By Uche Amunike
News of former CEO/ Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement, Joseph Makoju’s Death has been confirmed to be true, as he was said to have died at an Abuja hospital, Monday at the age of 73.
The Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, while expressing his pain over the late Joseph Makoju’s death, described him as a man who has left indelible marks in both the economic and political spheres in the country.
In a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mohammed Onogwu, the State Governor stated that the late astute administrator will be dearly missed as an elder statesman who was known for his role in giving great directives to the leadership of his organization.
According to him, Makoju’s administrative ingenuity, commitment to nation building and sound knowledge was felt during his time as Special Adviser on Electric Power to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Honorary Adviser on Electric Power to the present President of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari, Nanufacturers Association of Nigeria and also, the West African Power Pool Executive Board.
The late Makoju, who hailed from Okene, according to Governor Bello, was also an astute technocrat who had a remarkable track record in the private sector which was tremendously worthy of accolades as he brought great honour to his country, Nigeria.
While extending his condolences to family and friends over Joseph Makoju’s death, Governor Bello prayed that God will give them the fortitude to bear his loss and grant his soul eternal rest.
The late Administrator, who was born on July 13, 1948, in Okene, Kogi state, was a Harford award winner of Government College, Kaduna and also a J. F. Kennedy Essays award winner of Federal Government College, Warri.
He studied 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 Egineering in 1974 from the same university.
He attended National Institute for Policy and Strategic 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.
He was Honorary Advisor to the President/Chief Executive, Dangote Group and a one-time Chairman, Cement Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.
He retired as GMD/CEO, Dangote Cement in 2020, having held the position since April 2018.
He was a member of several professional bodies like the Nigerian Institute of Management, Nigerian Society of Engineers and the British Institute of Mechanical Engineers.
Aside from being the pioneer Chairman of the Board of the West African Power Pool, he was also a former Managing Director of the Nigerian National Electric Power Authority, now known as Power Holding Company of Nigeria.
Makoju was awarded the Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR) and Grand Commander of the Special Order of Merit (GCSO), Niger Republic.
His burial arrangements are still ongoing.