Dr. Newton C. Jibunoh (OON, DSc)Ivsm
An explorer, engineer, art patron and connoisseur of African Art, philanthropist extraordinaire, environmentalist and most importantly, a great teacher and role model to millions of young people in Nigeria.
An explorer, popularly known as the Desert Warrior, he crossed the Sahara Desert three times by road, two of which were solo expeditions at ages 29 and 62, driving from Lagos to London. A consummate engineer, who, after 44 years of meritorious service in the profession - building roads, bridges and industrial complexes all over West Africa, - retired in 2006 as the Chairman/CEO of Costain (West Africa).
A passionate lover of Arts, he founded the first private museum in Nigeria called DIDI Museum, named after his only sister (deceased at the young age of 13), to promote Nigeria’s indigenous Arts. The museum continues to serve as the launching platform for many of Nigeria’s acclaimed artists. Through his private Foundation, Dr Jibunoh’s philanthropic interests and support range from scholarships to those from disadvantaged backgrounds to supporting those with visual impairment and physical disabilities.
Due to his unrivaled passion in creating awareness on the ravaging impact of desertification on communities bordering the Sahara desert, he founded FADE (Fight Against Desert Encroachment) Africa in May 2000, an international non-governmental organization dedicated to fighting environmental degradation in its many forms. He has documented the accounts of this mission in a book titled, “Me, My Desert and I”. He is also the Founder and Director of the Nelson Mandela Garden of Trees in Asaba, Delta State.
Dr Jibunoh is a recipient of numerous awards, some of which are:
- Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Builders FNIOB - with the annual lecture of the Institute holding in his name
- Silverbird Television – Lifetime Achievement Award 2013
- National honour of “Office of the Order of Niger” (OON)
- Doctor of Science, Honoris corsa, of Nnamdi Azikwe University 2006 and also, University of Benin, 2008
- Green Award by United States Embassy in Nigeria
- Conqueror of the Sahara Desert (CSD)
- Ambassador Emeritus for Environment awarded by the government of Lagos State for his outstanding contribution to the greening of Lagos State.