Akanimo Udofia may be based in Toronto, Canada, but that hasn’t stopped his Desicon Group, an engineering, procurement and construction services company, from becoming one of the major servicers of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry. However, the growth of Udofia‘s business empire is just starting, as the Ventures Africa rich list reveals that the best times are still to come for the company.
Akanimo Asuquo Udofia (born 18 June 1969), also known as “Akan Udofia” is a Nigerian business magnate and philanthropist based in Toronto, Canada. His chain of businesses spans various sectors of Nigerian economy, with interests in engineering, construction, oil and gas, and maritime.
Akanimo Udofia hails from Akwa-Ibom State Nigeria. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from then Cross River State University, now University of Uyo, in Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. He is also an alumnus of Harvard Business School. “He is an “international entrepreneur” as profiled by Inside Toronto. He is the Group Managing Director of DESICON Group. He has over 20 years post graduate experience in Business Administration and Development.
Akanimo Udofia is currently the Group Managing Director of Desicon Group, “which provides detailed engineering design and installation services for leading organisations in the Nigerian Oil & Gas Sector. As a Senior Business Manager at Vision 2000 Ltd between 1990 and 1994 was in charge of the Business Development and Strategic Planning for the World Bank financed project Population Activities Fund Agency –PAFA. Between 1998-2002, Akanimo Udofia set up consortium partner with STOLT-BOUYGUES Offshore on the Amenam Project, coordinating oil and gas services contracts in Sub-Saharan Africa with total portfolio of projects valued at over USD900 million.
Functioning as the Managing Director of Desicon, he positioned the company as one of Nigeria’s indigenous companies patronised by international oil companies in the petroleum sector in Nigeria. This much was attested to by Mark Ward, Managing Director of ExxonMobil Nigeria in his statement: “One of the most prominent examples (that is, involvement with indigenous companies) is Saipem, the oldest international services company in Nigeria, who has worked closely with the local electrical and instrumentation company, Desicon, for the past 10 years.” Akanimo Udofia lent credence to this position by saying “Saipem does nothing in Nigeria without partnering with us… Saipem is so convinced that the future of Nigerian companies lies in the Nigerian capacity.” Udofia is the Chairman of Vision 2000 Ltd and a Director of SAIPEM Contracting Nigeria Ltd, a company “with a huge structure covering all sort of services to the Oil & Gas Industry such as Drilling On/Offshore, construction activities on/offshore (pipelines, power plants, fabrication activities) Engineering, Maintenance.”He was later elevated to the Board of Saipem Contracting Nigeria Limited.
Akanimo Udofia is a philanthropist. The businessman’s philanthropic gesture received rave reviews in Canada when in 2012 he donated One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($150,000) to a Toronto community in November 2012. Moved by the Danzig Street mass shooting in Scaborough, in which “the inevitable images of young black men and women, being carted away on stretchers”, he gave the Danzig townhouse community the sum of $150,000 over a period of three years, in his quest to “support a variety of resident-developed initiatives within the Danzig community.” In a release made by him, Udofia said “I choose to be a role model, to show these kids that there’s a big world out there. Canada presents them, if they choose to and are motivated, the opportunity to acquire skills that are much sought-after around the world,” also adding that “the emerging economies of Africa can use a skilled, talented and reformed youth from the Danzig community in Toronto and I can help.” This gesture, according to Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37, Scarborough Centre) Chair of Toronto’s Economic Development Committee, “Mr. Udofia’s gift will help the residents of the Danzig community to recover from adversity and to find new social and economic opportunities. We are grateful for Mr. Udofia’s generosity and leadership, and for raising the community’s spirits during a challenging time
.” In his own reaction, Gene Jones, President and CEO, Toronto Community Housing said: “I would like to thank Mr. Udofia for his generous donation. This support will fund programs to help the young people in Danzig access educational opportunities and pursue their dreams. By working with community partners in Morningside Coronation and right across the city, we can work together to create healthy, vibrant communities.” He is an avid believer in the development of his community and has initiated and executed numerous community development projects including:
• Offer of free medical and surgical services to the people of Affa Offiong, Akwa-Ibom State. He sponsored eight medical doctors, 20 nurses from United States of America and trained 30 auxiliary nurses, who treated 400 patients in the state as well as provided water project to the community to mark his 40th birthday celebrations.
• 480,000 litre water development project in Affa Offiong, Akwa-Ibom State, which was inaugurated by the State Governor, Chief (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio,.
• Partnership with The Bridge Leadership Foundation for industrial training opportunities for 40 artisans, trained by Desicon Group.
Akanimo Udofia was honoured with the Outstanding Achievement Award in Entrepreneur at the 2nd Nigeria-Ghana Networking Summit held at the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, London in 2010 He was nominated for the 2013 Niger-Delta Achievers Merit Award in the category of “Pearl of Niger-Delta.” [
Akanimo Udofia is married with three daughters. He enjoys boating and water sports in his leisure time.