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Late Chief Aret Adams the First GMD of NNPC

Arets Adams

Late Chief Godwin Aretanekhai Adams was a very distinguished man of Afemai origin. He rose to the very peak of his chosen career and exemplified himself as a technocrat of repute.

Born in 1938, he attended Edo College, Benin City and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Glasgow, Scotland in 1964. He was immediately recruited as a trainee Petroleum Engineer by Shell – BP Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, where he worked for ten years and rose to the position of Senior Petroleum Engineer before he left to join the Nigeria National Oil Corporation, NNOC in 1974.

In 1977, NNOC and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources were merged to create the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and Chief Adams was appointed Manager in the Exploration and Production Division. He later served as General Manager of that Division, in which capacity he had responsibility for the management of the investments of the Federal Government of Nigeria in the Joint Ventures with Shell, Chevron, Mobil, Elf, Agip, Texaco and Pan Ocean until 1985 when he was appointed Managing Director of the NNPC.

Three years later, Aret Adams was named the first Group Managing Director of the Corporation after a major reorganization which saw the emergence of NNPC as a conglomerate with eleven subsidiaries engaged in all segments of the oil and gas industry.

He retired from NNPC in 1990. He thereafter went into private business but was brought back into government as the Special Adviser on Petroleum Resource, by General Abdulsalami Abubakar upon taking the rein of power in June 1998. After this stint in May 1999, he returned to private business and was until his death, the chairman of Niger Delta Drilling Company and Multinational Expertise Limited.

His passion for poverty alleviation and community development, especially at grassroots level earned him the Chieftaincy title of Udi of Auchi Kingdom in 1999.

While describing his humility and intelligence, people who worked with him had this to say: “Chief Aretenekhai Godwin Adams treated the messenger in his office with the same regard, recognition and attention paid to his bank manager or his pastor at church. Aret Adams could remember names and faces like his brain functioned out of a computer chip. With a captivating smile, he would tell it as it is with no malice intended. He was always real and his sense of humor infectious and deprecating.”

May the soul of late Chief Godwin Aretanekhai Adams and other departed heroes rest in peace.

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