THE SECRET OF GREAT MEN ARE IN THEIR STORIES
BY JOHNSON OKOYE
So many people believe that hardwork in Nigeria is not the route to success but stories such as Hon. Joe Igbokwe has counter that myopic theory .
Success is available to anyone willing to put in the extreme hardwork necessary to achieve it .
Hon. Joe Igbokwe was born in Uruagu Nnewi in Anambra to the late Chief & Mrs Daniel and Dinah Igbokwe on April 30 1956. He attended Uruagu Central School Nnewi for his Primary Education and got his First School Leaving Certificate In 1971. After his primary school education , poverty drove him to Lagos to find something to do in other to help his poor mother and siblings , being that his father married four(4) wives and thirty-four(34) children, so he can’t cope anymore .
At Lagos he worked as a saw dust carrier at 6 pence a day at Ebute Meta and his work is to park saw dust from machine to lagoon from 7am – 5pm daily . He did that for nearly 2yrs and become a danfo conductor plying Idioro/Ajegunle axis , from there he joined his brother in a supermarket business at Ijesha Road , Surulere.
In 1973 when he travelled home for Christmas celebration , he noticed he could no longer stand or interact with his age mates academically and if he fails to go back to school he may end up doing menial jobs meant for illiterates till end of his age , so he decides to go back to school in other add value to his life .
In 1974, he gained admission into Okongwu Memorial Grammar School Nnewi and passed out with Division one in 1979. Joe Igbokwe was the Head Boy in the 1978/79 academic year.
In 1980 he proceeded to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka to read Mechanical Engineering. He was the Vice President of the Association of Mechanical Engineering Students (UNN) in the 1984/ 85 session and graduated with honours in 1985. He observed his mandatory NYSC in Ogun State with Lapeleke Red Bricks Industry in Lapeleke Village and finished in 1986 and return to Lagos where he began his journey till date .
During General Ibrahim Babangida he got a loan of #27500 using his NYSC certificate as collateral to set up a restaurant business in Western Avenue -lagos and hit an instant success .
In 1997, he added National Vision Newspapers Ltd and became a compulsive writer, pro-democracy activist, political analyst, policy analyst, widely read and vastly published commentator on national issues. He joined in the struggle for the activation of June 12 annulled elections from 1993 to 1998. Joe is also an author. Among his published works are “IGBOS: 25 YEARS AFTER BIAFRA” published in 1995, “HEROES OF DEMOCRACY” published in 1999, and co- authored, “2007: THE IBB OPTION in 2004” with his friend, Peter Claver Opara.
In 2006 he was appointed as the pioneer General Manager of Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance & Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA) by his Excellency Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and from then he has been a good student/follower of Tinubu school , who motivates him in contributing significantly to the quest to make Lagos a Smart City.
In 2105, he was appointed as the pioneer Chairman of Wharf Landing Fees Collecting Authority, WLFCA in Apapa serving till his appointment as a member of the cabinet of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Joe Igbokwe has been the Publicity Secretary of the State chapter of the defunct Action Congress (AC), which later fused into Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and metamorphosed into All Progressives Congress (APC) since 2007 and has been the Pioneer Chairman of Conference of APC Publicity Secretaries across Nigeria since 2014.
He is a member of Nigerian Society of Engineers, (NSE), a member of Council for the Regulation Of Engineering in Nigeria, (COREN)
He currently serves as Special Adviser for Drainage & Water Resources to Governor of Lagos State
**TAKE NOTE OF THIS INTERESTING FACTS AT THIS POINTS:
*His quest for Knowledge and mentorship
- He got himself a good mentor in the person of former governor of Lagos State Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu
I cannot over emphasize the importance of mentorship in personal and career growth. Suffice it to say that a word is enough for the wise , it is only in future that you will realise that some of the things you are doing now that are wise in your eye of today are really very stupid and also that simple actions you can take today will make great impact in your future .
Their are many things a mentor will do in your life. Almost every great man becomes great by standing on the shoulder of another . Mentorship is priceless , you cannot pay for it , so go out there in all humility and seek for worthy mentors .
I challenge you today to become a relentless beast , who will not give up and listen to negative people , they are everywhere around us bemoaning their fate . Don’t join. Crowd! Stand straight , chin up and look forward to your brighter future.
I believe that someday , my story will motivate other young people and I will see you at the top . Cheers!
By Johnson okoye Lagos