By Uche Mbah
Former Chairman of the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Professor Herbert Orji, has passed on. Orji, urbane, brilliant, succumbed to kidney related illness. Before his passing a couple of days ago, he tried to get first class treatment from both the United States of America and India. But it was a very aggressive kidney disease that defied control.
Prof Orji’s career crisis-crossed both the public and private sectors.
He was the Chairman of the NBC for five years, within the same period of which he doubled as Member of the Board/National Council and Chairman, Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Nigerian stock Exchange.
He sat on many Boards, mostly as Chairman. Some of the organizations he headed include Suma Guaranty and Trust Company, where he was Chairman of the Board for Seven Years. Before then, he was the Chairman and Chief executive Officer for thirteen years, starting from 1998 to 2011.
He was also Chairman, Managing Director of defunct Progress Bank for six years; headed the London branch of the United Bank for Africa, UBA where he was the pioneer representative; Vice President of American Express Banking Group, to name but a few. He was, also, Vice Chairman of the Industrial training Fund, ITF.
Among several professional and academic honours, Professor Orji was awarded a national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON in 2010.
A former Adviser to the Abia state government, he was a Chartered global investment banker, an academic and, author of five books.
Born on November 2, 1950, at Amokwe-Item, Bende LGA, Abia state, Orji was married to the cerebral Dr. Nnenna Orji, (nee, Obioha) with whom he had three sons and four daughters. Amongst other siblings he was of the same parents with Mrs Julie Aneke, wife of a former Military Governor of Imo state, Group Captain James Aneke, rtd.