Great oaks, it is said, grow from little acorns. This ageless English proverb underlines one critical fact of life: iconic successes can come from little beginnings. And how true this is for our subject, Engineer Victor Onyekachi Ochei, who, by sheer virtue of consistent hard work, has risen from the bulrushes to the proverbial palace of Pharaoh!
Born on February 25, 1969, Victor Ochei hails from Ogbekenu in Onicha-Olona, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State. He had his basic education and later the secondary education, at St. Thomas’ College in Kano, his place of birth. He later proceeded to the University of Benin where, after four years, he earned the Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering. He later picked the Master of Business Administration in 1996. This academic diversification, into business studies, is a master stroke that later proved strategically effective to Ochei, in relation to his involvement in multi-dimensional business engagements.
However, like the wise man sipping from the well of water of life, Victor realised that only deeply penetrative and diverse sips from the fountain of wisdom via effective education will make him succeed. In lieu of this, he earned the Master of Science in Corporate Governance from Leeds Metropolitan University, in the United Kingdom. In the strident pursuit of his dream of helping to entrench the culture of good governance in the country, Ochei also picked alluring certificates in Good Governance, Effective Legislating and Improving Secondary School Education from the enviable Oxford University, University of California and the prestigious Harvard Graduate School of Education respectively.
In the quest for multi-prong formal education, Ochei has also picked the Law Degree from the Delta State University.
Outside of all of these degrees and certificates from credible Nigerian and transnational academic institutions, Ochei has earned the enviable fellowship of the Nigerian Society of Engineers for his contributions to the practice and development of engineering in the country. By that singular attainment in 2011, he became, at 42, the youngest Nigerian – living or dead – to earn the prestigious fellowship. He is also a Fellow, Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
In Africa, it is said that even on the darkest nights, the experienced hand finds the mouth without difficulty. For young Ochei, the pitch dark night, represented by the prostrate – some would prefer to call it a job-bleeder – economy would have been sufficient disincentive to engage in self-employment, in the face of the fact of the dearth of strategic infrastructure and their impact on cost of operation for privately-held firms, and their eventual profitability. So, like the far-fetched visioner that he truly is, Ochei laced up for what would, for long afterwards, be one of the single best decisions of his life by venturing into self-employment. That singular decision, which depicts the immense courage and a deep sense of conviction on the part of the young Ochei, has delivered some crucial benefits, not the least of which is Davnotch Nigeria Limited, Asaba.
Today, this gargantuan firm has not only engaged hundreds of top-flight Nigerians and other experts in highly-sought professions/vocations, but has grown, since the 1990s when it was established, to become what today is the biggest electrical engineering firm in the state and doubtlessly one of the leading indigenous of such firms in all of Nigeria. It must be stressed that in deference to the legal and moral import of his new office as Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly and the member representing Aniocha North Constituency in the House (as proof his dependability and popular faith in him, Ochei has been returned to that House for the 3rd consecutive times) he had, since 2011, completely divested his shareholding in the firm of immense promise. The good thing about this – and this has to be stressed here -is that in spite of his divestment, Davnotch, today, remains a befitting tribute to the courage and investment acumen and the great vision
In ancient Africa, it is said that the millipede’s legion do not count for nothing. In this wise Ochei is a man of many immeasurably good parts: A sports fan and sponsor; reputable community leader; an economic investor; a lawmaker; human capital entrepreneur/developer and philanthropist extraordinaire. In each of these respects, Ochei has earned a name worthy of praise and emulation.
As a sports fan and sponsor, Ochei is a patron of the highly successful Nigerian Wheelchair Basketball Federation and Chairman, Delta State Wrestling Association. By his extraordinary devotion to the Nigerian Wheelchair Basketball Federation, Ochei has revolutionised sports for the physically-challenged and given them a positive new sense of belonging. He has equally sponsored, at great personal expense, many meets involving the physically-challenged in the country.
As an investor, Ochei, while his contemporaries were yet battling the yoke of unemployment, founded Davnotch, which is today the most visible indigenous electrical engineering firm in the state. To its credit, Davnotch has on its payroll more than 250 direct expert staff in various sub-themes of its generic mandate area. Though he has divested his whole interest in Davnotch, the streaming potency of the firm today, as well as the clear-cut vision and courage behind it, attest stoically to the deep sense of foresight of Ochei. This is a clear testimony to the ageless African saying that while clever persons plant flowers, diligent men of vision plant trees, which, long, long after they were planted, nurture and sustain lives and livelihoods.
As a lawmaker and Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Ochei has earned his name in gold, after paying his due, so to speak. As the representative of Aniocha North Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly, he has earned the respect of his constituents such that, for the first time in the history of the constituency, one representative (Ochei) has been found so worthy as to be elected into the DTHA three consecutive times.
Apart from being prestigious individually, all of these degrees, in sum, make Ochei an uncommon fairly well-rounded man of academics and the professions, thus putting him out as a grounded leadership material (given the diversity of his profuse academic engagements and their positive impact on leadership skills development) that could be of vital public importance in the days and months ahead.
However, it is in terms of positive community service that Ochei has become such a magnetic personality. He is a staunch member of De Saints International Club, private sector organisation devoted fully to the well-being of the downtrodden and patron, Nigerian Wheelchair Basketball Federation. As a philanthropist/community servant, he has equally proven his mettle by way of legion scholarship awards; massive financial and other assistance to indigent students in tertiary schools; donation of more than N2 million worth of books to DELSU, Abraka; the institution of a scholarship scheme for the FCET, Asaba as well as the plan to build an ultra-modern theatre for the Oleh campus of DELSU.
In lieu of these and other selfless activities of Hon. Ochei, his people – the very people who know him well enough and can safely judge the sincerity of his intentions and actions – quite rightly honoured him with the title of Olikeze (the man who lives like the king) of Onicha-Olona. Now, if as the title indicates (does the king not care for all his subjects without bias?) the prophet has honour in his home, does any doubt still exit as to whether Ochei has lived out the truism of his baptismal name, Victor?
Hon. Victor O. Ochei, who is also the Ihaza of Onicha Ugbo and the Onyeze of Umuebu, is happily married with children.