By Sufuyan Ojeifo
Today, Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo, fondly called Captain ‘Hosa, is being celebrated as he turns 59.
Born on January 7, 1958, to the family of the late Reverend Robert Amos Okunbo, Captain ‘Hosa’s birthday always provides an opportunity for family members and friends to give their goodwill messages and best wishes to the investor who has positively touched many lives.
As he does not announce his acts of benevolence and philanthropy to humanity, only those who have benefitted from his generosity would attest to his humility in giving.
A man with a heart of gold, Captain ‘Hosa is not conceited in his world outlook. To him, such barriers as social segregation and economic subjugation are anathema. He moves about without an air of superiority; he is easygoing and always ready to assist.
His garb of simplicity is partly a product of his humble and disciplined upbringing. He is, also, perhaps, well advised by Chinua Achebe’s lines in “Things Fall Apart” that those whose palm kernel has been cracked for them by the benevolent spirit should learn to be humble.
In taking up the gauntlet of independence from the outset of his business ventures, the combination of discipline, hard work, purpose and providence has contributed to his success.
When he turned 30, Captain ‘Hosa retired from paid employment as an airline pilot who had booked more than 7,000 hours of flight time, most of which was jet experience across continents. He moved into the high risk area of the oil and gas sector. He has since broken the glass ceiling with his many accomplishments in the area of marine security and marine logistics through his company, Ocean Marine Solution (OMS) Limited.
He has further expanded his business scope into real estate, hospitality, entertainment, energy, power, telecoms, aviation and agriculture. It takes someone with the touch of Midas, and who is adroit at multi-tasking, to turn multifarious investments in these areas into gold.
Indeed, Captain ‘Hosa’s life is a study in resilience. He has remained steadfast all through the years in the face of daunting challenges occasioned by unpredictable business environments, and yet succeeding in the varying circumstances.
At the foundation of his business trajectory was Hosyln Ventures Nigeria Limited, which was servicing the oil and gas sector with supplies of refinery catalysts used in major projects, including revamping and procurements. It participated in the procurement of major engineering components for the Warri Refinery Turn-Around Maintenance in 1994.
Hosyln Technologies Nigeria Limited, one of the first indigenous companies to execute engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract in Nigeria, completed and commissioned the early production facility for Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) at Ajoki Oziengbe South Field in 2001.
Ocean Marine Solution (OMS) Limited has been involved in the recovery, remediation, maintenance and security surveillance of the Escravos-Warri and Bonny-Port Harcourt pipeline segments. This has resulted in the significant turnaround of the pipeline system from its once decrepit state in the past eight years to the current efficient and highly utilised level.
Furthermore, Captain ‘Hosa is chairman of CMES OMS JV Limited, an integrated energy-related company with the capacity to provide financing and technical solutions to the upstream oil and gas sector, ranging from explorations to first oil for public and private indigenous oil companies.
He is also chairman of PPP Fluid Mechanics Limited, Secured Anchorage Area (SAA) Offshore Lagos, Gyro Air Limited, Ocean Marine Tankers Limited, Wells Farms Limited, Hoslyn Habitat Limited (a design, construction, and landscaping company), Wells Entertainments Limited, Wells Carlton Hotel and Luxury Apartments, and several other businesses. Captain ‘Hosa is a non-Executive Director of a number of companies, including: NATCOM NTEL (formerly NITEL), Funds Electronics Transfer Solutions (provider of electronic payment solutions), and Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company Limited (core investor in Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Limited).
He began his education at Government Primary School, Benin City, from where he proceeded to the Federal Government College, Warri, in 1971, where he sat for his West African School Certificate Examination and passed with flying colours in 1975.
He attended the Nigerian Civil Aviation Training Centre (NCATC), Zaria, where he graduated as a professional commercial pilot in 1979 at the age of 21, consequent upon which he began his professional career as a co-pilot with Aero Contractors Limited, which sponsored him to NCATC.
He later attended ACME School of Aeronautics, Fort Worth, Texas in 1983 where he obtained his Airline Transport Pilot Licence and was promoted a captain in the same year at the age of 25. He flew as captain with the Intercontinental Airlines and in 1985 he joined the services of Okada Airlines from where he retired in 1988. For his outstanding contributions to the promotion of peace and good governance as well as development of his community, Captain ‘Hosa was, in 2007, honoured with the Justice of the Peace (JP).
In 2012, the United States Congress, honoured him with the “African Titan”Award for being a voice of the Niger Delta people through a movie, which he single-handed sponsored, titled “Black November.”
The University of Benin also conferred on him a Doctorate Degree in Business Administration (Honoris Causa) in 2012. The Oba of Benin, in 2014, recognised and decorated him as a worthy ambassador of the ancient Benin Kingdom.
Captain “Hosa has just been nominated as the Vanguard Businessman of the Year 2016 for his great accomplishments in business. It is not in doubt that with the way he is successfully breaking new grounds, absolutely touching lives, impacting people and his community positively, he will receive more feathers in his cap in the years ahead.
– Mr Ojeifo, journalist and publisher, sent this piece via email@example.com