Former law student nominated for alumni award

A former University of Aberdeen law student has been shortlisted for a prestigious award which recognises outstanding achievement by those who have graduated from UK universities.

Timipre Wolo gained a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in Oil and Gas Law from Aberdeen in 2009 and has not only pursued a successful legal career but has led key initiatives focused on environmental issues and youth development in her home country, Nigeria.

Timipre is shortlisted in the Professional Achievement category of the 2017 British Council Alumni Awards, which celebrate the outstanding achievements of alumni and showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education. Finalists are leaders in their fields who have used their experience of studying at a UK university to make a positive contribution to their communities, professions and countries.

Timipre grew up in the oil rich but highly impoverished Niger Delta region of Nigeria and developed an early interest in finding lasting solutions to the development issues in the region.  She began her career in private legal practice following her graduation whilst also running the Greener Nigeria Initiative, an NGO focused on the environment which she co-founded.

In 2010, she joined the Legal Department of the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Nigeria’s foremost government agency responsible for capacity development in the country’s oil and gas industry and was subsequently appointed Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary. In September 2011, she was assigned the responsibility of driving the PTDF Post Amnesty capacity-building initiative, as pioneer Head of the Industry Collaboration Unit (ICU) of the Fund, becoming the youngest member of the PTDF Management.

Driven by her passion and commitment to youth development, while serving in the PTDF, Timipre championed a number of youth empowerment initiatives including one which led to the award of full foreign undergraduate scholarships to young men and women from less privileged backgrounds in the Niger Delta and across Nigeria to study at various universities across the globe.

Timipre also championed the first ever Helicopter pilot training Programme for the petroleum industry in Nigeria with the training of indigenous youths as internationally certified commercial helicopter pilots to take over opportunities hitherto dominated by expatriates. Following the successful completion of their training, Timipre played a key role in initiating a job-creation partnership between the Fund and the private sector leading to the employment of the young budding pilots in the industry, upon completion of their type-rating/hour-building internship.

Her nomination for a British Council Alumni Award follows a number of other accolades including a listing as one of 90 personalities who inspire Nigeria by an international communications agency, THOSE WHO INSPIRE, a ‘Letter of Recognition’ by the Commonwealth Youth Council, the ‘African Woman of Worth’ 2015 Award, by the African Women in Leadership Organization and the Role Model for the Female Child 2016 award.

Timipre has a passion for developing young people and now dedicates her time to addressing issues relating to illiteracy and poverty amongst women and girls in rural areas across Africa, through the Centre for Gender Equality, Education and Empowerment (CGEEE), an NGO she founded in 2016.

She said: “Education is a vital tool for sustainable development and shows that anything is achievable irrespective of your station at birth.”

Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, added: “The British Council Alumni Awards recognise outstanding achievement by UK graduates and Timipre epitomises this.

“Her achievements since her graduation from the University in 2009 are quite remarkable and her nomination for this award is thoroughly deserved. We wish her every success at the ceremony and in both her professional and charitable endeavours.”