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Thursday, 01 June 2023 05:39

Senate urges FG to immortalise Dokpesi

High Chief Raymond Dokpesi High Chief Raymond Dokpesi

The Senate yesterday urged the Federal Government to immortalise the late Founder of DAAR Communications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi.

The media entrepreneur died on Monday.

He was 71.

The Senate resolutions followed a Point of Order raised by Senator Francis Alimikhena (PDP Edo) at plenary.

The lawmaker, who read the late Dokpesi’s profile, recalled that the media entrepreneur’s first business, Africa Ocean Lines, was the first indigenous shipping line in Africa and was established in the 1980s.

“Although the business did not last long, it contributed to the Nigerian shipping industry.

“It helped to formulate the Nigerian Shipping Act Decree 1986, which stated the sharing formula of 40:20:20 for cargo between developed and developing countries.

“In the early 1990s, when Nigerian media was dominated by the government media only, he entered the mass media industry with his company, DAAR Communications.

“He established the first independent radio station, Ray Power FM, in 1993, and the first global satellite television station, Africa Independent Television (AIT) in Nigeria, in 1996,” he said.

Other senators eulogised the late Dokpesi.

Eyinnaya Abaribe (APGA Abia) described the AIT founder as a trail blazer who pioneered private radio and television stations in the country.

“For that, we must at all times always remember the late Dokpesi as the man that stood forward for Nigeria and gave us one of the key ingredient of democracy which is freedom of information.

“I say good night because good men are very rare. May God accept his soul.”

Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC Kogi) said: “AIT, irrespective of how you look at it, is a balancing force in the media.

“He (Dokpesi) was a man that this country will miss greatly. He contributed in no small measure to the growth of broadcast journalism in Nigeria. The departure of Dokpesi is a great loss to the media.”

For Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP Ekiti), the late media mogul was a jinx breaker.

The senator also said the late Dokpesi was a backbone of so many individuals and governments.

“Dokpesi was a very useful part of my party, the PDP, where he played major roles in uniting the party,” she said.

A minute silence was observed in honour of the late Dokpesi and was led by Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege who presided over plenary.

Also, the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) yesterday commiserated with the family of the business mogul and media entrepreneur.

A statement by NPAN Executive Secretary, Mr. Feyi Smith, said the association’s President Kabiru A. Yusuf expressed shock over the death of Dr. Dokpesi on Monday.

“While we commiserate with members of the media fraternity, his immediate and political families, on this irreparable loss, we are consoled by the fact that he left behind an enduring legacy of hard work and selflessness.

“We encourage our youth to emulate his industry, modesty and passion for the people.

“The nation has lost a great pioneer, a patriot, an advocate of good governance/a free press and the right of people to know,” the statement said.

Also, immediate past Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi has commiserated with the family of the AIT founder and chairman.

In a statement yesterday by his media office, Amaechi said: “Dokpesi was a vibrant elder statesman who contributed greatly to the growth of the broadcast industry in Nigeria.

“He was also a man who was concerned about the country’s political landscape and contributed his quota to national politics.

“His death is indeed a huge loss not only to his family and the broadcasting industry but to the country.

“I pray that God will grant his family and loved ones the fortitude to bear this great loss.”

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