By Our Correspondent
Anioma Media Professionals (AMP) has offered its condolences to the family of Chief Sony Iwedike Odogwu, the Ide Ahaba who passed at 91.
A statement signed by the national leader of AMP and its publicity secretary, Messrs. Hugo Odiogor and Ken Ugbechie respectively described his exit as a huge loss to the Anioma nation and Africa in general.
The Ide Ahaba was born on March 20, 1927 into the royal lineage of Obi Odimma Odogwu, the first paramount Chief of Asaba.
A spokesman of the family, Mr. Ken Odogwu, in a telephone chat said his father made a glorious exit after age-related ailments.
Ken Odogwu who is the eldest son of the late doyen of business, said a meeting of the family “has been summoned to deliberate on plan for a befitting burial of the patriarch of the family.”
Reliable sources said beyond whatever the family is planning, “this will no doubt involve the state and federal government given that he is a statesman coupled with his involvement in business and political leadership.”
Late Sony Odogwu grew up in his home town Asaba where he had his early education. He was an alumnus of Church Missionary Grammar School (CMS) Lagos and Ilesha where he had his secondary school education. He started work as an Insurance trainee at the age of 17 with his employment in Norwich Insurance company, Lagos. He worked with them for two years before he resigned to start his own company, Dyson and Dyket Insurance Brokers. He extended his activity into Commodity brokerage services.
He later moved to London to advance his education and obtained degrees in Insurance studies and business management from City University and London Chartered Institute of Insurance respectively.
He worked with Pearle insurance company, London C.T. Bowring and Company limited (Brokers at Lloyds) and finally with Swiss General Insurance company Ltd. He left the Brokerage side of the insurance business and rose fast to become an underwriting member at Lloyds of London, the largest and most formidable insurance underwriting organization in the world.
Chief Sony Odogwu is the Chairman of SIO group of companies. The Group has extensive holdings and operations in insurance, Shipping, Real Estate, Banking, Oil and Gas, Commodities, Publishing, Tourism and Transportation. It also has its tentacles in marketing of upend exotic automobiles.
SIO properties, is regarded as one of the largest property and real estate developing companies in Africa, owning extensive developments from South Africa, to Zimbabwe, to Kenya, to Ghana and Nigeria.
He was one of the pillars of Insurance business in Nigeria and well known industrialist and entrepreneur and and Icon of Investment diversification in Nigeria and beyond.
He was listed as one of the first African based Investors to purchase and develop “sky scrapper” properties at New York’s Times Square on Manhattan.
He is a recipient of several local and international recognitions, awards, and honorary degrees from universities, associations and multilateral agencies including but not limited to the World Bank Group, the IMF, the Zik Leadership Awards, LLD (Honoris Causa) Lincoln University Pennsylvania USA etc.
Chief Odogwu may be better known internationally for his work in the field of philanthropy. His US based non-governmental organization; “Africa NGO” supports more than 260 programmers in 27 African countries. In addition about 35 nations on the African continent have benefited from direct “Africa” assistance solely sponsored by Chief Odogwu. He has equally demonstrated his large heart in Nigeria by creating and supporting an educational endowment fund for the education of the under privileged students in secondary schools. No fewer than 4500 have benefitted from this scheme.
Chief Odogwu was a family man, an astute political leader, a businessman, a community organizer and committed supporter of the struggles of Anioma nation.