Sir Emeka Offor is the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigeria-based Chrome Group of Companies, founded in 1993. With over 30 years of experience in business, he is described by many as a savvy, audacious and energetic entrepreneur. The West African Pilot explores the exemplary world of The Man, His Empire and His Good Deeds.
Born in Kafanchan, Kaduna State on the 10th of February 1959 to the late Chief Benneth Offor (Nnakaibeya) and Mrs. Comfort Offor of Umueneke Umudalagbayim Kindred, Nkalafia Village, Oraifite Town in Ekwusigo LGA of Anambra State. He had his education in Aba and Enugu and his secondary education at Ihiala. Young Emeka traveled with his father, a policeman, who was transferred from one part of the country to another.
Sir Emeka had a short teaching career at Abbott boys High School before his father’s former colleague, Mr. Geoffrey Abadi, got young Emeka a job as a transport clerk in Rivways Lines Nigeria Limited, a Nigerian company engaged in importation of parked/bulk bitumen.
With the help of Mr. Geofrey Abadi, young Emeka began his journey in business by purchasing small quantities of bitumen and supplying to small companies. After two years, Sir Emeka advanced to the level of supplying bitumen to big players which included Hardel & Enic, Julius Berger Nigeria Limited, Ozigbo Engineering Company, Guffanti Nigeria Limited, Feugerole Nigeria Limited, among others.
In fact, the bitumen used by Alden Volker in the construction of Onne Port between 1981 and 1982 were supplied by young Emeka. The fast growth of Sir Emeka’s business has been attributed to his astute business knowledge, loyalty and high level of integrity and dedication.
But Sir Emeka would not stop at supplying bitumen, his love for adventure, hunger for success and the desire to take up and surmount challenges made him venture into other sectors of the economy. In 1985, Chrome Oil Services Limited was founded.
Thirty-five years later, Sir Emeka had grown a solid business empire with interests in oil and gas, insurance and finance, power sector, telecommunications, Logistics, travels and hospitality both in Nigeria and Overseas. All his companies – over twenty– operate under Chrome Group of Companies.
The story of how the Port Harcourt Refinery was brought back into operation would not be complete without mentioning the huge role Sir Emeka played in the turn-around maintenance of the refinery.
What makes a man truly great is not just his opulence, but what he has done to make people smile, ease people’s pains and inspire hope in the ordinary and vulnerable members of the society. Sir Emeka Offor is globally recognised for his burning desire and ability to help people in need.
Taking Philanthropy Further
To coordinate charitable efforts, he founded the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation (SEOF). With this foundation, the philanthropist has contributed to the development of healthcare, education, sport and economic empowerment.
The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization, established in 1993 and incorporated in 2003, with a vision to reduce poverty and create life-improving economic opportunities for those residing in Nigeria’s most marginalized communities through education, healthcare services, widows’ cooperative, youth empowerment/employment and infrastructural development.
Education is a significant determinant during one’s life, and for that reason, Sir Emeka Offor imbibed that pedagogical ethos into his life which undergirds his faith in and support for education and learning. Believing such, he’s a strong advocate of the philosophy that access to learning at an early age is vitally important.
His vast travels afforded him a unique perspective on the state of education across the African continent. It also gave him the confidence to want to do more to ameliorate the deplorable state of education and lack of supporting infrastructure on the continent. The educational system in Nigeria and much of Africa has struggled for several reasons, including historical factors, and political and social strife. And in some parts of the Africa, other mundane realities multiply the layer of challenge, such as the absence of good public transport system. The implication is that pupils must travel vast distances to get to attend class, which can also mean necessary chores go uncompleted. All over the vast continent of Africa, rural and economically disadvantaged populations are particularly marginalized.
In education, Sir Emeka, through his foundation, in collaboration with Books for Africa, donated over $30 million worth of books, computers and other educational materials to schools and educational institutions in Nigeria and about 18 other African countries. For instance, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, received over 18,000 volumes of books that cut across several fields.
