The Chairman, Ocean Marine Solutions Limited (OMSL), Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo, is dead. He died of pancreatic cancer on Sunday morning in London at the age of 63.
Okunbo was diagnosed with cancer last September, according to family sources.
OMSL was the operator of the controversial Safe Anchorage Area (SAA) for ships visiting the ports in Lagos. The company charged as much as USD2,500 per ship per day to use the safe anchorage area to avoid attacks by pirates and sea robbers.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) first cancelled the Safe Anchorage Area in November 2019.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, in August 2020, said that the SAA contract was “laced with fraud” .
President Muhammadu Buhari approved cancellation of the contract in January 2021.
The Edo-born late businessman, politician and philanthropist was born on January 7, 1958 in Benin City into the family of Reverend Robert Amos Okunbo, a clergyman and teacher.
He attended Federal Government College, Warri and became a commercial pilot at the age of 21 after graduating from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Training Centre, Zaria, Kaduna State.
He later attended ACME School of Aeronautics, Fort Worth Texas, United States, where he obtained an Airline Transport Pilot licence. He was a flight captain with Intercontinental Airlines and also worked at Okada Airlines. He retired from piloting at 30 to venture into business.
The late Okunbo founded and chaired many companies including CMES-OMS Petroleum Development Company (CPDC), which, in September 2019, signed $875.75m alternative financing deal for the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) operated OML 65; Wells Carlton Hotel and Apartments; Wells San-Carlos Agro Farms Ltd., which unveiled a $750 million, 9,000-hectare farm in Edo in 2016, and Ocean Marine Security Ltd., an offshore asset-protection company.