The management of Lekoil, the oil and gas exploration and production company with a focus on Nigeria and West Africa, has announced the passing away of its pioneer Chairman, Chief Festus Marinho, earlier this week.
Chief Marinho was a leading light in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry as he devoted his entire career to developing the industry, which is today the mainstay of the economy.
He served as pioneer Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation from 1977 to 1979 and served a second term between 1984 and 1985.
“Words will fail us to describe the enthusiasm and devotion exhibited by Chief Marinho while he served as Lekoil Chairman. Even after retirement from our Board, he remained a confidant and advisor to me personally. He will be sorely missed,” Lekan Akinyanmi, Chief Executive Officer of Lekoil, said.
Marinho was Chairman of Lekoil between 2011 to 2013 and oversaw the groundwork of the company, which has grown to become a major indigenous oil and gas industry player in West Africa.
“His insights and passion for industry growth will be sorely missed. We express our deepest condolences to his family,” Akinyanmi said.
Born on December 30, 1934 in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Marinho’s childhood was spent at the “Brazilian Quarters” of Lagos Island, where he attended St. Gregory’s College.
In 1956, he matriculated into the University College, Ibadan, became a “College Scholar” in 1957 and graduated with Bachelor of Science (Special Honours) in Physics in 1960.
He thereafter proceeded to Imperial College, London for post-graduate studies in Petroleum Reservoir Engineering from 1960 to 1961.
During his years of service, he contributed to drafting many of the legislations that continue to guide the oil and gas industry.
A devout Catholic, Chief Marinho was recipient of numerous professional, social and religious awards, including the Papal knighthood of St. Sylvester.
He is survived by his wife, Chief Yetunde Oreoluwa Marinho, five children, 14 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.