Leicester graduates in the news: Solomon Iyobosa Edebiri

Posted by mjs76 at Mar 31, 2011 11:00 AM |
Nigerian businessman and engineer providing training opportunities in the booming oil pipeline industry.

Nigeria is a big country with massive amounts of fossil fuels under the ground. It has the tenth largest reserves of oil of any country in the world and the seventh largest reserves of natural gas. To realise the economic opportunities offered by this bounty, the country needs trained engineers. Or put another way, a lot of pipelines require a lot of welding.

Step forward Leicester graduate Solomon Iyobosa Edebiri who is Chief Executive of Typha Cenia Nigeria Limited and President of the Nigerian Institute of Welding. Born in Edo State in 1962, Edebiri trained in welding and engineering while working weekends on his father’s plantation. Earlier this year he received a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Leicester's School of Management and he also holds his country’s highest honour, the MON (Member of the Order of the Niger).

In an interview with the Nigerian Vanguard newspaper, Solomon Iyobosa Edebiri explains how his company is working with Government agencies to boost the number of locally trained welders by increasing the number of skilled trainers in Nigeria:

You see, we need to produce instructors, we need to produce supervisors and we need to produce coordinators. We went ahead. We trained our instructors and supervisors in South Africa, and we trained co-ordinators in Turkey. Today we can boast that we have competent welding instructors, supervisors and competent welding co-ordinators in the country. … By so doing, we will stop the foreigners from coming in to take over this exotic job of professional welding in the industry from our people because our people can now do it.”

A strong believer in the value of supporting other people, Edebiri is also a philanthropist. Back home in Edo he established a co-operative to provide interest-free loans to local farmers and sponsored the state football tournament.

More recent he established the Solomon Iyobosa Edebiri Centre for Change, a non-profit organisation whose grand aim is “to bring about a total and all-encompassing qualitative-change-of-improvement in the lives of Nigerian citizens by motivating and inspiring the individual Nigerian to take upon himself (once and for all) the mantle of personal responsibility for the improvement of his immediate environment and general quality of life and to help his neighbor to do the same.”