosted that it is getting increasingly difficult to do business in Nigeria due to the current economic situation, the unassuming entrepreneur par excellence who has distinguished himself in the field opined that we are in dire stress and I see further deindustrialization if things remain the way they are. ‘The government needs to do more to invite more private investment in infrastructure. We need to actively motivate additional investment in power (ie build new gas plants,) transportation, roads and communication so that the current infrastructure deficit can be dealt with. I believe the only way to improve consumer purchasing power is to attract new businesses and investments as they will create jobs. The environment has become so tensed up and the way out is for us to imbibe the spirit of good governance/accountability, doing the right political/constitutional issues, getting the police working effectively to curb crime, and create more opportunities for employment to be able to reduce poverty’.
What else can be written about Engr. Ariba, a open-minded man; a professional to the core; an excellent family man as he is blessed with children and grandchildren; a man with a vision and a philanthropist. These qualities developed over time have been observed and recognized with respect by people who have encountered him. No wonder, Isheri mainland Club had to suspend their constitution to make him Chairman, a position he held for two tenures with a huge sense of purpose and took the club to lofty heights.
When asked about his leadership philosophy, Engr. Ariba emphasized that upon assumption of duty as the Chairman of the club, he realized that people don’t like change, but change is inevitable. A leader must lead by showing the way, otherwise there’s no leadership.What it means is that you must be firm in your decisions as a leader. Leadership entails vision and working the talk. Discipline is the bedrock of leadership because without it you cannot achieve goals in your life.
Where does he draw strength in all that he does, Engr. Ariba said that the moment you begin to utilize your talent, God multiplies them and gives you the energy to move on. The moment you do one thing well, it creates the opportunity to do another one. I’m working in line and I’m enjoying God’s grace. He gives me the power and the ability. If you spend enough time planning, execution becomes easy. Planning is the key to success. I am also self- sacrificing and I’m not internally focused. I worry about accomplishing what God has asked me to do. Nigeria is blessed with brave men like Engr. Femi Ariba who has continued to play a vital and fundamental role to develop the country for our common good.
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