Tribute to Prof. Albert Alos at 70

VC-PAUProf Alos is 70 years old tomorrow September 17th, and I think he deserves a tribute. Definitely, he will be the last to want me to write anything about him on this occasion, but heck, it’s my blog!

OK, you should ask. Who is Albert Alos? Fair enough question, but if you do ask it, I can surmise the following about you:

1. You are either not a Nigerian, or have lived so long away that you’ve lost touch with some important aspects of the country. I forgive you 🙂
2. You have never heard of the LBS (Lagos Business School), which he co-founded
3. You never heard of the Pan-African University of which he is Vice Chancellor
4. You never heard of the Irawo University Centre, a student residence at Agbowo, Ibadan, which he co-founded
5. You never heard of the Institute for Industrial Technology, Lagos a social project that the LBS supports
6. You never studied Electrical Engineering at UNILAG in the 70s
7. You never studied Electrical Engineering at Univ of Ife, which he helped found
8. Or well, you just forgot…

There are very few Nigerians more Nigerian that this Spaniard who came to Nigeria in 1967 and has remained here ever since. Certainly, I was not yet born then neither were many who would be reading this.

As a young Engineer, Albert Alos responded generously to the daring invitation made to him by the founder of Opus Dei, St. Josemaria Escriva, to go to help start Opus Dei in Nigeria, wow! Nigeria? Yessir! And he came!

And what is Opus Dei? And what does it have to do with Prof. Albert Alos? Putting it in layman’s language (after all it’s a lay institution 🙂 ), Opus Dei is a Catholic institution that promotes the search for holiness through the sanctification of ordinary work. Do your work well, for love of God, it becomes prayer. Hmm? Yes O!

And so Msgr. Josemaria Escriva wanted a few crazy fellows (‘crazy’ with God’s love, which is the only way to explain leaving the comfort of Europe to come to Black Africa), who would go to Africa to remind them that God is waiting for them also within professional work.

And after more than four decades (read 40 years, in Nigeria!), all those educational and social projects which Prof. Albert Alos has helped to set up (I didn’t name them all) were a response to Opus Dei’s founder’s challenge and assignment to him, to help Nigerians raise the bar high in all fields.

Happy 70th birthday to you Prof! Hip Hip Hurray! Ad multos anos!

We go wash am well well!

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