THE LEGEND DANIEL ALIFA AKOH, GOES TO BE WITH THE LORD
By Joy Omagha Idam
The Legendary Mr. Daniel Alifa Akoh,(Omachi Attah Igala) born 1st August 1935, hails from Ugwolawo, Kogi State, is dead. He died after a seven week battle with illness, at a hospital in Lagos, on March 26th 2023. Burial arrangements will be made known at a later date. He was a Chartered Chemist and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). He held a Bachelor of Science (B. Sc) in Chemistry of the University of London, from the University College Ibadan.
He was a founding Member and Fellow of the following Societies: Chemical Society of Nigeria (CSN),e Institute of Chartered Chemi Nigeria (ICCON), the Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria (IPAN) as its first President and also the Nigeria Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST). He worked at different times at the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research in London and with a firm of Public Analysts, Thomas Mc Lauchlan and Partners in London. He is the first graduate from Igala Kingdom.
His civil service career began as a Laboratory Technician at the Laboratory of the Government Chemist. He later became the Government Chemist of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The last person to hold that position, Mr. Akoh was appointed first Director, Food and Drug Administration and Laboratory Services on the abolition of the position of Government Chemist in 1977. It later metamorphosed into NAFDAC. He laid the foundation for the establishment of NAFDAC.
In 1982 he was appointed Permanent Secretary and Chief of Staff, Office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Later he served respectively as Permanent Secretary Political and Police Affairs, Cabinet Office and Federal Ministry of Works and Housing from where he retired voluntarily in 1986. A very rare virtue.
During his career Mr. Akoh had the opportunity of serving in many organisations including the Board of Directors of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Councils of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the Boards of Directors of the University Teaching Hospital, Ibadan (UCH), University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu, Peugeot Automobile Company of Nigeria (PAN) and Benro Packaging Company.
He was the founder and Chairman of Alfa Laboratories Limited, Amen Food Industries Limited and Akoh Ocholi Foundation. He was also an active participant in many community associations. Seeing to educational development of Igala land.
Mr Akoh, received the Professional Excellence Award of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN). In 1995, he was conferred with the title “Omachi Attah Igala”, by His Royal Majesty, Aliyu Obaje, The Attah of Igala reigning at the time.
Some of his notable exploits as member Chemical Society of Nigeria includes; coordinating the decongestion of the Port in Lagos In 1983. Coordinating efforts for the enabling Laws for Environmental Regulations in Nigeria. Coordinated the designs and construction of major highways and bridges in Nigeria; Ajaokuta Bridge, Ajaokuta- Otukpa, Ilorin – Jebba federal highways, several Federal Secretariats in States as well as the Nigerian House in New York. He represented Nigeria for many years in various international organizations; Chemist Committee of the Customs Cooperation Council in Brussels, and Codex Alimentarius in Rome.
He is survived by a wife Mrs Mary Akoh, the union lasted over 60 years and is blessed with four Children and several grandchildren to mourn him as well as many he mentored and paid fees for. He was a devoted Christian. Until his call to glory he was a prominent member of the Ikoyi Baptist Church. He was a quiet philanthropist. He supported projects in his community and people quietly.