Onolememen @ 57: A Journey to Stardom.
By Elempe Dele
Under the stratosphere, there are few men who radiate a mix of dynamic charm and charisma, and among these few men is Dr. (Arc) Mike Onolememen, CON, Ph.D. He is a medley of a quintessence; that is quality and class, an archetype of a perfect gentleman. He is mostly misunderstood by those who judge him from afar because of his gentlemanly’s nature which gives room for his reservation as a person. People are mostly used to politicians who pontificate, who speak aloud to be heard and seen, who throw away decorum in public to be seen as powerful, who drum their own worth, and who create an aura of self-worth when the reverse is the case. On his 57th birthday anniversary, I think it will be fitting for me to write the little I know of this worthy son of Edo State and a patroitic citizen of Nigeria.
Dr. (Arc) Michael Oziegbe Onolememen CON, was born in Uromi, on September 4th, 1965. He began his early education at St. Anthony’s Primary School there in Uromi and moved on to Annunciation Catholic College, Irrua. He was admitted into the prestigious King’s College, Lagos, for the higher school certificate (HSC) program where he had a brief spell before pursuing his university education. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture and Master’s degree in Architecture in 1985 and 1988 from Bendel State University and University of Nigeria respectively. Not comfortable with these two degrees alone, he went to the University of Lagos for his Master’s degree in Construction Management in 1991.
Dr. (Arc) Mike Onolememen, CON, Ph.D. not contented, he enrolled for his doctoral degree program in 2008 at the Walden University, Minneapolis, MN, USA, where, in 2015 he bagged the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Public Policy and Administration. He is an alumnus of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA, where he obtained a Proffesional Certificate (2014) in Infrastructure in a Market Economy (Public-Private Partnerships in a Changing World).
Dr. Mike Onolememen has been listed as a notable architect in Marquis Who’s Who. He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Architects (FNIA), a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management (FNIM), and a fourth-degree Knight of the Honoured Order of St. Mulumba (KSM) in the Holy Catholic Church.
Onolememen bagged national award – Commander of the order of Niger (CON) – from former President Jonathan in September 2014. Arc. Onolememen was honoured in 2015 at home, with a chieftaincy title of the ADOLOR of Uromi Kingdom by the Ojuromi of Uromi Kingdom, a title that was held by the late nationalist, Chief Anthony Enahoro, CFR. He has also been honoured by several professional bodies in Nigeria as a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, (FNSE), Fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors(F NIS), Fellow of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (FNMGS), Fellow of the Academy of Entrepreneurial Studies (FAES) and a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (FNIQS).
In 2000, Dr. Onolememen served as Executive Member of the Management Committee of the Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund (PTF), an infrastructure rehabilitation and development agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria, with executive responsibility for the Directorate of Projects Management. He was appointed Minister of State for Defence by President Olusegun Obasanjo and had responsibilities for the Nigerian Airforce, and all military training institutions and parastatals in Nigeria, as well as serving as the Deputy Chairman of Army Council, Navy Council, and Airforce Council. He has been the principal consultant in the Nigerian architectural and engineering design firm, Gomic Consortium International Limited from 1990 till date.
From July to May 2015, Dr. Michael Onolememen served as Minister of Works and member of the Federal Executive Council in the Federal Government of Nigeria, where he had the responsibility for the design and supervision of construction and rehabilitation of national roads infrastructure. He was also at that time a member of the National Economic Management Team.
From 2012 to 2015, Dr. Onolememen served as Chairman, Project Steering Committee of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Highway project ( Lagos-Abidjan-Dakar Corridor) constituted by the Presidents and Heads of Government of West African Countries. He was a member of the Ministerial Committee for the Nigerian Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan(NIIMP) and was chair of the technical working group on transportation. In September 2014, Dr Michael Onolememen was honoured among 305 Nigerians, with one of Nigeria’s highest National Awards, Commander of the Order of the Niger(CON), by the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, in appreciation of his meritorious services to the nation. With the prestigious CON national award, Mike Onolemenmen, a professional architect and distinguished administrator, joined his compatriot awardees with the impetus to do more of such selfless sacrifices for the enhancement of Nigerians. He has authored two books; “Infrastructure Development in Nigeria; A Political and Economic History” published in London and New York by Routledge Publishers in February 2020; and Bridging the Gap: Memoirs of Nigeria’s former Minister of Works; published in 2021 by Author House, IN, USA. Dr. (Arc) Mike Onolememen, CON, Ph.D.
In May of 2022, he contested under PDP for the position of Senate, Edo Central Senatorial District, and won convincingly. He is poised to go to the red chambers to represent the good and homogeneous people of Esanland.
Dr.. Michael Onolememen is happily married, and the marriage is blessed with children. Dr. Michael Oziegbe Onolememen is mostly described as a ‘builder’, a motivational force, and an inspiration to many.
Happy birthday anniversary, and I pray more fruitful years will come in happiness.