Nigeria’s leading expert in Subsea engineering and Executive director at Houston-based National Oilwell Varco, Dr. Babajide Agunbiade, has emphasized the need to identify one’s purpose of existence in a bid to live a fulfilling life.
In his keynote address to the 2020 graduate of the Higher Place Christian University (HPCU) in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States, Dr. Agunbiade told the graduates that When God created humans; he gave us a simple task, “Be fruitful, multiply, and have dominion (Authority over a field or profession).
God did not say, sit around and order amazon packages every day; He did not say go to the club every weekend and pop bottles or sleep and sing at religious houses all day. Instead, he expects us to be fruitful, multiply, and have dominion.
While speaking on the topic “Not Too Late to Connect with Your Purpose,” he listed the action points the students must consider to identifying the purpose of their existence. According to Agunbiade, who was inspired by General Electric founder Thomas Edison at age 14, It was these points that changed his life when he followed in Edison’s footsteps to work at General Electric (GE).
He said, “These were the 5 questions I couldn’t answer when I became unfulfilled with a career at GE while trying to emulate my mentor, Edison.” Who am I, or what is my identity? Where am I from or what is my source? Why am I here or what is my purpose in life? What can I do (minate), or what is my Potential? And finally, where am I going in life, or what is my destination.
According to him, “nothing is worse than being alive and not knowing why, waking up every day, eating, drinking, breathing oxygen, and not knowing why. To live for 80 years and still don’t know why you are here, that’s a tragedy! Without purpose, life has no meaning. It has no sense of destiny, no sense of position.”
Agunbiade said to the graduating students that his being accomplished today globally, impacting people, is because he decided to tap into what God has already built inside him. He charged the graduates to find the gifts that God put inside of them and nurture them.
“It is important to know that God is more committed to your success than you are. Like with manufacturers such as GE, Apple, Toyota, or anyone who has ever built something, success is good for the maker. Failure is also bad for the manufacturer. It destroys its image. Your failure tarnishes God’s Image. God made you in His Image; your failure is not good for God. It reflects poorly on God.
“God has to guarantee your success, not to protect you, but to protect his image. God has to make sure that the vision he gives you succeeds because his reputation is on the line.”
He emphasized that once a person has found their purpose in life, and then such a person will have dominion and authority over the chosen field or profession.
“I found out I could not entirely follow in Edison’s footsteps and claim to have dominion. Edison had control over his chosen field – He was the man that dominated the early electric component development.
“I searched for the least explored engineering field in the world; I found it was Subsea Engineering. It was the most challenging engineering specialization in the world and had the least number of experts; it also had no Subject Matter Specialist in Africa at the time. I wanted to be that expert and have control over that field, and be successful. When I had this inspiration, I packed all my interest in Engineering Mechanics and thermodynamics to one side. I started afresh by exploring a new field of Subsea Engineering”.
Dr. Babajide Agunbiade, a subsea engineer with over 20 years of experience in the offshore industry, has been involved at a significant level in virtually all the shallow to deepwater projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Gulf of Mexico. He is a member of The Nigerian Society of Engineer, Society of Underwater Technology, and a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers, amongst others.
He has a combined honors degree in industrial and production engineering from the University of Ibadan, a graduate of the General Electric (G.E) advanced engineering program, and G.E green and black belt certified. Dr. Agunbiade holds a Master’s degree in organizational management, an MBA from the prestigious AIU in Houston Texas, and a Ph.D. in leadership and Business from Higher Place Christian University (HPCU), Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. He is also a Ph.D. scholar in Environmental policy at Texas Southern University.
He started his career in Nigeria with various Engineering firms in Eket, Warri, and Port Harcourt before leaving for the US. Over the last 20 years, he has worked at General Electric (G.E) Houston, Texas, where he rose to become Principal Engineer for the $4billion Duke Energy Edwardsport IGCC (Integrated Gasification in Combined Cycle) project that built the first-ever IGCC plant in Edwardsport, Indiana.
He is currently a Director at National Oilwell Varco, the largest Oil and Gas equipment manufacturing company in the world headquartered in Houston, Texas, with 600 locations in 5 continents worldwide. He is a Philanthropist, businessman, prolific Investor, Energy Consultant, and one of the few Nigerian Subject Matter Expert (SME) in Subsea Production Systems.
Dr. Agunbiade has attended and presented papers at several Conferences, Seminars, and Workshops all over the globe. He has interest and ownership in several enterprises, including one of the largest shipping and logistics companies in Africa, Oil fields, and Real Estate.