Patrick Nzekwe is a first-rate engineer whose story is full of career accomplishments. He has come quite a long way in the world of engineering. As the pioneer General Manager/Chief Executive Officer of Clarke Energy Nigeria Ltd, he is still contributing a lot to national development in his field.

Born on March 21, 1951, he had his primary education at Holy Ghost School, Ogui, Enugu in Enugu State. He went on to attend St. Theresa’s College, Nsukka.

He departed Nigeria for the United Kingdom in May 1972 for further studies. In 1978, he earned a B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering at the Croydon Polytechnic, Croydon, England.

In between, the young Patrick had obtained a City and Guilds in Marine Engineering at HMS Caledonia, Rosynth, Fife, Scotland. In addition, he also acquired Advanced Diploma in Management Economics at the British Institute of Management, London, not to mention the several professional and managerial courses he attended in Nigeria and oversees to fine – tune and sharpen his skills.

Upon graduation in 1978, young Patrick’s work experience began in England where he worked as Shift Engineer for High Speed Production Limited in Kingston Upon-Thames, England from 1976 – 1978. He returned to Nigeria in 1978. His first job in Nigeria was with SCOA Nigeria Limited in Apapa, Lagos in the capacity of Shift Engineer charged with the Maintenance and Design of Equipment for production of Peugeot cars and Austin Trucks.

From here he moved over the Guinness Nigeria Limited, Lagos, where he was to spend the next 26 years. In fact, the name Pat Nzekwe became synonymous with Guinness! At Guinness Brewery in Ikeja, Lagos, he rose from the ranks, working in various capacities.

He started as Maintenance Engineer and rose to become Chief Engineer, Group Project Manager and crowned it with being Brewery Manager, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Benin—a position he held till retirement in 2006.

At Guinness Nigeria, he recorded a lot of firsts. He was: First Nigerian Training Engineer—a position traditionally reserved for expatriates; First Nigerian Corporate Project Manager—a role he performed for eight years. He was responsible for numerous major capital projects across the country among which are building a new brewery in Aba and Enugu, brewery expansion project and a new power house in both Lagos and Benin. These projects were delivered within the planned time scale and within budget. Patrick received an award of excellence from the top management of the company for this feat.

He was appointed Chief Engineer of Lagos Brewery in 1992, a position which he held excellently until he was later moved to Benin three years later as a Chief Engineer of two breweries on same location. He was later appointed the Brewery Manager, a position he held until his  retirement from the company in 2006.

Not tired, Patrick worked with UK-based colleagues to utilise his wealth of experience in setting up an international organization in Nigeria in the Power/Energy sector of the economy. The company called Clarke Energy Limited has performed highly within six years of operation and currently is a leading energy provider utilising solely the abundant natural gas in the country. Most of the multinational companies in Lagos and it’s environs have switched over to the use of gas engines as provider of power. These companies effectively are disconnected from the national electricity supply and happily meet their energy requirements with huge savings—resulting in more profits for the organisations.

Clarke Energy Nigeria Ltd has successfully provided captive power solution to over 35 companies with over 75 engines and 150MW of uninterrupted power supply. Indeed, Chief Patrick Nzekwe is highly intelligent but he has a quiet disposition. He has the drive of a bull and has never failed in any assignment he puts his skills on.

A reference to Guinness Nigeria Plc will reveal more than an engineer in him. He is an astute manager who also is a skillful leader of men. He was responsible for the training of some of the best managers in Nigeria, many of whom are holding strategic positions in industry and government today.

As Chief Engineer of Guinness, he worked successfully with the Lagos NEPA Team of old to meet his company’s power requirements. In his role, he also pioneered the introduction of gas through the former Gas Link Nigeria Limited as well as Shell Nigeria Gas Company. Guinness is one of the first companies to utilise the abundant and cheap energy available in natural gas as fuel.

Married with five children, he is a member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute of the UK.

This distinguished Nigerian has been honoured by his community in Enugu State with a chieftaincy title. He is Ochiora I of Iwollo Omasi.

It is in recognition of his contribution to national development in the field of Engineering that Chief Patrick Nzekwe is deemed worthy to be conferred with the Development in Nigeria Merit Award which is part of the 2017 PSR National Awards.