By High Chief Okpara Damian (Santa)
Omereoha 1 of Amaruru
Engr. (High Chief) Oliver Okparaojiako, was born to the family of late Chief Peter and Ezinne Catherine Okparaojiako of Umuadu, Amaruru in Orsu L.G.A. of Imo, State. He studied at St. John’s Primary School Amaruru, and Community Grammar School, now Community Secondary School, Awo-Idemili before graduating from the Department of Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka with B.Sc Engineering (Mechanical) Honours degree in 1979. He joined Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 1980 and was deployed to the Inspectorate Division that was later pulled out to form the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
At different times in DPR he held positions of Processing and Marketing in Port Harcourt field office, Head Marketing in Head Office, Zonal Operations Controller Lagos office, Deputy Director Gas and retired in 2014 as Deputy Director Downstream Monitoring and Regulations. His ingenuity created private depots in Nigeria that saved the country’s petroleum products distribution in face of near collapse of Government storage depots. He played a major role in licensing of over nine thousand indigenous Independent Petroleum Marketing and Distribution Companies, a feat that transferred products storage, distribution and re-sale in the hands of Nigerians.
The Petroleum Industry will not forget his active role in regulation, monitoring and supervision of the Nigeria Petroleum Oil and Gas activities that ensured compliance to set standards and good oil industry practice. He will be remembered for his role in deepening use of LPG as cooking fuel and natural gas flare-down. He laid the foundation for the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) business in the country. Under his watch Gas industry activities grew exponentially attracting a lot of industry players.
Engr. (Grand High Chief) Oliver Chukwudi Okparaojiako is the current leader of the descendants of the great Patriotic and Dynamic Dynasty of the Okparaojiako’s. His great grandfather, Duruaku was a strongman and defender of the oppressed in Ozuomee community. His son, Okparaojiako lived his proverbial name of Iroko not ceasing to exist in the lineage’. Chief Peter Okparaojiako, Idigidi Orsu’s father was no less a figure. He had many firsts to his credit.
Engr. (Clan High Chief) Oliver Chukwudi Okparaojiako is so fathered and mothered, as his maternal grandfather was equally great and a fearless warrior. His name ‘Ogidi Ezenaegbe’ said it all. (Bullets had no power over him). Attributes from father and mother’s lineage got fused in this Clan High Chief, Idigidi Orsu under discuss.
He attended many workshops, seminars and conferences on behalf of Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources. For effective and efficient operation in this industry that lays the golden egg, Engr. Oliver C. Okparaojiako IDIGIDI ORSU attended numerous professional and nonprofessional courses some of which include:
1. The Management of Projects organized by Human Resources Development International Training Centre, Great Britain 30th June to 8th August 1997.
2. Economics Project Management and Account Courses Cost Management in Petroleum Industry by Smart Koncept Technology Petroleum Energy Programs, Houston Texas USA 05-09 July 2000
3. Gasoline Concepts for Engineers and Scientists by Petroskills (LLC) London May 27 – June 01 2002.
4. Natural Gas Operations from extraction to liquefaction. Modules 1&2 by Paradign Services Ltd. London January 2015.
5. Petroleum, Oil and Gas Business Courses in International Gas Business by Smart Koncept Technology Petroleum Energy Programs, Houston Texas U.S.A, December 07-18 2009.
6. Hydro-Carbon Fingerprinting of Nigerian’s Crude Oil by London College of Engineering and Management July 26-30 2010.
7. Planning for Change a Strategic Approach by R.I.P.A International
USA August 2011.
8. Business Management and Breakthrough Leadership and Driving
change London 03-14 September 2012.
9. Developing Senior Management Capacity by Global Training Consultants (GTC) London UK 26 – 30 August 2013
10. Creative Presentation and Public Speaking by School of Media and Communication, PAN Atlantic University U.S.A. 17 -19 Sept. 2013.
11. Strategic for Senior Managers, London August 12-15 2014.
12. International Petroleum Business Program by Smart Koncept Technology Petroleum Energy Programs, Houston Texas U.S.A Feb. 02-06 2015.
Today Engr. (Eze Orisanaedu) Oliver Chukwudi Okparaojiako maintained the protective leadership provided by his fore-fathers, hence his recognition by the community as High Chief Ozoro-Obi I of Amaruru on 2nd Jan. 2005.
The Amaruru Community offered him the position of Traditional Prime Minister, a position he is still holding till date. Our sister autonomous community, Ebenasaa Ozuomee conferred him with another High Chief chieftaincy title of Eze-Orisanaedu, on January 6′ 2016, a title name he also held in EZEUKWU Amaruru. The climax was the conferment of Grand High Chief Chieftaincy title of Aso-Dike I of Amaruru by H.R.H Eze W. O. Igwe during his 40/80 (40 years on the throne and 80th year birthday) on the 13th of April 2017. Earlier in Sept.2016, the 27 member-Orsu-Council of Traditional Rulers honoured him with a traditional Clan High Chief Chieftaincy title of IDIGIDI ORSU. It would be recalled that the Orsu Towns Development Union Lagos Branch made him their Grand Patron on 25th Nov. 2014. The following year, Imo State Towns Union Association, Lagos also made him a Grand Patron. He is also a Patron of Southeast Communities in Lagos and a Patron of National Ohaneze Youths. The UNN Alumni Association Lagos Branch on the 9thof Dec. 2017 hououred him with a DIAMOND Award for exceptional career and achievements in the Petroleum Oil and Gas Industry spanning over three decades.
He is currently enjoying his retirement as Petroleum Industry Consultant, lives to keep fit and engages himself in businesses that interest him. He is married with six children and four grandchildren.
Tomorrow the 23rd day of Dec. 2017, the famous Recreation Sports Club of Orlu will honour him with a Grand Patron Award. The Recreation Sports Club of Orlu, one of the pioneer Recreation Sports Clubs in Nigeria, found it worthy to give him such an honor seldom given to young patriots. All roads will be leading to Recreation Sports Club Orlu tomorrow to witness this Epoch making event.
The Amaruru and Ebenasaa Autonomous Communities nay, Orsu local government happily appreciates the President of Recreation Sports Club Orlu, Barr. Jude Oduoma of (Akaraugo Chambers) Law Firm and the entire members of the Orlu Recreation Sports Club for finding our illustrious son, Engr. (Clan High Chief) Oliver C. Okparaojiako worthy to be so honoured.
To God be the glory.