By AYO ONIKOYI
Captain (Dr) Idahosa Wells Okunbo JP, is a model, a case study of success who in his life and business experiences has traversed the land, sea and the air. At 21 he became a pilot, at 30 he had logged in 7,500 hours of flying time as a commercial jet plane pilot. Many years later, he ventured into agriculture where his company, Well Farm Limited, has invested millions of dollars in green house farming and agro-allied business in Edo State.
Well Farm Green Houses are under construction; on completion, it is expected that vegetables and other produce from the farm would be available for both domestic and export markets. Wells Farm Limited has also acquired 9000 hectares farm land for an agro business in Edo State that would in the end be built into an agricultural park.
The investment is that big that it is projected in the first instance to generate 25,000 jobs, with a capacity to create over 60,000 indirect jobs.
His success story on the sea is a different kind of story; with over fifty sea vessels, both for security and crude oil movements. His companies; Ocean Marine Ltd and OMS Tankers Ltd wrought wonders in bailing out NNPC from its challenge when he had to move crude in marine vessels to the refineries in Warri and Port Harcourt as oil pipelines were massively vandalized.
For the past 11 years, his company, OMS Tankers Ltd, has supported in raising the level of oil production in Nigeria and its sustenance by providing dedicated and efficient security solutions for offshore production assets of the major international oil companies operating in the country. Why won’t we salute and give a true patriot, Capt. (Dr) Hosa Okunbo JP, a standing ovation?
Captain Hosa’s hands have a touch of Gold; what has he engaged in his life that has never turned to gold?
Beginning of his success story
Captain Hosa, as he is fondly called by friends and admirers, registered his first company Hoslyn Ventures Nigeria Ltd in 1986 and subsequently quit paid employment as a pilot and moved into business in 1988. Hoslyn Ventures Nigeria Ltd represented Akzo Nobel Catalyst and was responsible for the successful supply of refineries catalyst that were used for FCCU in major refineries in Nigeria for more than two decades.
His company also represented several other equipment for the refinery plants. The company participated in the procurement of major engineering components for the Warri Refinery Turn Around Maintenance between 1990/ and1994.
Subsequently, through his company Hoslyn Technologies Nigeria Ltd, one of the first indigenous companies to carry out Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPCI) contracts in Nigeria and was able to complete and commissioned the early production facility for Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) at Ajaoki in Edo State in 2001.
Capt. (Dr) Idahosa Wells Okunbo is also the chairman, CMES OMS venture, a service provider in the oil and gas industry. CMES OMS Ventures has capacity to undertake EPCI Projects including drilling projects in oil field up to first oil. All these tell the story of a man and why his accomplishment precedes him.
He has since enlarged his conglomerate beyond marine security and logistics to cover properties, real estate, hotel and hospitality, aviation, entertainment, energy, telecoms, manufacturing, agriculture and with chairmanship and membership of corporate organizations in Nigeria and overseas.
Philanthropist par excellence
As a philanthropist, he has contributed to youth empowerment in his home State, Edo State and beyond. In 2012, The America Congress honoured him with The African Titan Award for being a voice of the Niger Delta People through his movie ‘Black November’. The Prestigious citadel of learning, University of Benin also honoured him in that year with a Doctorate degree in November 2012, in recognition of his community service and achievement as an outstanding entrepreneur.
This salute goes to a key investor in Nigeria, a farmer, industrialist, patriot, philanthropist, pathfinder, culture and art promoter, man of honour, integrity and hard work, a visionary, a man with unusual courage, a proud father of amazing children, the husband of Nosa, Capt. (Dr) Idahosa Wells Okunbo at 60 who by special grace of God has conquered the air, the sea and the Land.
To tell you how illustrious Capt. Hosa is, the Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion showered encomiums on him when he heard it was his 60th birthday.
“Happy birthday my dear son, Captain Hosa Okunbo; when I was told that you are celebrating 60 already, I knew it was the mercy of God that has kept you growing. At 60, you have excelled, conquered, achieved, matured, so I am saying thank you to God almighty. To see you all grow to maturity. I know how your parents cared for you. You never, never at any moment let me down, keep on son, have a longer life, God will protect you and guide you”.
The governor of Edo State, Governor Obaseki described Capt. Hosa as a dogged hard working son of the state.
“I will say he is a real patriot and a genuine Bini man; he is a great Edo citizen, somebody who has accomplished through dint of hard work. His accomplishments are self made and what is great about him that most people don’t know is that he is very empathetic, he can barely see people in need, languishing or suffering and he’s not pricked to assist, maybe that is why they say he is a philanthropist.
He is also very kind-hearted, very forgiving, a very pragmatic business man; a cultural icon and someone to whom so many people are indebted. He is also a person who believes in progress, development of other people and the State.
He is a restless entrepreneur who is pushing the frontier of business, taking risks, trying new things and time has shown that he is a real survival. On his 60th birthday, all of us, the government and people of Edo State, we wish this fine quintessential gentleman, an icon of our community happy birthday and many happy returns. We pray that the Almighty God will continue to guide him, give him good health sustain his acumen and bless his family so that he can live to ripe old age in happiness, congratulations Captain.”
Chief David Edebiri, the Esogban of Benin kingdom said;
“It is a great joy that Capt. Hosa is already 60. I thank God for his life; he is my son and a son to so many well-meaning Bini people. Everybody in Benin must have something good to say about him. He is a humble man, who started from a very humble beginning. He comes from a respectable family to achieve whatever position God has made him to achieve today. He is the one man who can be described as rich but who is never proud.
He is respectful, normal in his character, he is an enigma who in spite of what he has achieved in life, humble himself before anybody. You cannot see Capt. Hosa quarreling with anybody but he is very well tutored in the act of giving, in the act of helping downtrodden in the society, helping those people who have no one to care for them.
He is a developer of a very significant progress in the society. Capt Hosa gives out whatever he has so that the other person may not suffer, everybody loves him. He fits into any society and I will continue to pray for him for God to raise him from one level to another from the higher to the highest so that he can continue to minister to the needs of many people who daily throng his premises for one type of assistance or the other.”