On the 18th of July 2022, a businessman by the name of Alhaji Ing. Mohamed Babatunde Cole, Executive Chairman of National Petroleum Sierra Leone officially handed over a fully furnished state-of-the-art modern multi-purpose building said to be worth an estimated US$2 million to Fourah Bay College – University of Sierra Leone. The building was named after him – Tunde Cole Building.
Many Sierra Leoneans have expressed gratitude to Alhaji Ing. Mohamed Babatunde Cole for his generosity and heart of gold. Social media users have poured praise on Mr. Cole for his act of patriotism and act of kindness to his alma mater, Fourah Bah College. As an alumnus of Fourah Bay College, Mr. Cole said, during the commissioning of the building that Government alone cannot do it all. He said he knew the university had challenges with structures and lacked modern lecture rooms when he made a visit to his alma mater five years ago during its 190th anniversary. He did not complain nor blame anyone for the lack of structures at his alma mater but took up the mantle to bring change to his alma mater.
The multi-purpose building has 6 lecture rooms equipped with smart boards and projectors for video/web conferencing and online learning; free internet Wi-Fi for students and staff; and modern offices and lecture rooms that could accommodate up to 700 students per session.
Over the years, Fourah Bay College, the first western-style university in West Africa, has been going through infrastructural challenges. One of these infrastructural challenges has been the lack of lecture rooms and modern multi-purpose structures for its students and staff. As many as 500+ students lack access to comfortable and furnished lecture rooms. Alhaji Ing. Mohamed Babatunde Cole saw the problem and challenges students of the university are facing, so he stepped up with a solution by building a state-of-the-art modern multi-purpose building for the university worth millions of dollars. What made this act more incredible is the fact that Mr. Cole awarded the construction contract to local engineers rather than bringing in foreign engineers. The benevolent businessman is the epitome of change and an inspiration to many.
So Who is Alhaji, Ing. Mohamed Babatunde Cole?
Alhaji Ing. Mohamed Babatunde Cole is a fellow of the Institute of Engineers in Sierra Leone; and a member of the Professional Engineers Registration Council. He holds a degree in Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Sierra Leone; and has numerous certifications in strategic leadership, management, operations and marketing
courses organized both locally and internationally. He has a wealth of experience in banking, finance and insurance, having served as Director on the Boards of various Companies including Ecobank Sierra Leone Limited and Leone Dock Labour Company Limited.
He currently serves as a Director on the Boards of other prominent institutions including National Petroleum SL Ltd (NP), WAICA Reinsurance Corporation Plc; Reliance Insurance Company Limited, Leonoil Company Limited Company and Petroleone Limited. He began his illustrious career as Pupil Engineer at the Forest Industry Corporation in 1977 and then as Design and Project Engineer at the Sierra Rutile Company Limited. In 1982, he joined BP
Sierra Leone (which later changed its name to NP) as Operations Engineer and rose steadily through the ranks at NP as Marketing Manager, General Manager and eventually as Managing Director of the Company. As Managing Director, he rebranded the NP Company and took it beyond the boundaries of Sierra Leone, to become an international Group structured Company.
He retired as Managing Director of the NP Company in 2015. He is currently the Executive Chairman of the NP Group Limited – which is the holding Company for NP Sierra Leone, NP Liberia, NP Gambia, NP Guinea and NP Cote D’Ivoire.
Note: This biography was originally published by Standard Chartered Bank (GB)