People & Power has named Engr. Olumuyiwa Babatunde Olukoya as its Engineering Personality of the Year 2016.
His selection and endorsement took into recognition his resourcefulness and continued relevance in the Nigerian building construction industry. It also took into consideration his contribution to improvement and development of Nigeria through other activities like philanthropy.
As a chartered building services and project management consultant, his impact has been huge. He has in recent times, worked on some of the most iconic public and commercial buildings in Nigeria. These include the Central Bank of Nigeria Headquarters Building in Abuja which was executed by Julius Berger Plc, the Rebuilding of the 22 – Storey Lagos Office of the Julius Berger Plc and the design, supervision and construction of the National Hospital, Abuja.
Olukoya was also involved in the design of the Infrastructure Masterplan of both the University of Abuja and the University of Uyo. He has been involved in the design and supervision of various TETFUND Projects in Nigerian universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
Engr. Olukoya was involved in the design and supervision of the state-of-the art building for the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) on Tigris Crescent, Abuja. He recently did the refurbishment of Deloitte Lagos Office at the Civic Towers, Victoria Island, Lagos. He also refurbished Microsoft Lagos Office.
As indicated above, other factors that contributed to his selection include his involvement in philanthropy and charitable activities. He has mentored and supported several engineering students in different Nigerian universities. He is on the Board of Trustees of United for Kids Foundation (UKF), a charitable organization which principally helps less privileged children in Nigeria.
UKF works in teaching hospitals and orphanages by providing them with financial assistance and upgrading their facilities. It also supports public schools with educational materials, food and beverages to alleviate the suffering faced by many children.
In his interview with People & Power, Engr. Olumuyiwa Babatunde Olukoya talks about himself and his professional life. He also talks about the things that move him to give back to society.
Read the interview here.
My Best Moments As An Engineer Are When My Projects Are Being Commissioned– Olukoya
On November 26, you were conferred with the Development in Nigeria Merit Award in recognition of your contribution to national development in the area of Engineering Services. How does this make you feel?
It was indeed a great honour to have been conferred with such a prestigious award. At first I wondered how I was nominated and it lends credence to the saying that “Keep doing your best at whatsoever you are doing and who knows who may be watching.” It was an honour, and I did not take it for granted. So I say once again, thank you to People & Power, the organisers of the PSR National Awards 2016, and most importantly, I praise Almighty Allah for counting me worthy of such an honour.
Your sojourn in the world of engineering began with a degree in electrical/ electronics engineering. Today, your tentacles, so to say, are spread across a wide spectrum of engineering services. What has given you the Midas touch which makes gold of everything you handle?
First and foremost all the glory and adoration goes to God Almighty, for He is the only one who can make anyone great and bless the works of your hand.
I learnt as a young boy growing up that diligence, hard work, perseverance, honesty and fear of God are some of the key ingredients of a successful life. So I made all of these my focal points in all that I do.
Also, I am naturally inquisitive and have always wanted to know how things not only work but how they can be improved and that automatically urged my quest to study electrical/electronics engineering at the university level. Electrical engineering as you can see cuts across all facets of life including medicine, aviation, telecommunication, construction and many more.
As a young engineer, I was so restless, always eager to learn, having the right attitude to work and in no distant time, I was beginning to take responsibilities for the organisations I worked for on different projects and administratively.
So in summary I will say, diligence, hard work and quest for perfection and success have always been my driving force.
With your companies such as Jojo & Partners, ETS Systems Ltd and Jojo Ventures, anyone would say you are one of the most enterprising, effective and successful engineers in Nigeria today. How would you react to that?
Well, I will say I attribute every single achievement to God Almighty, the only one who can turn trials into triumphs and tests into testimonies.
Which of your projects has given you the greatest sense of fulfilment?
I will say the present Central Bank of Nigeria Headquarters in Abuja built between 1999 and 2003 by Julius Berger Plc though the actual designs started much earlier. It was the biggest singular project at that time with state-of –the-art facilities including a helipad.
As a chartered building services consultant, where does your work begin and end in the building construction project?
As a chartered building services engineer, my work starts in the following order:
- Development of feasibility studies, planning and pre-designing activities including data gathering and conceptualizing the client’s requirements and needs based on the brief received.
- Design and development of scheme and detailed engineering and construction designs.
- Development of outline and detailed technical and engineering specifications for materials, equipment and fittings.
