Nigeria is blessed to have innovators like Raymond Dokpesi. He took a path many saw as impossible and has made the country better than he met it.
Raymond Anthony Dokpesi is the founder and former chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, the first private broadcasting company in Nigeria.
Some call him the Ted Tunner of Nigeria because of his fresh innovations in the media industry. He is also a researcher, humanitarian, avid reader, and philanthropist.
Raymond Dokpesi Background
The media mogul was born on 25th October, 1951 in Ibadan, Oyo State, but he is a native of Agenebode, Edo State, Nigeria. He attended Ebenezer African Church School for his primary school education. Afterwards, he proceeded to Loyola College, Ibadan and, Immaculate Conception College (ICC) Benin City.
While in Benin, he started his undergraduate studies at the University of Benin before traveling abroad for further studies. After some years, he acquired his Bsc, masters and doctorate degree from Wyzsza Szokta Morska Gdynia and University of Gdansk Sopot, Poland.
Amazingly, young Raymond graduated with a distinction and was as well the best graduating student in Marine Transport Engineering in the past fifty years of University of Gdansk’s history.
Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, a general manager at Nigeria Port Authority sponsored Dokpesi’s primary, secondary and tertiary education.
While in University of Gdansk, he served as the president of the following associations:
- The Nigerian Students Union, Gdansk Poland – 1972 – 1974
- African Students Union, Poland – 1973
- International Students Association, Poland – 1974
- Nigerian Students, Eastern Europe – 1974
Raymond is also a fellow of Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Chartered institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), Nigerian Institute of Shipping, Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), Institute of Transport Administration, and the Institute of Directors (IOD), Nigeria.
Raymond Dokpesi Career
Before proceeding to Poland, Raymond worked briefly at Nigeria Ports Authority as Marine Office Cadet in 1969. After graduation, he lectured at the University of Gdansk, Poland as Assistant Lecturer in Marine Transport Economics.
Afterwards, he returned to Nigeria to honor the invitation of the then Head of state who went on a visit to Poland.
In 1978, he worked with the Federal Ministry of Transport and Aviation as Head of Water Transport Division on Secondment from Nigerian Ports Plc (NTCC).
Also, High Chief Dokpesi served as the Chief of Staff of the Gongola State Government in 1983. He is the Chairman of Baldok Shipping Lines Limited and Rimat Properties Limited as well.
Raymond Dokpesi Entrepreneurship Journey
In the 1980s, Dr. Dokpesi started the first indigenous shipping line in Africa known as African Ocean Lines. The defunct business was involved in the formulation of Nigerian Shipping Act Decree 1986. The Decree stated the cargo sharing formula between developed and under developed countries as 40:20:20.
Raymond Dokpesi is a lover of entertainment right from secondary school where he pioneered a dance/drama group known as Ozolua Play House. However, he was unable to start his own entertainment platform due to the National Broadcasting Commission Decree. Then, the decree only allow government owned broadcasting companies to handle Nigeria broadcast.
Fortunately, the then Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida issued another decree that allowed private broadcasting in Nigeria. He saw this as an opportunity and started DAAR Communications Plc.
DAAR Communications Plc.
The company was established on August 31, 1998 and got converted to a public liability company on April 23rd, 2007. DAAR Communications is one of the leading media and broadcasting firm that provides outstanding news and information to global audience.
DAAR Communications Plc is the first private owned broadcasting company with 24 hour radio and TV operation in Nigeria.
Subsidiaries under DAAR Communications Plc
For the first time in Nigeria history, Raymond Dokpesi started a radio station that centers on commercial broadcasting. Raypower started on September 1st, 1994, in Alagbado, Lagos. Raypower 100.5FM is the choice of many in Nigeria and beyond. Its operation now spread across thirty two out of thirty-six states in Nigeria.
African Independent Television
In December 6, 1996, the organization pioneered a free to air TV Network Channel called African Independent Television (AIT) with headquarters
in Abuja. Today, AIT has grown to become a global broadcasting firm with coverage in thirty two out of thirty-six states in Nigeria.
Not only that, AIT broadcasts throughout Africa and via Dish Network to North America. It also operates an International Satellite TV in USA, Europe, and through International Channel in UK (Channel 187 on Sky Digital).
On October 7, 2008, DAAR Communications plc launched a Nigerian based digital multi-channel direct-to-home subscription TV known as Daarsat. It was also first of its kind in Nigeria.
FAAJI FM is another Radio station DAAR Communications launched on December, 12, 2012. The radio station broadcast is done in Yoruba and Pidgin English to ensure that the less educated are not left out of current happenings.
Raymond Dokpesi Publications
- Optimal size of Tankers for International Trade – 1974
- West African Shipping Range – 1975
- Technology Change in Shipping and its impact on Ports – 1976
- Consultation Machinery in Shipping – The West African Experience
- International Multi-modal Transport System – Implication on Nigeria Economy – 1980
- Thoughts on Nigeria National Shipping policy – 1980
- Fiscal and Financial Arrangements to Encourage Investment in Shipping in Nigeria – 1986
- Security in Cargo Handling – The Nigerian Experience Bulk Fleet Development – 1986
- The Issue of a Shipping Agency in the Maritime Industry – 1987
- The role of the Seaport in the Structural Adjustment Programme
Raymond Dokpesi Quotes
“If you are contented as a rich man and you are surrounded by 100 hungry men, they will tear you up and eat. That is the danger we must fear.”
“I have the arsenal, the wherewithal, the knowledge, energy and strength to be the bridge builder and unite the country.”
“We must give youth a sense of belonging and create job opportunities.”
“We need to give hope to our people and it is only by giving job and reducing the level of corruption.”
Raymond Dokpesi Political Pursuit
High Chief Raymond Dokpesi is a businessman but also a strong pillar in Nigeria politics. He was the political campaign manager for Alhaji Bamanga Tukur’s Gongola State House and Presidential campaign.
He was also the Political campaign manager for Adamu Ciroma presidential campaign in 1993 and he led the South-South People Assembly (SSPA) during Peter Odili’s presidential campaign.
Dr. Raymond Dokpesi contested for the position of National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party in 2017 but lost to Uche Secondus.
National Assignments He Performed for Nigeria
- Presidential Committee on long term measure to solve piracy and security problems in Nigerian sea ports and territorial waters – 1981
- He was a member of chief of defence staff board on boarders and harbor security force – 1982
- Member, committee on Decentralization of Nigeria Ports Plc – 1983
- Shipping Policy Implementation Committee Member – 1987
Raymond Dokpesi Chieftaincy Titles
Ogieorumoa of Weppa Wanno – 1986
Araba of Osooroland – 1987
Osese of South Uneme – 1990
Gbobaniyi of Ilawe-Ekiti – 1994
Oganigwe Umu Orji Ako Nibo – 1999
Sardaunna of Kpaduma, Abuja – 2002
Ezomo of Weppa Wanno Land – 2003.
Raymond Dokpesi Philanthropy
Raymond Dokpesi does quite a number of philanthropic gestures. Some of which includes, building of schools for communities and offering of scholarships to students into tertiary institutions.
Awards and Recognition
- Dr. Kwame Nkurumah Africa Leadership Award and Gold Medal for Excellence in Business Practice, awarded by Foundation for Excellence in Business Practice.
- Institute of Directors (10D) Entrepreneurial Award – 2007
- National Merit Award, Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) – 2008
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