Talk about capacity to do good and the name, Dr. Mrs. Doris Amaka Ochei will pop up. In the world of business and in the charity space both locally and internationally, her reputation stands her out for enormous goodwill and love towards societal development. Helping underserved communities, empowerment of young women, scholarship of indigent students especially the girl child, widow support, among other social intervention are her forte.
Doris Ochei is a unique personality who has carved a unique place for herself where her capacity for nation building can be reflected. She has the heart of gold.
As an economic policy expert, the widely-read Dr. Ochei is adept at properly dissecting national issues. At a Lecture Series organized by a publishers’ forum in Delta state, Nigeria, Dr. Ochei addressing the country’s fiscal matters noted that ‘Strengthening public financial management and enhancing the efficiency and equity of public spending will build trust in the system and improve compliance and revenue collection. It can help people and businesses feel that economic activity will pick up and alleviate their financial discomfort. Therefore, there is a strong need for government at all levels to balance revenue generation and economic growth.’
She added: ‘The government needs to ensure that the tax collection process is efficient, transparent, and accountable to promote trust and confidence in the system. Thus, the government needs to balance revenue generation with promoting economic growth and development without harming the economy or specific sectors.’
As a remarkable philanthropist, the member of the Institute of Directors (IOD), Doris Ochei has the knack for spotting needs and opportunities which many do not sight or perceive. This is how she could spot the long-abandoned Onicha Olona Market. She singlehandedly resurrected a local market which was abandoned into decrepit state over 20 years ago. Not only getting the market back to activity, she ensured that the streetlights were installed to facilitate night trade and commerce. Apart from that, she empowered 89 market women with N50,000 each to enhance their trading activities.
Focusing on the multi-million naira project, Dr. Doris Ochei initially subscribed to restoring a bad road in Delta state and then in the process, she observed that there was an abandoned market. ‘The road leading to the market was decayed, in ruin and wrecked. The market, the Onicha Olona market was originally built by the Aniocha North LGA of Delta state in 2003. But the people for whom it was supposed to bring succor for business – an open place where they are to gather in public for buying and selling of merchandise, especially farm produce could not access the location.’
‘As a result, what was supposed to bring help and relief to them was in an unpleasant condition. Frustration set in and the site was accordingly abandoned’, reported a journalist.
The wife of Maj. Gen. Raymond Ochei,
Dr. (Mrs) Doris Ochei saw the situation as unbecoming and empathized with the people. This led to the reconstruction of the road which has since been named after her as the Doris Amaka Ochei road, Onicha Olona. The market, on its part, was rebuilt and made fit for night business with the installation of streetlight.
A community leader also reminisced about the market, ‘This market was built 20 years ago by Mr. Callistus Nwawolo who was the Local Government Chairman then. When the market was completed, the road was dilapidated and it discouraged traders from coming because it was a difficult terrain. The people resorted to trading at the centre of the road in town. But Dr. (Mrs.) Doris Amaka Ochei stepped in and uprooted all the trees.’
The Mother General of the Anioma Nation, HRM Obi Martha Dunkwu who unveiled the plaque of the reconstructed Onicha-Olona market hailed the President of DAO Foundation for legendary philanthropy and kindheartedness which saw her embarking on such a massive project.
The Omu Anioma then presented the Traditional Akwa Ocha to Doris Ochei as a mark of encouragement and appreciation.
In a letter of commendation to the President of DOA Foundation, the Chairman of Aniocha North LGA, Delta state, Hon. Kevin Okwechime expressed: ‘I write to appreciate the philanthropic gesture of your Foundation , Dr. Doris Amaka Ochei Foundation, which recently undertook the rehabilitation of the Council’s market in Onicha-Olona.
There is no doubt that your modest contribution to communal self-help effort in this regard would ultimately complement the Local Government’s developmental aspirations of stimulating the rural economy through commerce. The Local Government therefore immensely commend your patriotic spirit/goodwill and urge your Foundation to remain steadfast in its mission to impact on community service and humanity at large.’
Doris Amaka Ochei is not only popular on the outside, she is popular to friends and associates such as those with whom she graduated from secondary school. She is a very active member of her old school association, Ezemu Girls Grammar School Old Students Association (EGGSOSA), Ubulu Uku, Delta state.
There, she takes up important roles including lectures and trainings. She also built an ultramodern, multipurpose hall for the Ezemu Girls Grammar School which is her alma mater.
Personalities like Doris Ochei can never be hidden just like the Biblical ‘City set on the hill’. She was honored with the Global Icon for Community Development and Humanitarian Services 2023 on 5th August, 2023 by the African Diaspora Living Legend Award in Frankfurt, Germany. The press release by the Awards Committee noted about Dr. Mrs. Ochei, ‘Your visionary leadership at Doris Amaka Ochei Foundation (DAOF) and your commitment to sustainable development as exemplified by the rehabilitation and expansion of Onicha Olona Modern Market which has inspired a wide range of income generating and livelihood enhancing activities did not go unnoticed by the Award Committee members.’
‘The rebuilding and rehabilitation of the road leading to the market further demonstrated your humanity, acumen, and tenacity that eventually created an enabling environment for wealth creation and poverty alleviation through DAO Foundation.’
‘Your activities and humanitarian works are in tandem with the United Nations Resolution A/RES/69/16 to promote the recognition, justice, and development of people of African descent worldwide’, the Awards committee asserted.
Not only did Doris Ochei made herself proud with her giant strides, the organizers of the African Diaspora Living Legend Award, the African German Information Center announced the Ochei family as Global Icon of Anioma Culture and Heritage for beautifully presenting Anioma culture with their full Anioma cultural attire at the event.
More laurels, locally and internationally, will definitely come for Dr. Doris Ochei as she continues on the trajectory of betterment of society.