Meet 92-Year-Old Engr. Anthony Olufemi Shobo, First Graduate Of Chemical Engineering In Nigeria

Engr Shobo

Born on May 26th, 1931, Engr. Anthony Olufemi Shobo attended the St Pauls Primary School in Lagos and St Gregory’s College, Obalande, Lagos for his secondary school education. He then attended University College Ibadan for a pre-Engineering course. After which he worked at the Railways Corporation until 1952 briefly before he proceeded to the United Kingdom to study Chemical Engineering at the renowned University of Manchester, Institute of Technology (UMIST) – under a Scholarship from the Western Nigerian Government for which he is eternally grateful.

Together with the late Engr. David Adeyemo were the first graduate Nigerian Chemical Engineers and were true pioneer in Nigeria for this field of endeavour. After UMIST, Engr. Shobo began his professional career as a Chemical Engineering with a three-year stint at the research department of the Blue Circle Cement Company. On return to Nigeria, Engr. Shobo took up a position at the Ewekoro cement factory owned by the West African Portland Cement Company. After six months he was employed by Lever Brothers Nigeria Limited (now Unilever Nigeria Plc). He headed both the Production and the R&D Departments at various times.

He, therefore, optimised his Chemical Engineering career at a time when opportunities for Nigerian Chemical Engineers were still fairly limited due to limited industrialization in Nigeria. Engr. Shobo also had a 2-year stint at the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (1965-1967) where he worked as an Industrial /Project Engineer but later returned to Lever Brothers.

Engr. Shobo is well travelled has visited many countries including Malaysia, Australia, the Americas, Spain, Portugal, the Holy Land, France and most of Western Europe. Europe. 

He was the first Nigerian Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers which is a global professional institution with over 42,00 members in over 120 countries, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers. He is also a distinguished Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering.

Engr. Shobo is married to Mrs Theresa Abiodun Shobo and they have three children, Tosin, Olufunminiyi and Gbenga Shobo as well as grandchildren. He is a committed Christian and a practising Catholic.

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