By Ahmadu Shehu, PhD.
Recently, my friend Dr Mohammed Dahiru Aminu took a step further in realizing his promised greatness. He joins PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as Manager in Sustainability and Climate Change consulting. PwC is one of the ‘big four’ accounting/management consulting firms and the world’s second-largest professional services networks, operating in 157 countries with over 742 locations. The annual revenue generation of the company is around $42.4 billion, which is greater than Nigeria’s annual budget.
Dahiru, as he is known and called by persons close to him, was born in Yola to Dr Aminu Raji’s family, a descendant of Modibbo Raji—one of the most prominent 19th-century Islamic scholars in northern Nigeria and the most important scholar in the Fombina emirate. Dahiru earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Maiduguri and a master’s degree in petroleum engineering from London South Bank University. In addition, he holds a PhD in carbon capture and storage from Cranfield University.
Upon completing his master’s degree, Dahiru launched a career in academia as an Assistant Lecturer at the Modibbo Adamawa University of Technology before moving to the American University of Nigeria as an Assistant Professor of Petroleum Chemistry. Brief as it may seem, Dahiru’s academic career is a story of success. He is amongst the world’s first generation of PhDs in the emerging carbon capture and storage area and has produced consequential papers in the leading journals in that discipline. One of his papers, entitled “A review of developments in carbon dioxide storage”, published in Applied Energy—a leading journal within Energy and Environmental Science—is arguably the broadest published paper in the open literature on any aspect of carbon dioxide storage. Other contributors to the article were Professor Vasilije Manovic and Dr Syed Ali Nabavi of Cranfield University, and Dr Christopher A. Rochelle of the British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, UK.
Because of the paper’s relevance within the field, it won an award as one of the most cited papers ever published in Applied Energy since the journal’s inception in 1975. The award was announced at the International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE) in 2020, which was scheduled to hold in Bangkok (Thailand), but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event was held in a virtual conference in December 2020.
Similarly, all chapters of Dahiru’s thesis, completed under a research program entitled “Carbon Dioxide Storage in the UK Southern North Sea: Experimental and Numerical Analysis”, were published in leading scientific journals as the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control and Heliyon.
Dahiru has also been actively involved in community service and is a member of several advisory boards, councils, and committees. He is a member of the Roster of Experts of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Bonn, Germany; and serves as member and secretary of the Working Group on Solid Waste Management for implementation of the Nigeria Climate Change Response Programme (NCCRP), Federal Ministry of Environment, Abuja; amongst others.
Although Dahiru’s scholarly achievements in academia were remarkable, nonetheless, those of us who know him have always felt that the academic career path was a transitional phase. His expertise would be better harnessed for the more public good in the private or policy sectors, where he could apply his training and knowledge in a more instrumental setting. This move should also offer him greater visibility and voice in meaningful African conversations around sustainability and climate change.
Beyond academia, Dahiru’s profile reaches into the arena of public commentary and public service. He is one of Nigeria’s prolific and influential young public intellectuals. His writings and talks on national issues and sharp analyses and prognoses of Nigeria’s economic and developmental challenges are as informed as they are illuminating. He publishes opinion pieces in Nigeria’s leading online and traditional newspapers. He is also a visible and strident voice in Nigeria’s vibrant cyberspace. As Dahiru joins the world of consulting, where he will work on finding solutions to the problems posed by climate change as one of humanity’s greatest challenges, he will undoubtedly deploy his expertise and experience in a more hands-on approach, now more than ever.
Dr Ahmadu Shehu holds a PhD in Linguistics and writes from Yola, the Adamawa state capital. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org