By Nnam Nnanna
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who used to live in Aba, Abia State. At 16, she finished her secondary education in Aba. She got married or was persuaded to do so and, thereafter, relocated with her husband to Lagos. Ngozi had her first child at 17 and went on to have three others. At the age of 24, she was done with childbirth. She had had her best and worst of times. She had seen pain, disappointment and betrayal. She had shed tears of sorrow but she had celebrated great accomplishments. She also shed tears of joy.
For someone who could have been deterred by early marriage, she conquered her barriers and owned her world. In between the challenges of child-bearing, family-tending and other roles, she furthered her education. She, first, obtained a diploma in Criminal Justice Administration from the University of Lagos. Second, she went ahead to aquire a Bachelor of Law degree from the same university. Today, she has enrolled into an LLM course at UNILAG with the intention to specialise in Human Rights, particularly the rights of women. One is not surprised about her choice. Ngozi is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School, Boston. She is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators.
If one is awed by Ngozi’s sense of duty to self-actualisation, just wait a second. Her commitment to realise her dreams is demonstrated more by the successes she made in her foray into the business world. Not ever taking a no for an answer, Ngozi emerged from retailing, office hawking and supplying to become a global industry player in the oil and gas, aviation, shipping, insurance, manufacturing, farming, transportation and logistics sectors.
The once naive, fearful and laid-back Lagos JJC has become a managing director and chief executive officer of a business conglomerate. She has, among others, Nepal Oil and Gas Services Ltd, Quest Shipping Ltd, First Fenders, Emline Nig. Ltd, Sorties Nig. Ltd, Geo Travels and Tours. She has two tank farms, one in Oghara, Delta State (for storage of PMS, DPK and AGO) and the other in Ikeja, Lagos (solely for aviation fuel). Nepal Fly is the name of the aviation fuel company.
She is indeed a critical national player. She is an employer of labour. She is a problem solver. Her family and native Igbere community of Bende LGA, Abia State, are lucky to have her. She has touched them. Easily available and highly accessible to everyone! Her skill acquisition centre, named after her departed father, Pa Anyaso, is catering for the people. When Ngozi is not paying for hospital bills or empowering the ordinary people in many unbelievable ways, she is engaged in several good causes. She mobilised efforts to build an isolation centre at Umuahia, Abia State, during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. She has many underprivileged people under her scholarship and sponsorship. Yet, she is not a politician. The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria is proud of her. The Immaculate Girls Secondary school, Aba, is appreciative that she is one of their own.
MD, as fondly called, as you celebrate your 50th birthday today, April 29, I join your family members, friends, associates and other well-wishers to felicitate you on this momentous occasion. It is my great delight to heartily and warmly congratulate you on your special day. No doubt, your years on earth have been impactful to your generation. Your legacy will sure touch future ones. You are a rare gem, role model and an icon whose feats account for visible, positive changes in the life of all those that have had the opportunity of crossing your path.
You have been in my life and those of many. Your friendship has been a blessing. You are a trustworthy and reliable personality. The qualities that have defined you are numerous. A beautiful soul, pleasant daughter, diligent and supportive wife, outstanding mother, result-oriented and visionary entrepreneur, exceptional boss and wonderful friend characterise your personality. It is therefore not surprising that you naturally exude grace, charisma, kindness, compassion and other amiable traits that make you stand out. Many are easily endeared to you because of your positive and magnetic dispositions.
Your self-discipline, resilience and passion for service have not only shaped you into a leader par excellence but have brought unprecedented outcomes on your organization thus launching it to greater heights.
On this auspicious occasion of your birthday, I want to appreciate you for always being there and looking out for us in ways unimaginable. It is my prayer that this birthday brings you nothing but joy and much love. I pray God’s guidance, protection, peace, uncommon favour and that His light shines on your path now and ever. May He endow you with the grace, courage and wisdom. May He continue to grant you many more fruitful and healthy years. Happy Birthday Mama Ifeoma, Ezinne, Alex and Daniel. Happy Birthday Grandma Kenny. Happy birthday nwanne Nneka, Chinyere, Chidimma and Chima. Happy Birthday Ada Ahuoma. Happy birthday Nwami Elder. May we all continue to suck from the milk of your kindness.
Congratulations on your glorious 50th birthday. You really looked forward to it. We all did. We are happy celebrating you. Someone is aging ooo…you sure deserve all the accolades, 50 year Grandma.
• Happy Birthday! 50 Hearty Cheers, Ocho Okwu 1.