In March 2020, SEOF distributed over 1.4 million books to eighty universities, 22 polytechnics, thirty-seven colleges of education, seven public libraries (one from each of the six geo-political zones including the FCT), 108 primary and secondary schools. SEOF has also awarded over 150 million naira worth of scholarships. First class graduates of tertiary institutions get brand new cars and automatic employment in the companies of Sir Emeka Offor.
Thanks to Sir Emeka, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Nigeria, now has a well-equipped Digital Anatomy Laboratory to serve the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Management of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. In northern Nigeria, one of the many projects SEOF financed in a bid to develop education in the region is the renovation and furnishing of the Daura Public Library in Katsina State which has been renamed Waziri Al-hassan Public Library. Also in Katsina, the SEOF rehabilitated the Sir Emeka Offor Senior Secondary School, Kambarawa.
In health, the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation has built several healthcare facilities, provided free medical consultations, treatment and drugs to the less privileged. The foundation has contributed to enhancing the capacity of federal, state and special hospitals by distributing fourteen 40’ footer containers of medical equipment and supplies. To alleviate the suffering of orthopedic patients at the Enugu Orthopedic Hospital, the SEOF built an amenity ward valued at 45.5 million naira.
Sir Emeka’s contribution to the development of healthcare system is not limited to Nigeria. In Germany, SEOF established a yearly 250,000 Euros Glaucoma research Grant at the Department of Opthamology, University of Mainz. Also in the same German university, the foundation set up a Nigerian Fellowship for Cataract surgery and Glaucoma management.
The SEOF founded a cooperative society to give physical, financial and psychological support to the widows. The cooperative society has become so successful that from getting stipends from the SEOF, it now lends money to people. The foundation also sponsored the Nigerian contingent to the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports tournament. The team won gold medal at the competition.
Sir Emeka is a member of the Rotary International and was recently elevated to the status of the Foundation Circle of the Arch C Klumph Society (AKS). To help the Rotary Foundation achieve its four cardinal objectives, Sir Emeka donated 1 million dollars. As the Rotary International Polio Ambassador to Nigeria, Sir Emeka’s donations — estimated at $4 million — to the fight against polio in Nigeria makes him the single largest donor in Africa.
Charity they say begins at home, the people of Oraifite have benefited from Sir Emeka’s benevolence. Sir E, as he is fondly called by his friends and admirers, constructed and rehabilitated roads in his hometown. He built town halls, All Saints Anglican Church Irefi, Oraifite, medical outreach programmes and instituted general empowerment programmes.
Sir Emeka Offor has received several awards and recognitions for his numerous effort to improve the quality of life of the vulnerable and his achievements in business. Organisations such as the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Botswana Book Project, Oraifite Community USA, Nnewi Sports Club, The Arch of Europe Frankfurt, the Romanian Embassy in Nigeria, among others. In 2015, the State of Georgia in the U.S proclaimed Sir Emeka Offor an Honorary Citizen of Georgia. In 2019, Sir Emeka was honoured with an International Humanitarian Award in Mississippi, U.S, by the Andrew J. Young Foundation.
He is a Knight of Saint Christopher of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). Sir Emeka is also a recipient of numerous honorary doctorates degree. In 2019, he was honored with an Honorary Doctorate Degree (Honoris Causa) in Entrepreneurship by Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. In March 2020, Sir Emeka was conferred with an honorary doctorate degree in Business Administration (Honoris Causa) by the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University.
Sir (Dr) Emeka Chuka Orakwue Wilson Offor is a loving husband and father of boys and girls, a pillar of the society, a good son of Oraifite, a proud son of Anambra, an exemplary Nigerian, the Obi Eneke II of Umueneke, that has set a standard for many coming behind him, a man who has proven that there is nothing one would not achieve with hardwork, loyalty, integrity, humility and God’s help.
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