Engr. Nathaniel Oyakhire Erainkhifun Ilube CEng MIET MNSE
Engr. Nathanial Oyakhire Erainkhifun Ilube was born near Afuze in Owan East Local Government Area, Edo State, Nigeria on 25th July, 1941. At an early age he was selected to attend the prestigious NigerianMilitary School, Zaria (which was founded as the Boys Company of Nigeria in 1954). Engr. Ilube’s academic brilliance was quickly recognised and he was one of three young men sent to the UK in the mid-1950’s to attend advanced training there.
Engr. Ilube attended the Army Apprentices College,Harrogate, UK where he commenced his training as an electrical engineer, excelling throughout his time there and distilling in him his legendary discipline and the expertise of a British military trained engineer that was to prove such a strong foundation throughout his future career. Subsequently Engr. Ilube was recruited by the world famous British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), quickly becoming an international expert in media industry technology.
Such was his expertise that the BBC posted Engr. Ilube on secondment to Kampala, Uganda where from 1969 to 1972 he ran Uganda Television(UTV) engineering department. He was in this position when Idi Amin staged a coup and in fact was on duty at UTV when the Dictator’s soldiers arrived to take over the broadcasting facilities!
Returning to the UK, Engr. Ilube joined the research and development group of the General Post Office (which became BritishTelecommunications), working on world leading advanced video conferencing technologies. At this time he also attended advanced courses at Aston University as well as becoming a Member of the Institute of Electrical Engineering giving him the status of a Chartered Engineer (CEng MIET) in the UK, whilst later on registering as a Member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (MNSE) upon his return home.
After nearly 20 years abroad, Engr. Ilube returned home to make his contribution to the development of Nigeria in general and his home state in particular. Having worked briefly for Shell in Port Harcourt, he accepted a role at NTA Benin and quickly rose through the ranks. When the opportunity came to be part of the leadership team that established Bendel Broadcasting Service, Engr. Ilube seized the chance and became Chief Engineer of BBS, before rising to the pinnacle of General Manager of BBS. When Bendel State divided into Edo and Delta, Engr. Ilube orchestrated the division of the service and the creation of Edo Broadcasting Service, where he continued to serve as General Manager until his retirement.
During his career Engr. Ilube travelled far and wide, from Cuba to San Francisco and Switzerland, attending and speaking at engineering conferences at the highest international levels. Despite his profile and international expertise he always maintained a modest demeanour, avoiding any displays of ostentatious behaviour and living amongst the community. He was a strict and professional gentleman, with a sense of humour, and he instilled his desire to succeed in his children.
Engr. Ilube is survived by his wife, Mrs Eileen Ilube, his two sons, seven daughters and eleven grandchildren, who knew him fondly as “Grandad Nat”. We will all miss him greatly.
After a long and fascinating journey, Engr. Ilube will rest at home in Afuze, Owan East, Local Government Area, Edo State, Nigeria. A father's journey. There and back again.