- Production of detailed Bills of Engineering Materials and Evaluation (BEME)
- Production of tender and pre-contract documentations.
- Project construction supervision and post-construction documentations
- Staff training, mentoring and development.
- Project and facility management.
You are also a project management consultant. What is your role in the building process?
As a project manager, your core responsibility is to manage time, task and resources (human & financial) within the defined scope of the project. You are to manage and assign tasks to the various team members, track deliverables within the project timelines in as much as you ensure quality delivery from individual stakeholders to the client.
Project management consultants ensure expertise, speed and proper accountability on project delivery.
Tell us about Jojo & Partners.
JoJo & Partners is an indigenous Building Services Consulting Firm established in 1999. It is a practice of highly qualified and experienced professionals providing consultancy services in Electrical, Mechanical, Telecommunication and other Extra-low Voltage Services installations.
JoJo & Partners over the years has provided services to both local and multinational organisations both governmental and private. These include:
- Central Bank of Nigeria
- African Reinsurance Corporation
- Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND) to mention but a few.
JoJo & Partners is duly registered by CAC and licensed by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN); she is a member of the Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria (ACEN) and International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC).
JoJo & Partners is the country’s local partner to WSP (Pty) of South Africa.
The company has handled many outstanding and important projects in Nigeria. Can you shed light on some of them?
Some of the projects successfully handled by the company are:
- CONSTRUCTION OF CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN) BRANCH BUILDING IN YENAGOA, BAYELSA STATE
Commencement Date: 6th Nov, 2010
Completion Date: October, 2016.
Project Value: 11 Billion
The CBN Branch Building in Yenagoa is a purpose-built branch for the Nigeria’s Apex Bank in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
The building cost overs around Eleven (11) Billion and it is to cater for the needs of the government and other commercial banks in Bayelsa state and some neighbouring states.
The total designed area is about 12,000m² which comprises of the Basement, Ground and two suspended floors, a facility building, and the reception building, the Blower house, the Power house and the Fuel station.
JoJo and Partners was responsible for the pre-contract design, award co-ordination and supervision of all Electrical power infrastructures, from High to Medium and Low voltage power distribution and controls. Also JoJo & Partners was responsible for the design and supervision of all Extra Low Voltage Services including but not limited to ICT (Data &Voice), Robust Security & Surveillance Systems, Access Control and Physical Security, BMS, Public address and Emergency Evacuation Systems etc.
- REMODELLING OF AN 8-STOREY OFFICE COMPLEX FOR AMCON HEADQUATERS ON TIGRIS CRESCENT, MAITAMA ABUJA
Commencement Date: Jan, 2014
Completion Date: November, 2016.
Project Value: 9 Billion Naira
This is a state-of-the-art building by Central Bank of Nigeria. The building is intended for some of her agencies including Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON).
With a total floor area of about 9000m² spanning eight floors, there is an integrated 500-seater capacity auditorium, basement car park, security entrance building, pump house, generator and transformer yard.
The Building’s Electrical Services was designed by JoJo & Partners to be environmentally friendly including provision of clean energy using solar cells to illuminate all the circulation areas and surroundings at night.
The designed services including HT/LV distribution and synchronization, Data/ Voice Services, Fire Alarm & Protection Systems, Security and Surveillance systems, Access Control Systems, Building Management systems( BMS) and others.
- FIT-OUT DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION FOR DELOITTE NIGERIA LAGOS OFFICE
Commencement Date: October 2015
Completion Date: August 2016
Project Value: 1.5 Billion Naira
Deloitte Nigeria took five (5) floors from a newly completed 16-storey Civic Towers on Ozumba Mbadiwe street, Victoria Island.
Being an international company with well over six hundred staff, JoJo & Partners undertook a fit-out design to meet their MEP requirements with a combination of the existing infrastructure and Deloitte’s International requirements including but not limited to: A Robust ICT infrastructure, Data Centre and Auxiliary Server room, Back-up System, Access Control, Security and Surveillance, Cyber Intelligence Centre (CIC), FM200 Fire Suppression Systems, Precision Cooling Systems for Data centre and Server Room 2, Lighting System Controls, Meeting rooms Booking/Management System, Telepresence, Video conferencing and many more.
- COMPREHENSIVE FIT-OUT DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION FOR MICROSOFT LAGOS NEW OFFICE
Commencement Date: March 2015
Completion Date: February 2016
Project Value: 1.5 Billion Naira
Microsoft Lagos moved to two floors on the newly completed Civic Towers on Ozumba Mbadiwe Street, Victoria Island Lagos.
