Idahosa (Hosa) Wells Okunbo (born 7 January 1958) is a Nigerian business magnate, investor, philanthropist and trained commercial pilot. He serves as either chairman or director on numerous company boards in Nigeria, spanning multiple business sectors such as the agro-allied, petroleum, telecommunications, power, real estate and banking industries.
Captain Hosa Okunbo is a native of Edo State in the southern part of Nigeria. He was born in Benin City to the family of Reverend Robert Amos Okunbo, a clergyman, teacher and community leader. Okunbo had his primary education at Government Primary in Benin City, old Bendel State, now Edo State. He proceeded to Federal Government College, Warri, in 1971, where he sat for West African Senior School Certificate Examination. Okunbo is a native speaker of the Edo language, and a fluent speaker of English.
Okunbo pursued a desire to become a pilot by studying at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Training Centre, Zaria, Kaduna State, and became a professional commercial pilot at the age of 21. He also attended ACME School of Aeronautics, Fort Worth Texas in 1983, where he obtained an Airline Transport Pilot License.
Upon graduation, Okunbo became a professional commercial pilot, and was made a captain in 1983 at the age of 25. He was a flight captain with Intercontinental Airlines for about two years, then was employed by Okada Airlines for three years. In 1988, he retired from piloting at the age of 30, having logged over 7,000 hours of flight time, and ventured into private business.
Okunbo established Hoslyn Ventures Nigeria Ltd., a company that was involved with procurement in the Nigerian petroleum sector. Hoslyn Ventures was an indigenous oilfield service company that was responsible for the Early Production Facility (EPF) project at Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) between 1998 and 2001.
Okunbo is the founder and chairman of the following Nigerian companies:
- Wells San-Carlos Agro Farms Ltd., which, in March 2016, unveiled a $750 million, 9,000-hectare (22,000-acre) farm intended to “create 85,000 jobs in Edo State”.
- Ocean Marine Security Ltd., an offshore asset-protection company, rendering services to major oil companies in Nigeria, including NNPC. The company recently completed the building of the 46-kilometre (29 mi) Escravos–Warri Crude Pipeline, which was inaugurated by Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu.
- PPP Fluid Mechanics Ltd., a marine and logistics company
- Westminster Security Solutions Nigeria Ltd, a franchise of Westminster Group Plc UK, of which he is major shareholder.
- Wells Group of companies, which include Wells Dredging Ltd., Wells Property Development Company Ltd., and Wells Entertainments Ltd. – through which Okunbo financed the movie.
- OMS Tankers Ltd., which owns Nigeria’s first marine tankers.
- Hoslyn Habitat Ltd., which is a design, construction and landscaping company.
- Gyro Air Ltd., operators of charter flight operations.
Okunbo is a director in the following companies:
- Joint Marine Environ Guard Ltd. (JMEG)
- Secure Anchorage Area Ltd. (SAA)
- Digisteel Integrated Services Ltd.
- Phil Nugent Nigeria Ltd.
- Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Ltd. (IEDM), which is a core investor in Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company.
- Okunbo is member of the Board of Directors of NatCom Development and Investment Ltd., which is the holding company Nigerian telecommunications giant NTEL.
Honours and Recognition
Okunbo received the Africa Titans Award in 2012, from the Congress of the United States in collaboration with the African Society Summit, in recognition of “strides on behalf of Africa in the international arena.” According to the letter announcing the award, Okunbo had been one of those “who seek to project a new and hopeful light on Africa.
In November 2012, the University of Benin conferred Okunbo with an honorary Doctor of Science degree.
Okunbo was granted the “Worthy Ambassador of Unity Award” as an old student of Federal Government College, Warri in March 2016.
On October 2 2014, the Oba of Benin, Oba Erediauwa, gifted Okunbo with the ‘Traditional Beads’ for being a worthy son of the ancient Kingdom.
Okunbo is married with children.