Timipre Wolo is a Lawyer by training, specialized in Oil & Gas Law from the University of Aberdeen. An indigene of Ekowe in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. She was born in Port Harcourt, the 3rd of 5 kids. Her father was a Civil Servant and her mother, a Business woman.
When Timipre was 5, her father was transferred to Sagbama local Government area of present day Bayelsa State so we moved. At the age of 12, her mother passed on. Her death had a very huge impact on the family but Timipre was determined to fulfil her dying wish of becoming a Lawyer someday so she stayed motivated and focused on her educational dreams. In her final year in the University, she became the 1st female national Vice President of the National Union of Bayelsa State Students and was subsequently accepted as Nigeria’s representative to the United Nations Youth Assembly in New York…. The experience at the Youth Assembly strengthened Timipre’s resolve to be a change driver.
Timipre is presently, the MD/CEO of TFN Energy Limited and was recently appointed Chairperson, Ladies in Oil & Gas (LIOG) Nigeria. She is also the Founder of the Center for Gender Equality, Education and Empowerment (CGEEE). Prior to her current role, She served as a member of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) Legal team; Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary of the Fund; and the youngest person to ever serve in the PTDF Management.
Timipre was recently awarded our Overall Woman of the Year 2017 and we made this Q&A so you can get to know more about her! A downloadable pdf version is available HERE
Describe yourself with three words.
Graceful, Joyful and Resolute.
What are you passionate about?
I am a very passionate person. I am passionate about life, love, family, my calling, and making the world a better place.
If there was one thing you could change about this world, what would it be?
If there was one thing I would like to change about this world, it would be inequality! Every child should be given equal opportunities in the pursuit of their dreams and purpose. No child should be a victim of child marriage or child labour while their peers on the other side of the divide are in school.
What is your definition of Impact and how have you actively played a role towards being impactful?
My definition of impact is the ability to not only inspire others by your words and actions but to go the extra mile in taking practical steps towards making a real difference in the lives of others within your sphere of influence.
I learnt very early from the life of my mother, that the most important thing in life is the positive impact you make in the life of others. So I make a conscious effort to be a light to everyone God brings across my path, in whatever little way I can. I started making periodic visits to vulnerable children in orphanages and refugee camps within Nigeria as a University student, even though I barely had enough for myself. And when I got an opportunity to serve in the PTDF, I saw it as an opportunity to live out my purpose and be the change I’ve always wanted to be from the days of my UN youth Ambassador experience. So against all odds, I went the extra mile to do whatever I could to create opportunities for no less than 400 young Nigerians`, who may never have dreamt of such possibilities, given their humble backgrounds like mine. Firstly, with the support of my team, I initiated PTDF pioneer foreign undergraduate scholarship program that resulted in the sponsorship of young Nigerians to study in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Norway, China and Malaysia. My team and I also looked at some areas where local competencies were lacking so we could take advantage of the Nigerian Content Act to create new opportunities for young Nigerians to fill those existing gaps. Hence, we initiated the training of 20 young men and women selected from across Nigeria as internationally certified commercial helicopter pilots. After obtaining their licenses, I played a key role in initiating a pioneer job-creation partnership with the private sector for an 18months internship. This partnership culminated in employment of 15 of the young budding pilots into positions hitherto held by expatriates. Amongst them was Nigeria’s youngest pilot, Tosin Ajibola from Kwara state and the first female helicopter pilot from Katsina state, Ruqayat Suleiman, along with 3 other young women from Ondo, Rivers and Bayelsa States. My team and I wanted to change the narrative of training without a trajectory and by the grace of God we were able to achieve that. Whereas helicopter is a one means of transporting workers and supplies to the oil and gas rigs in the Niger delta, most of these helicopters were hitherto manned by expatriates. Also, being part of their journey and seeing the transformation before my very eyes, I just could not bear the thought of them returning to Nigeria to join the already teeming unemployed youths. Today, they are all currently flying with some of the biggest IOCs in Nigeria and I am super proud of their achievements.
Also while in the services of the Fund, I facilitated a partnership between the PTDF and a Financial Institution to assist 120 trainees access SME loans to enable them set up small and medium enterprises.
Presently, my company, TFN Energy Limited is the major sponsor of CGEEE which is focused on creating diverse opportunities for young people, particularly young women and girls from disadvantaged backgrounds in Nigeria and across the sub-Saharan African region. CGEEE offers various capacity building programmes including, a scholarship scheme, Entrepreneurial trainings, mentoring/coaching, Internships and free Legal Aid.
In addition, One Hour with The King (1HWTK), a non-denominational fellowship with I founded by divine instruction in 2013, is also a platform for reaching out to both the young and the old across the board.
What is your take on WOMEN SUPPORTING WOMEN?
There is really nothing as encouraging and inspiring as receiving support from women. I would probably not be the woman I am today without the support of other women be it in my family, career or personal life. Having lost my Mom at an early age, there were times when I needed to speak to my mother but she was beyond reach. Sometimes all I wanted was to get her approval; a thumbs up or a nod. However, over the years I have been blessed with a number of women who have played various roles in my life. Some of these women include; Mommy Mary Abioye; my sisters, Mrs. Preye Orok and Mrs. Jennifer Okuba; My Sister-in-law, Mrs. Edith Benson; Pastor Mrs. Joyce Pender; Pastor Mo, Pastor Mrs. Agatha Nzekwe, Pastor Mrs. Eno Jerry, Mrs. Felicia Ugwa; Mrs. Comular Wolo; Mrs. Franca Esangbedo; Mrs. Timi Nwajueboe and my childhood friends, Mrs. Tawa Lenz and late Mrs. Preye Churchill.
If you could give one advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Believe firmly in Romans 8:28 and trust the process, even when things don’t work out as you thought or planned.
What do you consider your greatest achievement so far in life?
Seeing all my siblings succeed against all the odds that life threw at us following the loss of our mum at a time when we needed her the most.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you so far?
One important lesson life has taught me is that anything is achievable if you combine hard work and dedication with a lot of faith.
What are your plans for 2018?
I like the element of surprise so let’s wait for them to unfold.
What would you do differently in the New Year?
Create more time for my personal life.
Any word of advice for the women reading this right now?
Life is truly about laying the groundwork for others to succeed and then standing back and letting them soar and shine and the truth is that each time you shine the light on others, the same light reflects on you. So, the more light you shine on others, the brighter you shine at the end of the day. So it is important to discover your purpose and pursue it with all tenacity because that is where true fulfilment comes from. The question we should constantly ask ourselves is “what will we be remembered for after we leave this earth eventually? Take a moment and ponder on the question and resolve today to live your life purposefully and just be your uniquely beautiful self.
This is the kind of woman I want to become. I am truly inspired. Thank God I met her on the last day of the year. Here is my years role model and “wanna be”.
God continue to bless you Ms Timi.