By Josef Omorotionmwan
TRULY, everyone has an underlying philosophy of life – even those to whom the subject of philosophy is anathema. On his arrival at the Edo State Revenue House some 68 months ago, Chief Oseni Elamah made it clear that the day you arrive at a place is the same day you begin to plan your exit. That explains in large part why, throughout his stay in office, no file ever stayed on his table overnight.
Elamah was truly addicted to the job; and there were occasions when he forgot himself in the office and worked all night before realising it.
His hard work paid off as he soon took the Edo State Internal Revenue Service virtually from zero to hero. At the peak of it all, the State Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, rose geometrically from a paltry N300 million to well over N2.5 billion per month.
Because of obvious space constraint, Elamah’s full achievements will be for another day, probably in his Biography. For now, it is necessary to meet this man, if only in an abridged form:
Oseni Elamah was born on 24th March 1959 into the noble Elamah family of Auchi Kingdom to Chief Nasir Elamah (Dodosalata) the Seriki Samali of Auchi Kingdom and Princess Salamatu Mary Elamah (Nee Salawe) from Apana, Uzairue Kingdom. In a short span of less than 57 years, Elamah has, in all respects and by all known standards, distinguished himself in several ways and is destined for history.
He had his early education in Auchi and later attended the famous Eghosa Grammer School in Benin City, after which he proceeded to the Federal Polytechnic Auchi from where he obtained a National Diploma in Accountancy in 1983. He became an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria in 1987 and bagged a Fellowship of the Institute in 1997. He is a Chartered Stock Broker and was also licensed as a dealer in 1996.
During the period 2005-2008, he was the Managing Director/CEO, Trustfund Pensions plc, Abuja, Nigeria. As the pioneer Managing Director/CEO, he quickly established the company as a leader in the emerging pension industry in Nigeria under the Pension Reform Act 2004. His tenure at Trustfund Pensions Plc did not only put in place, a solid foundation for the rapid growth of the company, but he also grew the pension assets under his management from about N40bn transferred from NSITE in addition to new pension contributions of about N16bn to over N100bn by June 2008.
In his quest to build up the necessary intellectual robustness relevant to the machinery and process of service to humanity, he soon transcended the narrow confines of a technical education when he proceeded to the United Kingdom where he obtained a Masters Degree in Governance and Finance from the Liverpool John Moore University in 2007. He has also taken several other courses within and outside Nigeria.
From 2002 to 2005, Elamah was an Executive Director, Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund, Abuja, Nigeria, during which period he worked closely with the Executive Management to design and implement a robust investment policy guideline that helped grow the investment assets from N8bn in 2002 to over N42bn by 2005.
During the period 2001-2002, Elamah worked as Executive Director (Business Development) in the Firm of Multinational Expertise Ltd, Lagos where he was responsible for Strategic Planning and Development of new business lines which resulted in the formation of a Joint Venture Company – Multinational Craig Energy Services Limited with a major UK energy supplier group – Messrs Craig Energy Group – to provide oilfield supplies and support to major Exploration and Production operators in the Nigeria Oil and Gas industry.
From 1999 to 2001, Elamah was Executive Director/Owner of Hoslyn Oil and Gas Services Ltd, Lagos, formerly Hoslyn Technologies, where he took charge of corporate Planning and Logistics.
Since 1999, Elamah has served as Consultant to various Oil and Gas based Organisations seeking capital market funding for their oil and gas investment projects in Nigeria.
From 1998 to 1999, he was a Special Assistant to the Special Adviser on Petroleum Resources, a position that accorded him, among other things, an opportunity to represent the Federal Republic of Nigeria at local and International conferences, seminars and meetings on petroleum matters.
Between 1994 and 1998, Elamah was Executive Director, Finance and Administration, TRW Stockbrokers Limited, Lagos, where he was responsible for bringing all the shareholders to participate in equity ownership of TRW Stockbrokers Limited and later took up executive position to oversee the finance and administration functions. In the process, he trained to become a Certified Stockbroker and a Dealer on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
In recognition of his contributions to the upliftment of humanity, many traditional institutions, societies and organisations – local international – have awarded him traditional chieftaincy titles and honours meant only for great achievers.
Among other things, Oseni Elamah is the Gimba of Auchi Kingdom and the Oka-Ivbiore of Benin Kingdom.
We present to you, this most perfect manifestation of humility, impervious tenacity in the service of this great nation and hope for our people. We present to you, one man who is destined for history, yet, whose humility belies the robustness of his attainment in life; we present to you one man who has a vision and a mission to work with other patriotic Nigerians for the fulfillment of the Nigerian Dream.
We present to you, Sir (Chief) Oseni Elamah, a purist, Double Chief — Gimba of Auchi Kingdom and the Oka-Ivbiore of Benin Kingdom; a humanist, a financial guru, an administrator per excellence, a quintessential taxman, a philanthropist extraordinaire, one man who renders service to humanity without counting the cost; and above all, a gentleman and a scholar. He is happily married with children.
Nothing is done until it is finally done. Elamah has started well. It is our fervent prayer that the Almighty God who, in His infinite wisdom, has always been his Shield and Buckler will continue to guard and guide him aright so that the latter years shall be more glorious than the former. TO GOD BE THE GLORY.