Vincent Lamkin Kanu laid to rest in Sierra Leone
The former Chief Executive of National Petroleum (NP), Dr. Vincent Lamin Kanu, who died in London on Monday 11th January 2016, was on Friday 5th February buried in the northern city of Makeni after a grand funeral mass at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Cathedral at Teko Road.
Hundreds of personalities from different parts of the country and abroad converged on Makeni to pay their last respects to the illustrious businessman and oil baron, including President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, Government Ministers, business partners, representatives from NP and ADDAX/BIOENERGY, politicians, civil servants, media practitioners and family friends among others.
During the Order of Mass, hair-rising tributes were made by a family member, family friend and representatives from BDDA, the Church, ADDAX/BIOENERGY, NP, Government, and from other business partners, while a tribute song was sang by family members respectively.
The vote of thanks and announcement was made by the late man’s sister, Mahawa Kanu Touray.
The late Dr. Vincent Lamin Kanu was laid to rest at the Wusum Hotel Gardens, the world class hotel he built in Makeni after he had retired from NP in 2005 as Chief Executive and embarked upon the personal project.
BIOGRAPHY OF DR. VINCENT LAMIN KANU (1943 TO 2016)
Vincent Lamin Kanu was born in Makarie Village, Bombali District to his parents Pa Abu Santigie Kanu and Ya Yeabu Kamara. The eldest of their five children together, Vincent attended St Francis Secondary School in Makeni under the guardianship of Catholic Italian priests, where he developed a strong Catholic faith that guided him for the remainder of his life.
After his early education in Sierra Leone he received further education in Business and Management at the Institute of Business in Rose Italy and at Boston College in Massachusetts USA. Vincent started his career as a Sales Representative in Sierra Leone for AGIP, an Italian petroleum company. There he developed a great deal of knowledge and an avid interest in the petroleum industry and, through exceptional hard work, rose to the rank of Country Manager. He later served at British Petroleum (BP) Sierra Leone, rising to increasingly greater heights and he became Managing Director of National Petroleum (NP). Vincent as Chief Executive of NP at the time was instrumental in the privatization of the company in the late 1990’s. He served as the Managing Director of NP until his retirement in 2005.
In addition to his work in business from 1991 to 2002, Vincent also represented Italy in Sierra Leone as Consul and served as Dean of the Diplomatic Corps. Vincent had a long and illustrious career and had been an instrumental figure in the development of the petroleum industry in Sierra Leone.
He served on many Corporate Boards in the roles of Director or Chairman. In 2007, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the nation in the field of commerce, particularly in the oil industry, he was honoured as a Grand Officer of the Order of the Rokel by the President of Sierra Leone.
Furthermore, in 2014, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in Social Entrepreneurship by the University of Makeni in recognition of his outstanding contribution in business and to the community.
After his retirement in 2005, Vincent embarked upon a personal project to ‘pay back’ his home town of Makeni by making a personal investment in the infrastructure of the region. He built a world class hotel called Wusum Hotel which has contributed greatly to development of the region.
In addition to all of this, Vincent was also instrumental in launching the nation’s first biofuels initiative with international investors located in the Makeni region, designed to generate jobs while reducing Sierra Leone’s dependency on imported petroleum. Vincent or Vinco as his friends and loved ones affectionately called him was well known, well loved and well respected. He was a rain maker and often the life of the party. He will be sorely missed.
He is survived by his children Isatu, Mahawa, Zainab and Vincent; his brothers Brima, John and James; his sisters Makaprie and Rugiatu Baby; and his grandchildren Ibrahim, Neneh, Kaira, Safia, Matthew and Esther.
May his soul rest in perfect peace!
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