Onitsha-born real estate entrepreneur and President of Osita Okoli and Company, Mr. Emmanuel Osita Okoli, is planning to host family members, friends and well-wishers to a private reception at the end of this month.
Born on April 15, 1967 in Onitsha, Anambra State while he hails from Ukpor in Nnewi South Local Government Area of the same State, Okoli is a former President (Africa Region) of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) as well former Director and Deputy World President of the same Federation. He is married with 5 children. He attended Central School (later Community Primary School I), Onitsha from 1973-1978 for his First School Leaving Certificate, before proceeding to Federal Government College, Enugu, where he had his General Certificate of Education (GCE, O Level). He obtained a Bachelor of Sciences (B.Sc) Honours Degree in Estate Management from the University of Nigeria in 1987.
Okoli kick-started his professional career with the Kaduna Branch of Knight Frank and Rutley (Nigeria) where he completed the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme between 1987 and 1988 as a Pupil Surveyor. He gained full time employment, moved to the Lagos Head Offices of Knight Frank and Rutley, (Nigeria) and worked as an Estate Surveyor, in the Management Department from 1988-1990. He also worked as an Estate Surveyor and Valuer, in the Agency and Valuation Departments, having been elected an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) in 1990.
He had a stint at Fox and Company and its affiliated company (Adegbemile, Agangan, Akinlosotu and Company) between 1991 and 1993, as an Estate Surveyor and Valuer in General Practice, attached directly to the Founding Partner of the Firm, Mr John Paget Fox. He established Osita Okoli and Company, a firm of Estate Surveyors and Valuers in 1993. The Firm has its Head Operations in Lagos; branches in Abuja and Port-Harcourt as well as a Representative Office at Onitsha.
Okoli became a member of the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) of the United Kingdom and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in 1992 and 2000 respectively. Okoli was designated Senior Certified Valuer (SCV) by the International Real Estate Institute (IREI) USA in 1997 and was elevated to President of the Nigerian Chapter of the Insitute in 1998. He revived the defunct Nigerian Chapter of the IREI and led its delegations to the International Real Estate Expos and Conferences of the IREI in Las Vegas, USA from 1999 to 2005.
He became a member of the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI), Paris, France in 1994 and served variously as Secretary General of the Nigerian Chapter as well as the African Region; Vice President of the African Region; President of the African Region; Deputy World President/Director as well as President of the Marketing Committee. Okoli facilitated the visits to Nigeria of three FIABCI World Presidents (Dato Alan Tong of Malaysia in 2006, Owen Gwyn of the USA in 2007 and Lisa Kurrass of the USA (the first Female World President) in 2010.
Okoli organised the first FIABCI Trade Mission to Africa led by World President Lisa Kurrass in 2010. The hugely successful Trade Mission featured board meetings, seminars, receptions, project tours, cocktails and dinners in Cape Town, South Africa, in collaboration with the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) and with sponsorship from Old Mutual Group, Liberty Properties and Rabie Group of South Africa. The Nigerian segment featured cocktails, dinners, meetings and courtesy calls on the Honourable Minister and Minister of State for Petroleum, the Honourable Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja, Nigeria. It was rounded off with the investiture of President Goodluck Jonathan as Grand Patron of FIABCI Africa, a Gala Dinner and deserving Awards presented by the World President Lisa Kurrass to notable leaders of the Nigerian Real Estate community such as Chief Simon Okeke (former Senior Partner, Knight Frank & Rutley and the Police Service Commission), Dr Charles Okoye (former MD, UBN Property Company Ltd), Dr Rilwan Lukman (late former Minister for Petroleum).
The visits, presented the FIABCI World Presidents the opportunity of meeting with key government functionaries including then Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Dr Charles Soludo) were targeted towards attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) to the Nigerian real estate sector. Okoli served as the Representative of FIABCI (at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for many years.
Okoli became a member of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) in 1997. He was also elevated to the prestigious cadre of Fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) in 2001, having served meritoriously in various capacities as Publicity Secretary, Lagos Branch (1994-96); National Publicity Secretary and Pioneer Chairman of the Corporate Affairs Committee (1996-98); Unofficial Member of Council (1999-2006); Second Vice President (2006-2008); First Vice President 2008-2009.
Okoli spearheaded the historic campaign for the relocation of the NIESV Secretariat from Lagos to Abuja, a movement that culminated in the unanimous resolution by the NIESV EGM of January 19, 2002 to move the Secretariat to Abuja and establish Liaison Offices in Lagos and Enugu. He served as Secretary and later as Chairman of the Abuja Relocation Committee created by the EGM to kick-off the movement to Abuja in 2001.
Okoli chaired the reconciliation of elders and key members of NIESV, Kano Branch and coordinated the successful hosting of the Annual Conference in Kano in 1998. He also coordinated courtesy calls on Mr J.K Naiyeju, then Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in 1997 and originated discussions for the proper administration of property-based taxes in Nigeria. He initiated dialogue and liaison between NIESV and Afri-Projects Consortium (led by Late Salihijo Ahmad), Consultants to the Petroleum Trust Fund, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (led by Nasir El-Rufai) and coordinated courtesy visits and liaison with the Federal Minister of Works and Housing.
Osita Okoli served as the Director of Socials of the Department of Estate Management while at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus; Vice Chairman of Mariere Hall, between 1985 and 1986 as well as the President/Chief Instructor of the Martial Arts Club, UNEC.
Okoli founded and served as Chief Instructor of the Comprehensive Exercise Clinic, Kaduna Club, Kaduna from 1987 to 1988. He was also an Executive Member, Kaduna State Taekwondo Association during the same period. He became a member of the Nigerian Taekwondo Black Belt College (NTBBC) in 1987 and member of the Taekwondo Association of Nigeria (TAN). He holds a Third Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo.
Mr Okoli is a recipient of many local and international awards notably, the FIABCI Medal of Honour (the highest award in FIABCI), two NIESV President’s Awards for Meritorious Service, the Men of Achievements Award and the Award in Recognition of Exemplary Contributions to the Nigerian Real Estate Sector presented by the St Thomas Moore Catholic Community of the University of Lagos.
Osita Okoli has received commendations locally and globally from friends, associates and admirers for his passion and immense contributions to unlocking the vast potentials in the Real Estate Sector in Nigeria and Africa. Encomiums are pouring in ahead of the 50th birthday anniversary of the real estate icon.
Okoli prefers not to celebrate the epochal event in keeping with the realities of the current times but one of his notable admirers declared: “We intend to establish a bridging process by which the groundwork laid by the erudite real estate practitioner would be transmitted unto forthcoming generations of professionals. There is also a plan to document the laudable contributions of this great son of Africa as a tribute to his sterling qualities and as an avenue to have him share his vision for real estate and housing development.”
Another associate stressed: “By a rare mix of professionalism, self-discipline and refreshing relevance to contemporary needs of humanity, Osita Okoli has impacted the lives of not only organisations but lives of persons with whom he has interacted. This illustrious son of Nigeria is worthy of celebration and emulation.”