Pastor Edwin Biayeibo likes to say ‘Do not become a slave to your certificate.’ So you are a Doctor; does that effectively render you ineffective as an entrepreneur, writer or musician? No!
ABC Orjiakor, a trained orthopaedic and trauma surgeon has proven that the human mind is quite capable of taking great leaps from one area of expertise to another.
The oil magnate who shares Nigeria’s independence birth date is a son of Anambra State of Nigeria. He attended Secondary School in Uli, Anambra State and eventually advanced to the Institute of Management and Technology in Enugu State; his stay there was brief as he went on to study Medicine at the University of Calabar. Even as an undergraduate, his constitution was already wired to lead, and he rose to the position of African Regional Director of the International Federation of Medical Students; in addition he was the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Education of the Federation of African Medical Students Association. When he concluded his training as the best graduating student in far-away 1985, the organisations he championed and led, missed him sorely.
His medical career soared immediately with a job at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital which culminated after a decade and some with a Fellowship in the prestigious West African College of Surgeons and a job as a Senior Registrar at the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos.
As I have previously noted, successful people almost always end up leaving their comfort zones. It does seem like they survey their conquests, and say, onward! More to conquer, the world is our oyster!
Now one of Nigeria’s wealthiest men, Orjiakor is the Chairman and CEO of Shebah E&P Company Limited, an oil exploration firm which has a 40% stake in the offshore block OML 108 which produces over 8,000 barrels per day. Orjiakor is also chairman of Zebbra Energy Limited which owns the deepwater concession OPL 248 offshore Nigeria. He has a string of successful business ventures in shipping, banking, insurance and even pharmaceuticals as he is the Chairman of Neimeth Pharmaceuticals International PLC. Orjiakor is not done yet. He sits on the board of myriad companies and is invested in several others. I would like to be a fly on the wall of Orjiakor’s office [not literally of course!] to learn a little about his adroit business acumen because frankly, I always considered doctors to be quite straitjacketed. Their visions almost always climaxes with the establishment of some hospital or the other. Feel free to defend yourselves oh ye healers!
In a Newspaper article about our dexterous doctor, the fact that Orjiakor’s education was almost solely in Nigeria was applauded as a pointer to the abundance of potentials that are present in Nigeria, even without foreign education [The ‘almost’ is because Orjiakor did obtain a Harvard OPM Certificate in Business Management].
In 2010, Orjiakor led a momentous deal when he cofounded SEPLAT Petroleum Development Company Ltd. which was the first Nigerian company to take over the operating of a Joint Venture asset from Shell, Total and Eni.
Orjiakor, a husband and father of four, owns a foundation, the Daniel Orjiako Memorial Foundation which is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty through education, healthcare services, and economic empowerment.
Moral of this story: break out of your mould today! You mustn’t be it, just because you read it. Your mind can take much more, believe me! Better still, learn from ABC.