Former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon has commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for living up to the purpose for which it was established over the years.
The elder statesman who recently turned 80 spoke over the weekend in Abuja at an event organized in his honour to induct him into the Living Legends Hall of Fame explained that the Nigerian National Oil Company (as the Corporation was known at inception) was established by his administration after the civil war to help generate revenue for the government from the oil and gas sector.
“Certainly, the NNPC has done very well and it should be appreciated as the leading organization that generates most of the money for the government,” General Gowon stated.
He expressed gratitude to NNPC for sponsoring what he described as a “memorable event in which professional artists from the Universities and other tertiary institution in the country were invited to carry out live drawing of my portrait as a Living Legend.”
Also speaking at the event, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Joseph Dawha, described General Gowon as a visionary leader under whose administration the Corporation was founded.
“NNPC is very proud to be part of this important event to celebrate one of its founding fathers, General Yakubu Gowon as a Living Legend,” Dr. Dawha said.
The GMD who was represented by the Group Executive Director, Business Development Directorate of NNPC, Dr. Attahir Baba Yusuf, stated that the sponsorship of the event was in line with the Corporation’s philosophy as expressed in its payoff line: “We Touch Your Lives in Many Positive Ways”.
In his remarks, the Coordinator of the Living Legends Project, Mr Olu Ajayi, stated that to qualify as a Living Legend, one must have maintained a track record for 40 years.
He explained that the Living Legend Project which was established in 2008 is an innovative initiative to document, preserve, promote and celebrate distinguished personalities that have exhibited exemplary character and contributed positively to humanity.
Mr Ajayi stated that the documentation in painting of the immortal deeds and accomplishments of icons is expected to inspire the younger generation of Nigerians to emulate their great deeds as well as to re-awaken their sense of national consciousness and patriotism.
With his formal induction into the Living Legend Hall of Fame, General Gowon has joined the likes of the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba Erediauwa 1, Professor John Pepper Clark, Professor Wole Soyinka, Dr Bruce Onobrakpeya and Dr Yusuf Grillo.