By Gabriel Kuma

The Principal Manager, Projects, at Nigeria Communication Commission,
Durojaiye Anthony Okodu has retired after 28 years of service and 60 years compulsory retirement age.

The event which happened last weekend saw staff of NCC gathered at the imposing auditorium of the Commission’s Head Office Annex at Mbora District, Abuja, to honour Okodu, also known as “Baba Naira”, as he bowed out of NCC.

Of a calm mien, friendly and very considerate, Okodu’s humility and affable disposition endear him to everyone.

Okudu began his career at the Commission in July 1994, as a cashier on transfer from the erstwhile Ministry of Communications, where he was headhunted by a former director of the Commission, Felicia Onwuegbuchulam. From then on, he had risen through the ranks, before eventually retiring as a Principal Manager, Projects, at NCC.

In her remark, the NCC’s Director, Projects, Iyabode Solanke, who was Okodu’s last supervisor before his retirement, and who was also Okodu’s Head of Department while they both worked at the Commission’s Department of Financial Services, extolled the retiree for his dedication, as well as his dressing code and excellent work ethics, which she said are worthy of emulation.

In the same vein, NCC’s Director, Zonal Operations, Amina Shehu, in her goodwill message, stated that in every interaction she had with Okodu, she had observed his stellar qualities, such as empathy, kindness, and gentleness. She added that he was also consistent in everything he did.

For NCC’s Director, Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, who also attended the valedictory party, said anyone would be easily impressed by Okodu’s level of dedication to duty, which has become a mark of Okodu’s outings and career at the Commission.

Adinde said that Okodu was not merely ever-present whenever he was needed most, he also, very often, displays emotional intelligence, and never lost his temper no matter the level of provocation. “I am also impressed by Okodu’s social networking skills which had enabled him to remain connected with every staff,” Adinde emphasised.

The Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, at the Commission, Ephraim Nwokonneya, profoundly recalled the attributes exhibited by Okodu that are so quite distinctive when he had the opportunity of working with Okodu in the Financial Services Department of the Commission.

Nwokonneya said when he was assigned to the Department of Financial Services of the Commission as a Principal Manager, he had worked closely with Okodu, who characteristically was full of zeal and energy. He said Okodu was very efficient and easily endeared himself to everyone. Nwokonneya encouraged him to look at retirement as a time of rejuvenation, reflection and prosperity.

This humane side of Okudu was underscored by Hafsat Lawal, Head, Consumer Policy Development and Monitoring, who asserted that Okudu was a mentor and a friend in need. “He is reliable and dependable, exuding high level of understanding in all matters and he would go out of his way to ensure everyone was comfortable,” Lawal said.

Okudu, who spoke at the end of the speeches, thanked the audience and all those who had honoured him with their presence and kind words. Reflecting on the occasion with philosophical calmness and thanksgiving to God, Okodu said there had to be an end to every beginning but he thanked God for the privilege to witness his retirement day alive. While expressing delight over all the goodwill messages received, he enjoined the younger staff who would be taking over the baton, to be hardworking. He also advised that Commission can only thrive if staff remain hardworking in a consistent manner, and are dedicated and loyal to the Commission.

Other contributors at the event included Ajoke Atte, Head, Procurement; Solomon Igbayue, Assistant Director, Policy Competition and Economic Analysis; Emeka Nnama, Senior Manager, Zonal Operations; and Anthony Bassey, Senior Manager, Administration, all staff of the Commission who extolled Okodu’s distinctive virtues and dedication to the aspirations of the Commission. They all wished Okodu a life of grace and bliss in retirement.