A former National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA); Dr Simon Chukwuemeka Okolo MFR has died, aged 81.
In a statement, Nworah Clement, Press Attache, said family sources disclosed that Dr. Okolo died on Saturday 6th April 2019 after a brief illness.
He was a member of the Presidential Advisory Council (PAC) during the Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR administration .
Dr. Okolo during his life time established the New Era Group of Companies Ltd made up of New Era Specialist Hospital Ltd Aba, with branches in Umuahia, Nnewi etc.
Also New Era Foods Ltd; an agro-allied industry located at Aba, which crushes palm kernel and refines its oil into edible vegetable oil.
A two time president of Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ACCIMA), Chairman Abia State Chapter of Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Dr. Okolo rose through the ranks of the chamber movement in Nigeria to become the 48th National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) on October 29th 2008.
Dr. Okolo through ceaseless advocacy intensified efforts to instil in the psyche of the ruling class that Nigeria can never industrialize if the rocky road to her industrialization was not smoothened.
He worked to galvanize government action towards rebuilding Nigeria’s decayed infrastructure and put in place investment favourable policies and programmes to inject life and midwife Nigeria’s rapid industrial take off.
To engender adequate security infrastructure and stem the rising tide in violent crimes in Nigeria especially kidnapping; Dr. Okolo successfully nudged and got the Jonathan administration’s promise to commence sim card registration across the country by the communication companies in Nigeria.
Also, he presided over the activities of the D-8 organization for Economic Co-operation made up of countries like Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey .
A Papal knight, Dr. Okolo belonged to several professional bodies – Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Institute of Corporate Chairman of Nigeria etc.
He also served as President Association of Anambra State Development Unions, Aba for many years till his death.
During his life time, Dr. Okolo garnered several merit awards among them are: National Awards of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR). by the former President Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua On 14th of February 2008, Honours Awards of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Abia State in recognition of his significant and outstanding contribution to NMA, society and mankind in general.
Others are Papal Merit Award (2000) from His Holiness Pope John Paul 11 for his generosity and concern for the Poor And Less Privileged, Merit Award by the Nigerian Bar Association in deep appreciation of his contributions to Aba Community and the people of Federal Republic of Nigeria and others.”