By SUNDAY ODIBASHI
PROFESSOR Pat Utomi recently celebrated his 60th birthday anniversary with marked records of professional career, charismatic leadership and humanist activism. All these social indices or personality traits have taken the professor of political economy through divers appointments at the highest echelon of management in several organizations, as well as advocacy for good governance or social change in the country.
Within the period under review, Professor Utomi also took further steps into researches and knowledge discovery on models and new value systems of managing modern businesses, including innovative policies of transforming the governance system of the 21st century.
Utomi’s profile clearly reflects his level of acquaintance with modern civilization of the 21st Century in various fields of science, management and politics. Accordingly, Professor Pat Utomi was appointed Vice Chairman of defunct Bank PHB plc. He was a Non-Executive Director of Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc. Other prominent positions Utomi has held in the course of his managerial career include, Member of Advisory Board of CBO Investment Management, Chief Operating Officer of Volkswagen of Nigeria.
Utomi has also demonstrated passion for development of knowledge and encouraging platforms for developing entrepreneurial skills. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria; founding Senior Faculty of the Lagos Business School, Pan African University; Director of the Centre for Applied Economics at the Lagos Business School. He co-founded the Lagos Business School in 1994. He was on the Council of notable apex private sector associations which include the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI); the National Council of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Nigerian Consultative Association (NECA). Utomi is author of several Management and Public Policy books which include the Award Winning “Managing Uncertainty: Competition and Strategy in Emerging Economies,” 1998, and the 2006 book: “Why Nations are Poor…” More so, Utomi have single-handedly and jointly founded several companies that are active players in financial services, ICT, and media.
In government, Professor Utomi was Chairman of the Economic Commission for the Niger Delta. Professor Utomi contested for President in two political transitions in the country in 2007 and 2011, respectively. Thereafter, he joined forces with leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to increase the momentum for change which eventually ousted the hegemonic Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from power in 2015.
Utomi academic training spread across Policy Economics, Business, Political Science and Mass communications. He was appointed Professor of the Social and Political Economy Environment of Business and Entrepreneurship. Utomi has been a scholar-in-residence at the American University in Washington DC and the Harvard Business School.
In the Civil Society frontier, Utomi, at different times, aligned with several social forces advocating for change in the country. He is the founder of the Centre for Values in Leadership; and the Concerned Professionals. He is involved in several other social sector enterprise initiatives.
Utomi obtained a First Class Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Mass Communications from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). He holds an MA, MPA, and Ph.D in political economy.
Utomi was voted one of the top 10 Nigerian Living Legends in the Vanguard Newspaper/Silver Bird Television poll in 2009. He remains a role model for several young men and women aspiring to achieve success in life, as well as growing entrepreneurs.