Ralph Alabi

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Ralph Alabi
Ralph Alabi.jpg
Ralph Alabi
Raphael Adeola Alabi

(1941-04-14)14 April 1941
Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria
Died11 November 2009(2009-11-11) (aged 68)
Ikeja, Lagos State[1]
Resting placeAkure, Ondo State
EducationCity and Guild of London Certificate, OND, BSc.
Alma materSt, Joseph's College Ondo, Hendon College, UK
OccupationEngineer, Industrialist, businessman, Pastor
Years active1961–2009
EmployerGuinness Nigeria
OrganizationNigeria Society of Engineers, Manufacturers association of Nigeria, Akure Inner Circle, Oyemekun Progressive Union
Home townAkure
TitleEngr, Doctor
Spouse(s)Rachael Oluwayemisi Alabi (Late)
ChildrenOlufunmilayo Atkins, Adekunle Alabi, Adeniyi Alabi, Folaranmi Masha, Yetunde McEwen, Olusayo Alabi, Adenike Alabi

Raphael Adeola Alabi OON, Fellow of NSE (1941–2009)[2] was a Nigerian engineer and industrialist. He hailed from the City of Akure, Ondo State, and he was the first indigenous engineer in post colonial Nigeria to become a 'Chief Engineer' at Guinness, Nigeria.[3] Altogether he used 45 years at Guinness, including 13 years as the chairman.[4]

Early life[edit]

Ralph was born to a traditional Akure family, and was, as documented in his book, related to the royal Adesida Family of Akure.[5] He lived with his great-grandmother, Eyelori (Queen) Faromibi Adesida, one of the wives of Oba Afunbiowo Adeside (former Deji of Akure), until he was 16 years of age.[6]

After primary school in 1956, Ralph Alabi attended St. Joseph's College, Ondo (1957–1961), where he received a scholarship from the Akure District Council.[7][8] After receiving an ordinary diploma in mechanical engineering at the technical college, Ibadan (now Ibadan Polytechnic) and the City and Guild of London Certificate, Ralph enrolled at the Hendon College of Technology in London (now Middlesex University) on a Guinness scholarship on an HND programme, but was later transferred to a degree class due to high performance.[9][10] He subsequently graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.[10]

Professional career[edit]

Ralph began his career in Guinness Nigeria Plc as a Technical Trainee in 1964 and rose through the ranks to become the Chairman of Guinness Nigeria Plc.[11] He was also very active in other professional circles, and later founded his own engineering consultancy company.[12]

Guinness Nigeria[edit]

Having earlier earned a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical College, Ibadan (now Ibadan Polytechnic), where he graduated as the best engineering student,[13] he was employed by Guinness as a 'Trainee' and rose through the ranks to become the first Nigerian Chief Engineer in 1979.[14] He was subsequently Executive Director in 1986, marketing director 1988 and was managing director Chief Executive, and vice-chairman between 1994 and 1996. Ralph Alabi's journey at Guinness ended with him using up to 13 years as the chairman (Non-Executive) in 2009.[4]

Taïjo Wonukabe[edit]

Ralph Adeola Alabi was the chairman of a frontline marketing communications firm known as Taijo Wonukabe Limited.[15] A renowned corporate strategist and captain of industry, Alabi bung to bear to the business of Taijo Wonukabe his vast experience in management and corporate governance.[15]

Maystar Brothers Ltd[edit]

After an illustrious career with Guinness, Ralph Alabi decided to set an engineering consultancy business – a company christened Maystar Brothers Ltd.[16] In the seventh chapter of his second publication(Second Diamond Chronicle, 2001),[16] Ralph explained the reason for his company name by describing what he called "The May factor" using some of the following points:

  • Married, May 1967
  • Promoted to Assistant Chief Engineer, May 1972
  • Promoted Chief Engineer, May 1979
  • Promoted to general manager, May 1985
  • Appointed Deputy M.D, May 1991

