By Austin Chukwudi
Family, Associates, Friends remember icon of hard work, humility
It was a gathering of ‘Who is Who’ when family members, friends, associates and well-wishers held a one- year memorial in honour of Engr Peter Adekunle Ishola, popularly known as P.K. Ishola, who passed away in June, 2020.
P. K. Ishola, the quintessential entrepreneur; was smart, resourceful, generous and unassuming. He bestrode the oil and gas industry like a colossus, his creative ingenuity impacting beyond these shores. He was an apostle of local content on whose premise he made remarkable footprints in the development of Nigeria petroleum industry.
His knack for excellence are pivotal to the sterling deliverables for the nation’s oil and gas industry, especially in the refining and petrochemicals sector.
Adding value was P. K. Ishola’s mantra, which he did with pristine precision. It is on record that he was the first indigenous contractor to design and construct a petroleum product storage tank for a refinery in Nigeria.
He accomplished other feats in engineering, including:
- Replacement of ‘Soot Blowers’ – which demands engineering ingenuity.
- Re-tubing of heat exchangers – another top tier technical accomplishment.
- Installation of motorized valves crude tanks, and
- Active participation in Turn-Around-Maintenance of refineries.
P. K. Ishola, was born on October 1, 1958 in Owerri, Imo State to Late Pa Jacob Agboola Ishola and Madam Margaret Asabi Ishola; both of Awe, Afijio Local Government Area of Oyo State. He was the 7th of 8 children of his parents.
He started his elementary education in 1965 at Municipal Council Primary School, Diobu, Port-Harcourt. Due to the “disturbances” in 1966 that heralded the Nigerian Civil War, his family relocated to Lagos where he completed his primary education at Bethel Primary School, Ebute-Metta.
He proceeded to Lagos Secondary Commercial Academy, Obanikoro, Lagos (1971-1976) where he sat for W.A.S.C Examination in 1977 and passed with 7 credits. Engr Sunny Iyeye, a veteran of the oil and gas industry numbered among his classmates and he has remained a trusted friend.
P.K. Ishola kicked off his work career at Shomolu L.G.A, Lagos as an Assistant Cashier in the Finance Department, a position he briefly occupied before moving to Warri in 1978, when he gained employment in Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC), a subsidiary company of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
While working with WRPC, he utilized the window of opportunity granted by the management of the company for its staff to acquire additional qualification by enrolling in Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun. At PTI, he obtained the national diploma (ND) in Petroleum Processing Technology. His outstanding performance and dedication to work flowered – earning him scholarship from WRPC for Higher National Diploma (HND) in Advance Petroleum Processing and Refining Technology which he completed in 1995.
He continued working with NNPC/WRPC until 2003, when he retired voluntarily after 25 years of service and established Jay & Gee International Limited.
P. K. Ishola was an astute businessman and his outstanding business personality and company profile provided him great business links with various national and international outfits with whom he collaborated and executed high profile projects.
He married his heart throb; Joan Oghenovo Olabowale, nee Udoroh on the 24th February, 1990 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Benin City. The couple is blessed with four children: Olalekan (Commercial Pilot) Mojisola (Medical Doctor), Oluwabusola (Banker) and Oluwakemi (Barrister at Law). He has a granddaughter; Aliyah Ifunanya Ofili.
His darling wife is a Nurse by profession.
Engr. Peter Kunle Ishola is a devout Catholic, and during his life time, he participated actively in the affairs and activities of the church in various capacities. “He served God with all his strength and might, a selfless man he remained until his demise”.
He was an active member of the Laity Council and CMO of St. Paul’s Catholic Church Enerhen, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State. He was knighted into the Knighthood of St. Mulumba in 2012.
He was indeed a man of the people. He loved social life – an acclaimed party organizer who ensured that every guests at events were properly catered for.
P. K. Ishola was a dedicated member of Great Refiners Club of Nigeria (GRCN), whose members, led by its President, Comrade Deji Bademosi turned out en masse to honour him during his demise and the one year remembrance.
Comrade Bademosi described him as an honest personality who thinks on his feet, and a man with a heart of gold. He said GRCN will miss his wise counsel, ebullient personality and his will to win.
Engr P. K. Ishola loved music, signing, travelling and football. He was a sportsman and played for Lagos Academicals in the 70s. His flair for music saw him as a band leader with the “Feathers Band Organization” during his secondary school days. He was also a DJ with the likes of Alex Condi.
YES, a Father of All and A cheerful Giver has Gone to Rest with Christ.