It is said that in any country, business and politics never run out of fashion or news! When we amalgamate the two, it becomes a combination, capable of anything but stoicism.
Olorogun Barr. Kenneth Gbagi, who recently bagged the National Honours Award of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) bestowed on him by president Muhammadu Buhari, lives the dream of every common man. Despite the height he has attained, hard work, determination and compassion for the less privilege characterizes his life.
That, Gbagi, FNIM, was a businessman before becoming the first Ughelli south politician, industrialist, philanthropist to get the OON National Award, is a well-known fact.
Olorogun Gbagi, was born in Sapele, the administrative headquarter of Sapele local government area of Delta State to the families of Chief and Mrs. Robinson Gbagi, from Oginibo in Ughelli south local government area of the state.
He had his early education at the Bishop Johnson Memorial Primary School, Sapele, from where he proceeded to Kosofe Community High School, Lagos for his West African School Certificate and GCE O’ levels.
He was at Emmanuel L. Quezon University in the Philippines for his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in criminology, a course and program he is so passionate about.
In his bid to adequately further perfect his skills in criminology, Olorogun Gbagi came back to Nigeria to study law at the University of Lagos, and subsequently attended the Nigeria Law School (Lagos Campus), where he was called to the Nigerian Bar on successful completion of the programme.
Not one to be labelled as a slow starter or to wait for peanuts from employers, Gbagi launched into the business arena head-on, starting off Geekos Security Nigeria Limited.
This company, where he is the Chairman, is responsible for setting-up and maintaining the entire physical and electrical security infrastructure of most banks and many notable individuals in Nigeria.
It is interesting to note that Geekos Security Nigeria Limited provided the foundation for the entire Gbagi’s conglomerate.
Gbagi, owns a conglomerate of the following: GKO Properties Ltd. – a key player in the home/property sector in Nigeria, managing portfolios that include 5-star hotels, shopping malls, housing estates, market lock-up stalls.
The Robinson Gbagi Shopping Mall 1 & 2 which currently engages over 20,000 youths and tagged the ‘computer village’ of the Niger Delta.
The Signatious Hotel and Suites Ltd boast of over 300 rooms, and a major player in the hospitality and tourism industry in Nigeria. The hotel employs over one hundred professionals as well as provides recreational facility to help channel the energies of the region’s restive youths to more meaningful ventures.
The facility equally serves as an ultra-modern holiday resort and has branches in Lagos and Abuja.
GEEKOS Investment Ltd. which is an active player in the stock market, with shares in several blue chip companies, as well as industrial-scaled importation.
GKO Group of Companies Ltd – this establishment provides a connect and marriage between business and entertainment.
This is manifested through the 6,400 – sitter Fame Dela Hall; the 5-Cinema theatre/mall Light House Arcade and 650-rooms world class Marriot Hotel, situated five minutes’ drive from the Osubi Airport in Delta State.
Nayee Group of Companies that houses Nayee Press Limited, Nayee Publishing Company and Nayee Law Publication Limited. The conglomerate has about the largest printing account in sub-Saharan Africa, with a client base that include all major international Oil Companies, banks, judiciary and governments.
Falcon Bay Energy Ltd, an oil and gas company with core business in renewable and non renewable energy both within and outside Nigeria.
Kenneth O. Gbagi & Associates, where he is the Head of Chambers. The firm provides legal consultancy on wide range of issues, serve as Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and Certified Alternative Dispute Resolution Mediator.
He also provides high Profile Consultancy to various government agencies, notably the Federal Ministries of Finance/Housing on the Gwarinmpa II Housing Scheme on its payment/funding processes.
Also, on his public-private business involvement, he was appointed Chairman, Board of Directors of the Delta Development and Property Authority; Coordinator of Safety Equipment Manufacturing Nig. Ltd, a major investor in Presidential Insurance Plc., and Director at NEM Insurance Plc.
Gbagi’s business philosophy is driven by community development, and people oriented.
As the chairman of the Geekos Security Nigeria Limited, over the years, Gbagi, has amassed wealth from businesses in real estate, hospitality management, oil sector, entertainment, printing industries, legal profession etc.
As a politician, he served as former Minister of State for Education under former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010, where he midwife the creation of 13 Universities, including Federal University of Lafia.
He further created eight Federal Government Colleges; restructured the workings of agencies such as UBE, WAEC and NTI, and, spear headed the policy of using minimum of 6-credits in WAEC at two-sittings to be eligible for admission as opposed to the infamous one-sitting or nothing are his brainchild.
The hospitality guru became the first living black man to attain the coveted AKS member of Rotary International to donate $250, 000 to Rotary International for charity and is well documented.
He is a founding father of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the state but later left over what he described as “Threat to Life, Anti-democratic Conduct by His Excellency Ifeanyi Okowa Governor Delta at Government House Asaba”, in his message addressed to the PDP national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu.
Howbeit, the renowned philanthropist, who is the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the 2023 elections in the state, remains the quintessential example of Delta’s most iconic man in business and politics.
His hunger to change the narrative and industrialize the state led him to venture into politics. He contested against Chief James Onanefe Ibori in 1999, a dream that would be birthed in the 2023 elections.