The departure of Engr. Joseph Makoju came as a shock to many on Monday, especially to Femi Otedola, the Chairman of Geregu Power Plc, and other directors of the company, whom he joined in a board meeting on Wednesday, only to die at a private hospital in Abuja on Monday.
Otedola, who was also present at the meeting stated that he is still in shock as Engr, Makoju attended a board meeting of the company last Wednesday. He was also his vibrant self during the meeting without any sign(s) of illness.
He started, “I still find it difficult to believe he is no more because he was still full of life when we met at the board meeting a few days back without any signs of discomfort or illness. He was very active during and after the meeting and none of us ever imagined that was his last. It was with great shock and sadness that I heard of the passing of a dear friend and key member of Geregu Power Board of Directors. I am particularly pained as he most recently attended my Mum’s 90th birthday celebration and our Geregu Power board meeting last week Wednesday as a Director.”
Before his death, Joseph Makoju was a board member of Geregu Power Plant.
What others are saying
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State described Makoju as a revered administrator, a man who has left his indelible footprint in Nigeria’s political and economic environment.
The governor recalled that Makoju’s sound knowledge, administrative ingenuity, and commitment to nation-building were felt when he served as Special Adviser (Electric Power) to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Honorary Adviser on Electric Power to President Muhammadu Buhari, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, as well as on the West African Power Pool Executive Board.
He opined that the Okene born astute technocrat, who was also a member of the Kogi State Economic Advisory Council, has a remarkable track record in the private sector which was also worthy of accolades adding that he brought great honour to his homeland.
Otedola added, “He was a pillar in the Nigerian electricity sector. He built several power plants in Nigeria including the building and commissioning of Gerregu 1 and 2. He was the former MD of Lafarge, Dangote Cement, and former Chief of Staff to Alhaji Dangote. He was a perfect gentleman and the best in this trade. We have lost a gem. !ay his soul and the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God Rest in Peace.”
The management of TCN Nigeria also tweeted, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Engr. Joseph Makoju, our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”
What you should know about Makoju
- The late Makoju was born on July 13, 1948, in Okene, Kogi state.
- He attended the Federal Government College, Warri, Delta State, and later went on to study mechanical engineering at the University of Nottingham, UK, where he graduated with a first-class honour in 1972.
- He also bagged a master of philosophy in mechanical engineering in 1974 from the same university.
- He attended National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies NIPSS, Kuru, Jos, from 1989 to 1990 and also holds an honorary doctor of science degree in engineering from the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
- Makoju served as a special adviser on electric power to former Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo.
- He was also the honorary adviser to the president/chief executive, of Dangote Group, and was a one-time chairman of, the Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.
- Makoju retired as the GMD/CEO of Dangote Cement in 2020, a position he had held since April 2018.
- He was the pioneer chairman of the Board of the West African Power Pool and a Former Managing Director of the defunct National Electric Power Authority (Power Holding Company of Nigeria).
- He was awarded the Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR) and Grand Commander of the Special Order of Merit (GCSO), Niger Republic.