-BARR. DUMO LULU BRIGGS
He is ebony black, handsome and hunky; the kind of guy that would have
made a career playing pro- basketball in the NBA. He is also calm,
humble, intelligent, soft-spoken and a gentleman. Welcome
to the world of Chief Dumo Owukori Lulu Briggs; lawyer, businessman,
technocrat, politician and philanthropist.
Dumo makes no pretentions about being a rich man’s kid. His father
Chief O .B lulu Briggs is easily the richest man in the Niger/Delta.
His company; Moni Pulo Ltd drills and exports crude oil; he is an
elder statesman, politician and legendary philanthropist whose name
and goodwill open doors all over the country. He was also national
vice chairman of the defunct National Party of Nigeria, NPN. His dad,
Dumo says has been an inspiration for most of the things he has done
in life and he is appreciative and proud of this great and illustrious
At first meet, he is not your regular spoilt and pampered rich man’s
child. Dumo is confident and outgoing. He is well suited to discuss
any subject and he speaks with deep introspection, and reverence,
respecting the sensibilities of all. He is also street smart and
alert; he attended public schools and he can hold his own anywhere.
“My dad has always been an inspiration. My foray into maritime
industry, and oil and gas was because he was also in that business. He
has a larger than life image. Considering the circumstances of his
birth, he has achieved outstanding success in business and politics
and he has a large heart when it comes to helping society. He is
truly one of the great men of his generation”.
But make no mistakes, Dumo has learnt well. Under his dad’s tutelage; he
has carved a niche for himself as a prolific corporate player,
technocrat and grassroots mobilizer.
Dumo is a lawyer. He obtained his law degree from Ahmadu Bello
University, Zaria in 1985, which he describes as a great institute of
learning and a citadel of excellence. In 1987, he crowned it with a
master’s degree from University of London. He has also fortified
himself with executive courses at Harvard University and Southern
Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA.
He talks about his motivations for studying law.
Growing up Days
“My father was very strict…
I am a lawyer today, even
though I didn’t originally want to become a lawyer. But of course, at
that time when we were growing up, we couldn’t break from our parents.
What you wanted as opposed to what your parents wanted would always be
secondary. So my father insisted that I must read law. And that
training has also helped me to take on other challenges outside of the
legal profession. Into oil and gas; I am also into entertainment. And
whatever field I find myself in, I see my law background has been very
helpful. I am also into politics.”
He was 50 on June 13, Dumo joined Moni Pulo ltd, an indigenous oil
exploration company founded by his father in June 1998 as company
secretary and legal adviser. From inception the company was under
expatriate management. In 2002; he was promoted to executive director
and the year after, he was appointed managing director purely on
merit. At this time the company’s fortunes had dwindled and Dumo saw
his elevation as a divine opportunity to prove his capacity and
capability as a manager of men and resources.
Under his watch, Dumo says he was able to turn around the operations of
the company, re-focused its operations and permanently established
Muni Pulo Ltd as a dynamic corporate entity.
“We streamlined units around a coherent commercial and operational
worldwide strategy, resulting in profitability, revenue gains, winning
market share in its strategic emergence as a major independent Oil and
Gas exploration and production company.”
Today, Moni Pulo is one of the most successful indigenous oil exploration
companies in Nigeria and it continues to play a major role in shaping the
industry and encouraging local talents and growth.
It’s a classic turn-around story in Nigerian corporate history, the likes of
which are used as case study in Business schools. In Dumo’s unassuming attitude,
he shrugs it off and says,’ we did what we had to do’. I stalled for a few
moments for him to revel in self accomplishment…spew forth a few words of
praise…I couldn’t grudge him that, but none was forthcoming. It was not my
style to wallow in self praise and ego tripping. It was not my job to change a 50-year
old man, I had to stick to the business at hand and move matters forward.
In November 2013, he and some associates formed Platform Petroleum Ltd
of which he is Chairman and since then there has been no looking back.
Apart from sitting on the board of several blue chip companies all
over the country, he is also chairman of several successful indigenous
companies which employ hundreds of Nigerians in their various spheres;
they include DLB Marine Ltd, De- Plaza Privilage, DLB Energy Services
Ltd, and Bluewaves Marine and Construction Co., Ltd amongst others.
Dumo says as an entrepreneur and visionary, he identifies the
potentials of the ventures, sets up the structures and brings in
competent hands to run the business so they can actualize themselves
by so doing. Daily his profile rises and his achievements in the
corporate world as a focused and astute investor, manager of resources
and motivator of men mark him out as a man of great promise for his
“Every day, I pray to God to show me more ways to impact my society; to
do a better job of managing the resources and opportunities that I
have to create jobs and opportunities for others hereby helping to
make the world a better place for all.”
Dumo is happily married to the lady of his dreams, Dawn, who he
describes as the bone of his bone and the flesh of his flesh, and they
are blessed with children.
He says of his beautiful wife of over 15 years,
“She is God-sent; a very special woman blessed with grace, intellect,
understanding and wisdom. She is a worthy partner who stands by me in
all I do. She is an epitome of womanhood and motherhood.”
Dumo’s day is always loaded with meetings, consultations and travels
all over the world for one board meeting, inspection or to seal a
deal. His hobbies are writing, reading, sports and surprisingly
philanthropy for which he has received numerous awards over the years.
‘I am passionate about helping the less privileged around me. Always I
seek out ways to reach out to the needy in meaningful ways. I have
given out scholarships; I continuously undertake women and youth
empowerment programmes, helping of the widows, the sick and the
orphaned. Each time I do such, it gives me inner peace and joy knowing
I am putting smiles on the faces of people and helping to give them
hope for tomorrow. The rich amongst us must understand that we are
only custodian of wealth and should therefore use it to uplift and
better the lives and situations of those around them.”