JoJo & Partners designed and supervised the fit-out design for all MEP and Extra-Low Voltage Installations integrating both existing and new ones to meet Microsoft’s Global Requirements. These include but are not limited to ICT Infrastructures, Cable room and Audio Visual room designs, Access control and Security Surveillance Systems, HVAC, EVAC, Telepresence and Video Conferencing, FM200 Fire Suppression Systems, etc.
Also, do please let us into ETS Systems Ltd. What kind of projects and services does the company engage in?
ETS Systems is an indigenous Mechanical and Electrical Services Installation contracting company offering services to both private and public institutions. Some of the services we render include: Power supply reticulation and distribution, installation of power generation and distribution equipment (including generators, transformers, HT & LT panels etc ), electrical installations in high rise and low rise buildings, Extra low voltage installations like (Data & Voice, Access control, Security & Surveillance Systems, Fire Detection and Alarm System Installations, etc.) , Mechanical Services installations in buildings including water supply, distribution and drainage, Fire fighting systems, water and sewage treatment systems.
Now Sir, tell us a bit about your life history. Who in your words and description is Olumuyiwa Babatunde Olukoya?
I was born on the 26th of February, 1966 to the family of Mr. Ayinde Olukoya and Mrs Abike Olukoya, nee Ekerin at Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria. I had my primary education at Abiola Jacob Primary School, Ibadan between 1971 and 1977. I proceeded to Ijebu Muslim College for my secondary education between 1977 and 1982.
I attended the prestigious University of Lagos where I bagged a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical/Electronics Engineering in 1988 and a Master’s Degree in Project Management in 2011.
I am a Registered Engineer by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).
- A Corporate Member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE)
- A Member, Association of Consulting Engineers of Nigeria (ACEN)
- A Member, International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC)
- A Member International Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
- An Associate member, Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM)
My core values are sincerity, fear of God and giving back to the society.
Apart from your professional engagements, how do you express yourself in life? What are those other things that define you?
I am a member, Board of Trustees, United for Kids Foundation (UKF), a charitable organisation principally helping less privileged children in Nigeria. We work with teaching hospitals and orphanages by providing them with financial assistance and upgrading of their facilities. We also work with public schools by providing educational materials, food, beverages etc, to alleviate sufferings encountered by children.
I equally like travelling, reading books, and networking.
Who are your role models in life and work?
My role models in life are Mohammed Ali, the great boxer of all time and Malcolm X. They always stood up for what they believed in.
Did you have a mentor?
Of course I have mentors. I won’t want to mention their names in public without their permission but they have been very supportive and been a great assistance in my sojourn in life. Their enthusiastic support is greatly appreciated. I was in fact driven by them to venture into mentoring of aspiring young engineers which I have done in the past ten years by giving them adequate professional and technical training to prepare them for the future.
What have been your greatest challenges in life?
My greatest challenge has always been the ability to establish an engineering firm conforming to international standards and standing shoulder to shoulder with any other engineering firm in any part of the globe.
What has given you the happiest moment?
My happiest moment was fatherhood. The day my first child was born was a great day in my life.
What have been the highest points so far of your professional attainment?
I have many high points in my professional life. They are mostly the times of commissioning of my projects. Anytime we design an iconic building and the M&E installations work and perform as conceived and designed by the team, I always feel elated and excited.
What have been the lowest points, the worst professional moments you experienced?
Of course, my low points are when our design objectives are not met in terms of performance and expectation though it always presents another opportunity to think deeper and out-of-the-box and make them work eventually.
The professional engineer practicing in Nigeria ,would you say the environment is wonderful?
Far from it! The engineering practice in Nigeria is rather challenging. There are so many distractions and things you are not supposed to consider or worry about during the design stage that become major issues. These make the whole experience frustrating but by and large, it is very rewarding.
Another issue is the issue of quacks going about unregulated and parading themselves as professional engineers thereby endangering innocent lives.
How do you compare practicing in Nigeria to what obtains outside?
Professional practice abroad is properly regulated with the roles of each cadre in the profession clearly defined and well remunerated thereby limiting sharp practices and making it difficult for quacks to operate within the system.
What are you looking up to achieving in the nearest future?
I am looking forward to setting up a big mechanised farm that will employ many Nigerians and provide food for the populace.