This is the biography of Chief Ikedi Ohakim, former governor of Imo State. He was born on August 4, 1957 to Chief and Mrs. Maxwell Nwachukwu Ohakim of Okohia, Isiala Mbano, Imo State, Nigeria.
Ikedi Ohakim grew up exhibiting leadership qualities. It was the recognition of his exploits as a vibrant, dynamic youth that earned him the traditional title by which he is known today, “Ochinanwata” – One who became a king at an early age. He married Lady Barrister Chioma Priscilla in 1982 and they are blessed with two sons and three daughters, the first two daughters are identical twins.
A knight of St. Christopher, he has also been honoured with five other chieftaincy titles for community service, funding numerous development projects, encouraging peaceful and harmonious coexistence between communities. He has been similarly cited for taking up the burden of reconciling warring communities like the Anara community peace accord as well as several honours by student union bodies and trade unions for his funding of youth development programmes and encouraging industrial harmony.
Ikedi Ohakim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Lagos and Masters of Science in Management also from the University of Lagos, Doctorate (Management Technology) Honoris Causa from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri; Doctorate (Business Management) Honoris Causa from Imo State University, Owerri, Imo State. He is a Fellow of the Nigeria Institute of Marketing and a Fellow, Institute of Management Consultant.
He possesses management consultancy experience that spans over twenty years and has a deep understanding and grasp of contemporary international economics with bias for market dynamics.
For more than 15 years, he served in senior commercial and Executive Management capacity in two multinational Engineering and manufacturing companies in Nigeria – First Aluminum and Tower Groups. He received extensive management training both in Nigeria and overseas and rose to the position of first, Executive Director and later Managing Director and Chief Executive of Alucon in 1997.
He was the Chairman of Mekahog Group of Companies, an integrated engineering group providing world class products and services for defence, security, construction, fabrication, oil & gas sectors. He was also the principal partner in Mekahog Consulting Group, a diversified management consulting partnership.
Ohakim served as a Commissioner (Minister, at State Level) for Commerce, Industry and tourism in his home state, Imo between 1992 and 1993. He was a highly visible member of the State Executive Council and was instrumental to the designing of the first ever State Industrial Development blue print and also organized the First Imo State Investment Forum in 1992.
Ikedi Ohakim’s sojourn in corporate governance is marked by his ability to orchestrate complex commercial deals crossing geographic and cultural boundaries, an understanding of robust international business processes, and the promotion of entrepreneurship and industrial development policies and programmes.
He is recognized nationally as an expert in corporate turn-around and Re-engineering, Marketing Strategies and Government Policies and is much sought after as speaker and consultant to many leading businesses in Nigeria and beyond.
Author of “The Marketing Imperative for Rural Industrialization” a book published in 1994 and widely acknowledged as a fresh and pragmatic approach in strategic marketing of intangible products, especially government programmes and policies. He is a 1987 prize winner of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) young managers’ competition with the highly researched paper titled “Segmenting the Industrial Market – A Strategic Option for Survival”. He has delivered over Seventy Seminar/Conference papers both within and outside the country. A prolific writer, he has authored four scholarly texts with a fifth on the way.
Ikedi Ohakim has been very visible in the political arena. He was a youth leader in NPP and a prominent member of NRC. He was a founding member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and served in the party’s first National Finance Committee in 1998. He was also a prominent member of the State Executive in Imo State and contributed substantially in finance and otherwise, to ensure the party’s victory in 1999. He contested the PDP Senatorial Primaries that same year. He again contested the Governorship election on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) pairing as a running mate in 2003.
He was a prominent and highly valued member of the National Committee on Industrial Development (NCID) where he made widely acknowledged contributions. The work of the NCID led to the establishment of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in 1999.
He possesses impeccable records of integrity and extensive top management and political exposure that spans over twenty years. In 1998, he was listed in ThisDay’s 50 Leaders Nigeria Needs and again in 2000, he was in Vanguard’s 30 Notable Young Corporate Leaders of the Future.
He has been part of numerous government delegations and missions to different parts of the world. For example, he attended the US Congressional Black Caucus of 1992 and 1996, World Tourism Conference in Indonesia in 1993 and the 17th World Oil Conference in Brazil in 2002. He was the Chairman of the Economic session of the World Igbo Congress in the USA in 2002 and delivered the keynote address at the 13th WIC held in Michigan, September 2007. The Paper titled Ima Onwe and which elicited sustained ovation was acclaimed as the best ever in the annals of the body.
He has served on the board of several companies, think-tanks and public policy bodies including: Kaduna Refining and Petro-Chemical Company Limited; Aluminum Extrusion Company Limited; Petro-Globe Oil and Gas Limited; National Committee on Industrial Development (NCID) and National Institute for Citizen Education Foundation (NICEF).
He was elected Governor of Imo State, Nigeria on 28th April 2007 and was sworn in on May 29th 2007 as the 13th Governor of Imo State and the 4th to be democratically elected.
His policy thrusts are anchored on the NEW FACE OF IMO philosophy aimed at transforming Imo State into a secured, modern model state with strong diversified manufacturing and tourism-based economy, anchored on the emerging skills, and mid-wifed by science and technology with guaranteed employment opportunities.
Following his overwhelming victory at the polls, he promised to do a new thing in Imo state. He brought his experience in developing marketing strategies to bear as governor in the formulation of his innovative policies and projects in his state. One of such projects came by way of one of the largest people-oriented programmes ever to be launched in Nigeria – The Clean and Green Initiative. It was the fulcrum of his government’s philosophy and ideology around which his policy thrust revolves. The hugely successful Clean and Green Initiative which has gained international acclaim, brought a total transformation of a state that was in ruins and a state capital that had become one huge refuse dump.
Ikedi Ohakim went back to his businesses after leaving office as Governor of Imo State in 2011.