In the pantheon of Nigerian corporate titans, Dr. Ernest Azudialu-Obiejesi will surely belong to those of the big league. For the boss of Nestoil Group, blazing the trail of indigenous companies in the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry remains an achievement that cannot be cancelled. In fact, his flagship company Nestoil is by far the biggest Engineering Procurement Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) company in Nigeria’s vast oil and gas industry. Yet, Azudialu nurtures a robust interest in humans.
Unlike other typical billionaires, the Okija-born business magnate scorns hauteur, pomp and pride. Reason for this is not farfetched: he wants to expose himself to the misery of the underclass.
Despite some detractors’ ploys to cause him a tumultuous reign as boss of Nestoil, Azudialu has refused to be distracted but remains focused on his true passion of building a world-class company followed by helping the needy in the society. After transforming his humble beginnings from a trading business to the commanding heights of Corporate Nigeria, Azudialu has also established a foundation with far more reaching impact on many communities. He has been exerting every ounce of his wealth and energy to ensure that the common people of this world get their due from life. In a bid to bring education and development to his people in Okija, Anambra, the billionaire businessman has founded a school called Gonzaga Jesuit College in Okija. It would be recalled that three years ago, the state governor, Sir Willie Obiano, laid the foundation of the college and commended the three leading promoters — Azudialu, his wife, Nnenna Obiejesi, as well as Paul Erinne, an engineer and philanthropist from Okija, who also built and donated the imposing Erinne Block at Paul University in Awka, among other philanthropic gestures.
A couple of weeks ago, the college threw its doors open to students in Okija, Ihiala Local Government Area, as the fourth Jesuit secondary school in Nigeria, with the other three located in Rivers State, Lagos State, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
As they say, heroes of an epoch are often recognised as its clear-sighted ones, Azudialu cares little about his good deeds. He, ultimately, thinks of the poorest persons he had ever seen and strives to make his heartfelt gesture useful to them. In fact, his most glaring weakness is his eagerness to reduce through kindness, the sum of human wretchedness. Thus, Spotlight learnt, Azudialu and his beautiful wife, Nnenna decided to build the multi-million naira school and dedicate it to humanity.