Renowned Professor and former Nigerian Presidential Aspirant, Professor Patrick Okedinachi Utomi, has been scheduled to deliver the McPherson University’s 4th Convocation Lecture during the 2019 graduation ceremony. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adeniyi Agunbiade, made this known November 12 at the institution’s 4th Pre-Convocation Press Conference inside the Senate Chambers.
Born on February 6, 1956 in Kaduna, Professor Utomi is a Nigerian professor of Entrepreneurship at the prestigious Lagos Business School. He hailed from Igbuzo in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State. The young Utomi commenced his primary education at St. Thomas, Kano 1960 – 1962 and Our Lady of Fatima, Gusau 1962 – 1966. He attended Christ the King College, Onitsha, and Loyola College, Ibadan for his secondary education.
Professor Utomi later got admission into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1973 to study Mass Communication. He graduated in 1977, and later attended Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA, where he got his M.A., MPA & Ph.D. He was appointed a professor of Social and Political Economy Environment of Business and Entrepreneurship at Lagos Business School in 2003.
Aside his academic engagements, he is the founder of Centre for Value in Leadership (CVL) and the African Democratic Congress. He had earlier served in senior positions in government as Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria, Late Alhaji Shehu Shagari and Adviser cum Consultant to late Vice-President, Alex Ekwueme.
Following the abrupt end of the Second Republic by the military government, Professor Utomi became Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Utomapp Holdings Limited, 1984–1986, and Assistant General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Volkswagen Nigeria Lagos, 1983 – 1993. He later became the Chief Operating Officer of Volkswagen Nigeria.
Prof. Utomi was scholar-in-residence, American University, Washington DC, USA, 1996 and research associate, the Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 1996.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria; member of numerous professional bodies notably: the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR); Institute of Directors (IOD); Nigeria Economic Summit Group and Nigeria Economic Society among others.
The renowned management expert has served as the Vice-Chairman, Platinum–Habib Bank, now Keystone Bank, and was is a columnist, and chairman, BusinessDay Media Limited and creator of Patito’s Gang, a television talk show.
Among other, Prof. Utomi has served in various private sector associations including: the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI); the National Council of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); the Chairman, Poise Nigeria Limited, and the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA).
He is a respected and leading voice on national and international platforms on issues relating to growth economics, comparative development, leadership, oil and China’s economic surge and growing influence in Africa. Prof. Utomi has interacted with scores of world leaders on all the continents and has visited 82 countries to date.
Currently, he seats on the Board of the Africa Practice of Leading Global Professional services firm, Deloitte; as one of only two non-executives on the Africa Board. He is the Chairman of PAFTRAC – the Pan African Sector Trade and Investment Committee sponsored by African Union and Afrexim Bank among others.
Prof. Utomi has collaborated frequently with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington, and Chatham House, UK. He has also written commissioned papers for the UK’s DFID including the latest collaboration with Colleagues from Oxford on the Political Economy of growth in Nigeria. (2006).
Prof. Utomi has won many awards including one of the Nigeria’s top 10 Living Legends in the Vanguard/Silverbird Television Awards; the Great Nigeria Lives of the 20th Century among others. He has also been listed in the Who is who in Africa.
He has authored numerous books and journals notably: Performance under Constraints: The Nigeria Press Under Military Rule; Managing Uncertainty: Competition and Strategy in Emerging Economies and To Serve is to Live.
His other books are: Critical Perspectives in Political Economy and Management; Why Nations are Poor; Business Angel as a Missionary; Conscience: Opinions in the Struggle for Nation Building; Perspectives: Further Thoughts in the Quest for National Rebirth; The Duty to Lead and The Art of Leading: Open Secrets of Leadership Effectiveness. He recently authored the book, WHY NOT.
As a highly sort after keynote speaker, Professor Utomi has delivered addressed at the Annual Conferences at the Nigerian Institute of Management; Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors; Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria; Nigeria Institute of Public Relations; Nigeria Institute of Marketing and Law Society, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State; Africa Business Club at the Harvard Business School, Wharton, Kellogg School and the TedxEuston at the University of London to mention but few.
In the political arena, Professor Utomi has vied for the position of governorship of Delta State and President of Nigeria. Interestingly, he was declared the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the 2019 general election in Delta State by a faction of the All Progressive Congress. The National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, however, overturned the factional declaration his closest rival as the party’s Delta state gubernatorial Candidate for the 2019 Elections.
Prof. Utomi is married and the union is blessed with great children.
It would be recalled that Chief Audu Ogbeh, the then Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture delivered the 1st Convocation lecture on the topic: Food Security and Terrorism: Way Out for Nigeria. Prof. Peter Okebukola, former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), delivered the 2nd Convocation Lecture titled: “Reconstructing the Shattered Education Mirror: Hard Choices we cannot side step” while Prof. Toyin Falola, a professor a Jacob And Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair Professor in the Humanities at The University Of Texas At Austin, delivered the 3rd Lecture titled “The Integration of Knowledge and Faith”.