As a mark of brotherhood and social affinity, in his home town
Abonnema, Dumo belongs to two socio-cultural associations; Nyemoni
Awo aogo and Kengema Mina Ogbo.
Dumo’s humanness is also found in the people around him, despite his
huge success as an international businessman, he still keeps his
childhood friends and hangs out with them constantly,
“We are all children of a benevolent God, what is the joy of having
when my friends do not have. I have found happiness in being myself
and in doing the things that give me pleasure”.
Dumo says in his little way he believes in making life meaningful to
his people and those that have been privileged to come in contact with
“The true worth of a man is in the way he treats people who are absolutely in
need. If you care about people in need, you are actually
making a contribution to the development of the nation.
We need to give life back to the people; democracy is important in the
way of governance. We need to try and see how we can use the available
resources for everybody; create opportunities for all and care
especially for those who are truly in need. The gap between the rich
and the poor should be bridged. Those of us blessed with material
resources need to share with others. We must strike to create a
balance with our resources”.
Dumo’s enduring success in the maritime and oil and gas sector as a
Niger-Delta indigene has propelled him into role model status for all
those dreaming of a career in that line of business. Youths are
beginning to realize the sky is the limit to their ambitions and
dreams as long as they can work on it.
Dumo says, ”I am humble, people see me as a role model. I have always said
there is no short cut to success; it takes a lot of hard work and
perseverance to make it and stay up there. I will continue to give in
my best in all my endeavors to make me worthy of this trust.”
Dumo’s first opportunity to showcase his skills as a technocrat and
team player on the national level, presented itself in 2009 when he
was appointed chairman of the National Maritime Academy, Oron, an
institute set up by the federal Government of Nigeria to train
He reveals, ”we knew when we came on board that we had a serious job to do. We
knew we had to make a mark before we leave the Academy.’
Dumo has just finished another shot at public service as chairman of
the board of the Federal Medical Centre , Owerri, for him it was
another opportunity to add his quota to national development, but
this time in the health section.
“The experience was wonderful, very challenging ,it was an eye-opener. I
had a great team- we had very experienced technocrats and
professionals on the board, people like M. Ibrahim Shettima, Usman
Ibba, Engr. Don Chibundu Njoku, and Senator (Engr) Onyema Amadi
Okoroafor. With all modesty; we left the place better than we met it
and I believe posterity will judge us positively someday.
Dumo is not swollen headed about his achievements in public service
so far. He believes he has been offered opportunity to serve because
people know his potentials.
“They think that it’s a job that I would be able to deliver. Also, it
must have been borne out of my well known enthusiasm and interest in
anything that relates to education and human capital development. They
must have thought that well, this is somebody who has over time
spoken so much about this…it would be nice to see if it is not just
talk; now that we have the opportunity, let’s see if he will be able
to deliver. So, it’s not lost on me that the expectation is high. I
take all of these assignments with all amount of seriousness and
dedication. Sometimes, they conflict in terms of timing with my businesses
which are growing daily, but because this is national
service I create the time and balance to ensure I give my best always.
Nigeria, I have always believed can only truly be great when we all
add our own quota to its development when called upon to do so. So, I
cannot fall short of their expectations of me, God has always been
helping and guiding me.”
Dumo was a Member of the -Rivers State Economic Advisory Council for
four years, he is also a Member of the Nigerian Association of
Petroleum Explorers (NAPE), Member-International Bar Association
(IBA), Fellow-Institute of Corporate Managers & Public Administrators
of Nigeria (FCMPA), Recipient- Distinguished Nation Builders Merit
He is taking it a notch higher; he has
his sights on contesting for governorship of Rivers State in 2015.
He says upfront,
“The 2015 gubernatorial elections in Rivers State, I believe, should be
about who will take the state to a greater height and not
about which of the ethnic nationalities in the state will produce the
Dumo’s candidacy is creating excitement amongst the political class
and has received endorsement from various political associations and
groups across the state but he knows it’s going to be long drawn
and tough battle.
“The terrain has changed from when I first contested in 2003. Now, the
consultation is so much, our democracy is much more robust, there is
no more imposition of candidates. Now, everybody is enjoined to work,
to go the grassroots and show yourself as acceptable by your people.
The groupings have also changed. You have to consult massively and
it’s a never ending affair. But I like it, it puts me and my team on
our toes to react to the dynamics of the system and forge ahead.”
Dumo’s foray into politics commenced in 1992 when he joined the Social
Democratic Party, (SDP), that same year he was a candidate for the
House Of Representatives in Akuku Toru Federal Constituency, in Rivers
Between 1986 and 1998, he was national assistant legal adviser to the
Grass Roots Democratic Party and in 2003, he contested for the
governorship of Rivers State against Dr. Peter Odili.
As the politicking gathers momentum, Dumo believes there is need for
all Rivers people to unite under one umbrella.
“I tell you, there is need for us to unite Rivers people. We must end
the divisiveness and polarisation and bring everybody together under
one umbrella. At the appropriate time, the PDP will pick their best
Dumo says the responsibility of political leadership and government is to
create opportunities for everybody so that the corresponding
expectation for responsibility from all is also deserved. Like you
know, if you don’t provide the opportunities, then it becomes difficult for you
to insist that they must lead very responsible
lives. Rivers State needs liberation and I believe I am the man that
can make it happen with the support of the people”.