Beifoh Osewele, Deputy Editor, News
Born on February 10, 1957, Sir Emeka Offor rose to become one of Africa’s top business magnates through hard work, determination and humility. He attended Eziukwu Primary School, Aba, Abia State and St Michael Primary School, Ogbeta, Enugu State. He proceeded to have his post-primary school education at the Merchant of Light Secondary School and the Abbot Boys High School, Ihiala, Anambra State.
Offor started his career as a teacher in his Alma Mata, Abbot Boys High School and later resigned to travel with his father’s friend, Geoffrey Abadi, to Warri in Delta State. This marked a turning point in his life as Rivways Lines Nigeria Limited, a company that imports bitumen products, employed him as a transport clerk. He did not only carry out his responsibilities as transport clerk but also learnt the intricacies of the business of bitumen, acquiring knowledge sufficient for him to start his own business venture though on a small scale.
With the support of Abadi, he started selling bitumen, first to small companies and later to big companies, like Julius Berger Nigeria Limited, Guffanti Nigeria Limited and Fougerolle Nigeria Limited, etc. His managerial ability and sense of prudence made his business to blossom.
Being a man of ideas, he was able to establish Chrome Oil in 1985. Within 10 years of establishing Chrome Oil, he worked hard enough to transform the company to a multi-million dollar conglomerate: Chrome Group. Today, Chrome Group houses businesses involved in oil and gas, power, logistics, insurance, broadcasting and telecommunications.
Offor has, over the years, shown great concern for the plight of the common man and humanity in general. Through his Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) he established in 1990, he has lifted many, providing “support in the areas of human capacity development, skills acquisition and the establishment of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and cooperative societies.
At various times, the foundation has partnered with international groups, like Books for Africa, Rotary International, Mainz Hospital Research, etc., executing philanthropic projects in areas of “Youth Empowerment Programme, Widows Cooperative Programme, Education Programme, Health Service Programme and Infrastructure Development Programme.
As part of his effort to boost the health sector, Offor had donated medical equipment and supplies to hospitals across the country. He said this gesture was
aimed at supporting the efforts of the Federal Government in the provision of quality healthcare service to the citizens.
Last year, he was honoured as Rotary International Polio Ambassador to Nigeria, with an International Humanitarian Award in Biloxi, Mississippi, USA by Andrew J. Young Foundation, Inc of Atlanta, Georgia.