Honours and memberships[edit]

Ralph Alabi was a member of several business and professional organisation such as COREN. In 1990, he was given the chieftaincy title of Aruwajoye of Akure,[17] and honoured with a National merit award- Officer of Order of the Niger (OON)- in 2003 by Obansonjo government.[1][8] The Federal University of Technology of Akure on 11 December 2005, conferred on him the award of doctorate degree (Honoris Causa) Doctor of Engineering. He was a National Vice-Chairman of Science, Engineering and Technology Summit of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.[18] He was also a member of the Governing Council of Lagos State Polytechnic.[15]

Manufacturers Association of Nigeria[edit]

Ralph was a former chairman of manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ikeja Branch, and the Finance and Establishment Committee Chairman of MAN National Council.[15]

Nigeria Society of Engineers[edit]

Ralph was also a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE).[15]

Personal life and Death[edit]

Alabi got married to Rachael Alabi (née Oluwafemi) while studying in the UK, and both had three of their seven children there before returning to Nigeria in 1969.[19] Since 1964, Alabi was employed at Guinness in several capacities until three months before his death, and sat as the head of many organisations through the course of his life. He lived mainly in Lagos, but spent substantial periods of his life at his hometown, Akure.[20]

A statement from the family spokesperson and daughter of the late former Guinness head, Mrs. Yetunde McEwen, said he died at his Ikeja GRA, Lagos home on Wednesday, 11 November 2009. The late Alabi devoted his last days to the service of God as a pastor of the Merciful God Ministry.[21] He left behind many children and grandchildren and a legion of individuals from all walks of life who sought his counsel on various facets of life: spiritual, entrepreneurship, management, alumni relations, discipline and family.


  1. ^ a b Prince, [1] 13 November 2009
  2. ^ Online Nigeria [2], 15 September 2010
  3. ^ Alabi, Ralph, Second Diamond Chronicle, 2001
  4. ^ a b Orivri, Hope, [3], 18 June 2010
  5. ^ Alabi, Ralph. Second Diamond Chronicle, 2001 p. 5, Owena Paper Products No. 4932195
  6. ^ Alabi, Ralph, Second Diamond Chronicle, 2001 p. 5, Owena Paper Products No. 4932195
  7. ^ Alabi, Ralph, Second Diamond Chronicle, 2001 p. 6, Owena Paper Products No. 4932195
  8. ^ a b St. Joseph's College, [4][permanent dead link] 15 September 2010
  9. ^ Alabi, Ralph, Second Diamond Chronicle, 2001 p. 37, Owena Paper Products No. 4932195
  10. ^ a b Alabi, Ralph. Divine Deal, 2004 p.20, ISBN 978-062-162-8
  11. ^ Alabi, Ralph. Divine Deal, 2004 p. 9, ISBN 978-062-162-8
  12. ^ Alabi, Ralph, Second Diamond Chronicle, 2001 p. 50, Owena Paper Products No. 4932195
  13. ^ Alabi, Ralph. Divine Deal, 2004 p.4, ISBN 978-062-162-8
  14. ^ Alabi, Ralph. Divine Deal, 2004, ISBN 978-062-162-8
  15. ^ a b c d e Thisday Online, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 April 2005. Retrieved 23 October 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) 15 September 2010
  16. ^ a b Alabi, Ralph. Second Diamond Chronicle, 2001 p. 50, Owena Paper Products No. 4932195
  17. ^ Alabi, Ralph, Second Diamond Chronicle, 2001, p. 45, Owena Paper Products No. 4932195
  18. ^ St. Joseph's College [5][permanent dead link], 15 September 2010
  19. ^ Alabi, Ralph. Divine Deal, 2004 p.23, ISBN 978-062-162-8
  20. ^ Alabi, Ralph, Second Diamond Chronicle, 2001, Owena Paper Products No. 4932195
  21. ^ Prince, [6] 13 November 2010

External links[edit]