index contact us Guestbook News Sources Advertise with us Corruptcracy Hypnotherapy Send Articies Jokes Poems Religion
Benin kingdom Historical Sites Edo Heritage sites Edo_state_Recreational Parks Other tourist sites Tourist Advice Tourist Information Edo People Location Edo state weather Edo festival Edo Religion Were to stay What to eat Shopping Moving around Edo Medias Telecommunication
Edo Women

Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion 20-06-2010

Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion was born on September 11, 1934, to Chief Josiah Oviawe Agharagbon Igbinedion and Madam Okunoze Igbinedion, both of Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State. His preliminary education was enough, then, to provide the basic requirements for enlistment into the Nigeria Police Force where he served in various posts and formations till his resignation in 1963. Being a very mobile and industrious young man, his zeal to distinguish himself in various areas of human endeavour spurred him into one of the most attractive jobs outside the civil and public services.
He joined Leventis Motors, Ibadan, and as Sales Manager, requested and got transferred to Benin Area Office in charge of the defunct Midwest Region. His outstanding managerial ability manifested in the phenomenal growth of Leventis Motors in the Midwest Region, with very high turnover for the company. Though he was handsomely and adequately remunerated for this feat, his destiny, no doubt, would have resulted in one giving up such job, which then was considered an action that was based on indiscretion. However, knowing that his destination was yet ahead, he tendered his letter of resignation in 1968 to the Board of Leventis Motors who reluctantly accepted it.

He immediately went into private business with the establishment of Mid-Motors Nigeria Limited, the first vehicle assembly plant in Nigeria with Headquarters in Benin City. This was another trail-blazing trend as the vogue then was establishing such capital-intensive ventures in the more economically attractive of Lagos. Instead, he envisioned the potentials of huge economic growth in the Benin Area, having worked in this region for Leventis Motors. He was vindicated, no doubt, because from this beginning, other notable industrial and business ideas emanated from his ever-active brain, resulting in his 'quantum leap' into the enviable world of economic buoyancy and self-sufficiency.

The emergent monumental economic status engendered his desire for backward integration as he built and equipped the present Okada Grammar School for his folks and kindred in 1972. Simultaneously, hundreds of scholarships were awarded not only to Okada indigenes, but to all benefiting indigent candidates, whose impoverished background would otherwise have resulted to secondary and tertiary education, locally and internationally unattainable.

In 1976, Igbinedion established Okada Dry Nigeria Limited, the first indigenous Soft Drinks Bottling Plant in Nigeria, again in Benin City with Branches in Kano and Makurdi in addition to a depot in Minna, Niger State. For decades, this plant and company operated with 8 million bottles and 2 million creates, employing about 1,500 personnel of Nigerian and expatriate workers on its staff list. The competition was healthy and mutually benefiting for all alongside the other companies that were not indigenous in the same service delivery and trade group.

Next was the establishment of Okada Airline in 1983, which experienced an amazing astronomical growth such that it had 32 aircrafts in its fleet including two Boeing 747s in the early '90s. The trade mark and logo of Queen Idia used for the Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) in 1977 coupled with the speed and service delivery and efficiency of the airline culminated in the adoption of the epithet, Okada for Motorcycle Commercial Riders today nationwide. By that singular effort, not only was the FESTAC Mask imprinted indelibly in the minds of Nigerians and outsiders, but also popularised the sleepy little town of Okada beyond imagination. Then the eye-catching edifice of Okada Airline Official Headquarters (Glass House) built in the '80s within the Benin Airport vicinity remained a structure that challenged architects and builders in aesthetic and structural standing.

His native Ovia North East and neighbouring Ovia South West Local Government Areas of Edo State can be safely referred to as blessed. Over 84 rural and semi-urban communities have benefited from the magnanimity of this colossus in the area of electrification. Lighting up the communities in physical terms can be equated to his philosophy of lighting-up minds, as demonstrated in the hundreds of scholarship that his ebullient and intelligent mind showered on deserving recipients. According to Igbinedion, "illiteracy and ignorance are twin brothers, with illiteracy being the elder and more dangerous of the two, while gullibility and docility remain their footstools."

With docility considered anathema in the House of Igbinedion, the agility of this irrepressible giant emerged in 1987 in the establishment and personal supervision of Chief Igbinedion a novel concept of soup kitchen. His philanthropic disposition engendered this anti-starvation offer that catered for thousands of people. However, anything offered free in our clines has a way of not being adequately appreciated in terms of maintenance and sustenance. Not withstanding, a bakery that has the capacity of producing 2,500 loaves of bread per hour established alongside the soup kitchen is still actively in operation.

Since the Beijing Women Conference of September 1995, it is easy to say, besides and not behind every successful man; there you would find a woman who is not only just standing by, but as well actively getting involved in the execution of project(s) at hand. Lady Cherry L. Igbinedion, the amiable Jamaican- born heart-throb of the Esama of Benin Kingdom, is one woman who can safely be said to have contributed her bit to the outstanding success story of the Igbinedion household. She was right beside her husband as they traversed top-class schools overseas to forge a model for their intentions. The outcome was the establishment of one of Africa's leading private Education Centre in Benin City. The pioneering role of the Centre in the now popular Montessori model of education in Nigeria can hardly be in doubt. The combined excellence of the nursery, primary and secondary schools in terms of products and output coupled with the Igbinedion Montessori Teacher Training Centre to prepare teachers for competing schools, earned the institution clear identity and a much valued pronouncement by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) that the Igbinedion Education Centre is one of the four leading schools in the West African sub-region.

This acknowledgement has not come as a surprise because for a whole seven years, the unusually mobile chief alongside his dear wife concentrated all efforts in the selection of the best available manpower to man the different levels of the centre. Nothing else could compete for time, energy and resources as the couple ensured that only the best was good enough.

Consequently, the next establishment from the stable, as it were, only saw the light of day in 1997 with emergence of Independent Radio/Television Broadcasting outfit. This station came at a time that the Edo State owned Broadcasting Service needed real competition to jolt her back to service delivery. Within a short space of time, it became obvious that the healthy competition that Independent Radio/Television engendered was to benefit Edo State immensely. Staff movement became easier and each competing station had to be packaged adequately to attract personnel improved programming, competitive airtime rates and charges, as well as breaking the monopoly and monotony of style and programme.

The station has since gone digital to inform, educate and entertain not only the people of Edo State but also those of the neighbouring states of Delta, Anambra, Ondo, Bayelsa and Ekiti, which can pick its very clear signals.

Email Contact >

Benin Kingdom & Edo State tourism Edo Women
Edo Royalty Photos