The Pinnacle Miracle: Peter Mbah and the Making of a New History

By Prince Ejeh Josh

When the news that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, was planning to unveil and commission the Pinnacle Oil and Gas Limited’s West Africa’s first ultra-modern, multi-purpose built petroleum products intake, storage and off-take terminal first filtered into the Nigeria’s airwaves, many had simply dismissed it as the normal business stunt usually associated with clout chasing advertisement.

However, with the presidency confirming that the project was strategic to providing hundreds or thousands of employment, remodeling the economy and simplifying supply chain, not only to Nigeria but also to the African continent, Nigerians began to shift their interrogatory lenses towards the project and its extent of contribution to the nation’s economic growth and development.

The project, magnificently towering on top of the Atlantic Ocean with a distance 10 kilometers offshore and its one billion litres’ storage capacity of premium motor spirit and Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) has been dubbed, as a strategic asset to Nigeria even by the government.

One would marvel at the project being driven by an African from Nigeria, and Enugu State precisely, and ask curious questions as to the ingenuity that birthed it. Although, cited as a business, the scientific craft and innovative dexterity that define the Pinnacle facility raise the issue as to what exactly makes or qualifies a place a wonder of the world. The facility is legendary and revolutionary in nature. It’s a reinvention of man’s perpetual quest to add value to humanity by creating a sort of haven through a new economic order.

When the Chief Executive Officer of the Pinnacle Oil and Gas Ltd, who, providentially, is the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate in Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, talks about disruptive innovation and transcendental leadership in Nigeria and Enugu State in particular, many are often aghast and at loss as to the meanings of his compelling enunciation and their applicability. This is not surprising that some people have, out of ignorance, interrogated the possibility of reinventing and transforming Enugu State from public-sector driven economy to a viably, actively, frontally private-sector driven economy through the attraction of investments from investors across the world and application of technology in upsetting the status quo. It’s not surprising because they, perhaps, lack the understanding, intellectual grits, and appreciable imagination of the role of technology in societal transformation which literally leapfrogged some of today’s world-class economies from pastoral, rustic farmhouse to modern economies beating phrases of economic stages laid down by economists.

Some people will better be waned of their rigid, entrenched and arrogant display of ignorance interrogating the possibility, workability and achievability of Mbah’s clear, unambiguous “Statement of Purpose” which marshalled a new roadmap for the people of Enugu State that will be spurred by technology, leadership and disruptive innovation when they avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the recent “Pinnacle Unveiling” of its petroleum products terminal facility and watch the plethora of video clips abundantly at their disposal. Leadership isn’t a rocket science when though the African celebrated author, China Achiebe, wrote that the problem with Nigeria is the problem of leadership, Mbah, has by his disposition, shown that such leadership problem can be solved, as he rightly did at the downstream operational and logistics sub-sector which are critical to the Nigerian economy.

President Buhari did not mince words at the extra-ordinarily massive project he saw at the Pinnacle when he exclaimed the possibility of a new Nigeria which Mbah has already started by setting the pace that will stamp out unemployment in the country. It’s instructive to note the credit taken by the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the presidency under Buhari that such a feat was achieved by a Nigerian under its administration. It’s, indeed, a legendary project Africa is proud to identify with. It did not end there. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State who is vying for a second term under the All Progressives Congress was at the event where he demonstrated the leadership dexterity Mbah had exhibited in the course of driving the project to its enviable height. Yet the rendition didn’t stop with Sanwo-Olu. The Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC Limited, Engr. Mele Kyari, who graced the event emphatically said he was proud to identify with the technological “breakthrough” which has instilled efficiency in the downstream sector of the Nigeria oil and gas”. The NNPC Limited’s boss couldn’t hide his feeling when he said before his global audience: “This is an exciting moment for us and Nigeria will benefit immensely from this investment”.

What’s is more appealing at the commissioning of the Pinnacle terminal facility is how different political parties, more so, at a time the political atmosphere is spiraling, cascading from campaigns dogged by ploys to outwit one another, came together to celebrate what they saw as beyond the line of politics to an emotional attachment to the project primarily driven by patriotism. This should be a snippet to our people on what an individual with the foresight, leadership capacity, competence, character and integrity is capable of doing. Everyone, indeed, identified with Mbah’s success not because they wanted to, but because of the value the accomplished entrepreneur has added to the nation. In today’s Nigeria, fuel scarcity and the notorious queue at filling stations often associated with the Nigerian downstream industry have become a history banished into the past courtesy one person—Dr. Peter Mbah!

When Mbah said that Enugu people needed someone with the competence, capacity, character, credibility, and background that cannot be questioned in terms of disrupting the status quo through disruptive innovation and transcendental leadership, it’s verily undoubted that people with the right state of mind will key into the anticipated economic tsunami that will give Enugu State a new outlook. Analysis of Mbah’s blueprint for the state points to holistic disruption that will unsettle convention, leading to a paradigm shift in governance. My journey, as a visiting a strategist, to the Pinnacle tank farm facility gave me another version of the most humblest entrepreneur we probably have in Africa. I saw what he meant by disruptive innovation. I heard, I visited, I saw, I marveled, and I, most essentially, added to my existing faith and belief in Mbah’s uncanny innovative ability to break convention, hasten development and write a new history for mankind. This is the road every Enugu State eligible voter should take. The choice of a new future is in our hands. The decision as to whether Enugu State will want to settle down for those with no legitimate means of livelihood other than politics, and those being celebrated as global investors, creating thousands of jobs, building free hospitals, constructing free quality roads and empowering our children in education, is absolutely ours to make. I’ve decided, for the sake of the future of my children and the good of my generation, to settle for Dr. Peter Mbah. I and my family will be voting for him.

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