The Management and Staff of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) on Wednesday mourned the passing of Chief Ernest Shonekan, former Head of Interim National Government (ING) and its pioneer Governing Board Chairman.
This is according to a statement issued in Abuja by Manji Yarling, Acting Head, Media and Publicity.
According to it, Shonekan who died on Tuesday, on account of his inspiring leadership and guidance, laid the foundation that has placed the commission as the preeminent infrastructure regulatory agency in Nigeria.
The commission said that in his time as Chairman of its governing board, between 2009 and 2012, he laid some key institutional structures which have endured over the years.
It listed some of them to be issuance of the National Policy on Public Private Partnership (N4P) following approval by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in April 2009.
“The N4P sets out the policy objectives of the Federal Government and outlines government’s commitment to the creation of an enabling environment for PPPs to thrive in Nigeria.
“Formation and establishment of the Nigerian Public Private Partnership Network (NPPPN) in 2011. This network has as its members, all Heads of State Public Private Partnership (PPP) units.”
It said that the NPPPN was established as a collaborative platform for knowledge and experience sharing amongst PPP agencies at the federal and sub-national level.
He also saw to the establishment of an African PPP Network (AP3N) in 2011 to serve as a regional platform for sharing experiences, peer-learning and development of best practices for PPP projects in Africa.
It added that the inaugural meeting of the network held in Abuja in February 2012 with eight countries in attendance.
Born on May 9, 1936 in Lagos to a civil servant father who originated from Abeokuta, Shonekan acquired his early education at the CMS Grammar School and Igbobi College before bagging a law degree from the University of London in 1962 and was called to the English bar in the same year.
He was called to the Nigerian Bar in July 1963 and later attended Harvard Business School in the United States of America.
Shonekan joined the United Africa Company (UAC) of Nigeria Ltd in 1964 as Legal Assistant and rose through the ranks to become Head of Legal and Secretarial Services in 1975.
He was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of the company in 1976 and subsequently became Chairman and Managing Director from 1980 to 1993.
In 1993, he became the Head of the Interim National Government.
“Shonekan was an illustrious Nigerian, elder statesman and astute businessman.
“His gentle disposition, unassuming personality and comportment in spite of his privileged position and access within the Nigerian political and economic elite class was a source of inspiration to stakeholders within the infrastructure space in Nigeria”, it added.