Rotimi Amaechi (born May 27, 1965, Age: 58 years old) is an influential Nigerian politician with a net worth estimated at $780 million according to several online sources. He is known for serving in various capacities in the government, especially as the former governor of Rivers State and former Federal Minister of Transportation.
Amaechi used to be an active member of the People’s Democratic Party but later defected to the All progressive Congress in 2013. The politician was named Rotimi because his father wanted him to be a lawyer like legal icon Chief Frederick Rotimi Williams SAN.
He was raised in the densely populated town of Diobu, Port Harcourt. During his early days, he had portrayed qualities of good leadership, held positions of power, and carried out his duties effectively and proficiently. He has championed the affairs of his people in Rivers State by being a true leader, father, Knight of the Holy Catholic Church (Knight of Saint John), and an achiever.
Rotimi Amaechi Was Born And Raised In Rivers State
Added: Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi is a Nigerian politician and businessman. He was born in Umuordu-Ubima Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, in south southern Nigeria. His father, Late elder Fidelis, was also a politician when he was alive. Rotimi’s father ran for councillorship during his time, but it is not certain if he won any political seat. Sadly, his mother, Mary Amaechi, is also late.
Growing up in Rivers, he got his First School Leaving Certificate in 1976 after graduating from St Theresa’s Primary School. He obtained his West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) from Federal Government College Okolobiri. The lure to improve his lot amongst his peers made him proceed and enroll at the prestigious University of Port Harcourt, where he got a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Hons) in English and Literary Studies in 1987.
While in school, Rotimi was also the President of the National Union of Rivers State Students (NURSS). On December 8, 2018, he was conferred with an honorary doctorate award by the Kaduna State University (KASU). Amaechi has currently enrolled as a student of Law at Baze University Abuja. Although there is not enough information about his siblings, it is known that the transportation minister had an elder brother who is now late.
His brother, Oha Charles Amaechi, fondly called ‘Dede,’ died at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) on June 12, 2020, after being severely injured in a car accident. He was buried in his country home Ubima, Rivers State, on September 12, 2020. Nigerians mourned with the former Governor of Rivers State during this period, as it was known to many that he shared a great bond with his later brother.
He Has Been Married to Dame Judith Obiageli Amaechi Since 1993
Amaechi is a happily married man and has been married to Dame Judith Obiageli Amaechi since 1993. She is the Chief Executive Officer of the non-governmental organization (NGO) Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI), which campaigns against HIV/AIDS, advocates the rights of women and children, and promotes gender equity and Girl Child education.
Mrs. Amaechi has strongly supported her husband all through his political hurdles, and they have been united since they got married. The couple celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in November 2018, and the event was graced with congratulatory messages and messages of encouragement from family and well-wishers. Their marriage is blessed with three male children Obinna Amaechi (a graduate of the Simon Fraser University, Canada), Chimkampa, and Lemchi Amaechi.
How Rotimi Amaechi’s Political Career Helped Build His Enviable Net Worth
Added: Rotimi was nostalgic about his stint in the Student Union as President of the National Union of Rivers State Students (NURSS). It must have been the political prowess he possessed that made him launch a career in politics and leadership. After completing the one-year compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in 1988, Amaechi joined the services of Pamo Clinics and Hospitals Limited owned by Peter Odili, the former Governor of Rivers State, where he worked until 1992.
Peter Odili sensed Rotimi Amaechi would make a great politician, so he adopted him as a political son and led him through his early political journey. Between 1992 and 1994, Amaechi served as the Secretary of the defunct National Republican Convention (NPC) in Ikwere Local Government. After that, he was appointed Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili, who became his mentor. He also served as a director of several companies, including West Africa Glass Industry Limited and Risonpalm Nigeria Limited.
In 1996, Amaechi became the Rivers State’s Secretary of the Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN). He was a member of the caretaker committee during the transition program of then military leader General Sanni_Abacha junta. In 1999, with the help of his godfather Peter Odili, he contested and won the seat to become the Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly. He was also was elected the Chairman of Nigeria’s Conference of Speakers of State Assemblies. In May 2003, Amaechi was re-elected Speaker Rivers State House of Assembly. While he was Speaker of the House, Amaechi earned nothing less than 2,049,843 per annum and a constituency allowance of N25 percent of his annual salary.
He Served as Rivers State Governor from 2007 to 2015
His relationship with Peter Odili went sour as he tirelessly fought to replace him as Governor. In 2007, he contested in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) primary election to become the party’s official candidate for the position of Governor of Rivers State. However, his name was substituted by the party, an action which he challenged in the supreme court.
On October 26, 2007, Rotimi was declared the Governor of Rivers State after the Supreme Court ruled that he was the rightful candidate of the PDP and winner of the April 2007 Governorship election in Rivers State. After serving as the fifth governor of Rivers State, he was re-elected as in the 2011 general election under the same party. Amaechi’s administration had its perks. It foresaw the rise in infrastructural developments, particularly on road construction, urban renewal, and modernized transportation, in Rivers State.
His administration invested in infrastructure development, construction of roads and bridges, sticking to the vision of connecting all parts of the state by road. The ace politician would definitely count this as one of his major wins as he impacted so much in the state and the country bat large and made a major addition to his income. Although it is subject to change, the amount estimated as his annual salary at the time was over N11 million.
In August 2013, he was among the seven serving governors that formed the G-7 faction of the PDP. In November 2013, Amaechi, along with five other members of the G-7, defected from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC) following the creation of the party. Amaechi was appointed the Director-General of President Muhammadu Buhari’s presidential campaign.
Amaechi was appointed Minister of Transportation in 2019
Following Muhammadu’s election victory in 2015, Amaechi was appointed as the Federal Minister of Transportation and re-appointed in July 2019. He was among the six ministerial nominees that enjoyed the ‘take a bow’ privilege at the screening by the Nigerian Senate on Wednesday, July 24, 2019. It is known that the annual basic salary for a minister is about N2,026,400. This excludes numerous allowances that sum up above N10 million per annum. This indeed is what Rotimi enjoys while serving under that capacity.
Recap of Rotimi Amaechi’s Political Positions and Salaries
|Secretary of the defunct National Republican Convention (NPC)
|Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor of Rivers State
|Rivers State’s Secretary of the Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN)
|Speaker Rivers State House of Assembly
|1999 – 2007
|Governor of Rivers State
|2007 – 2015
|Minister of Transportation
|2015 – Present
Other Business Establishments Owned By Rotimi Amaechi
Amaechi is a man that values his privacy; this is why little is known about his business outfits. However, he is a major shareholder in various companies, such as Advante Consulting and Management Company, Result Imports Experts Company, and Capital Ltd. He is into the oil and gas sector. The aforementioned companies have been fingered in several corruption allegations, but the transportation minister has continued to deny them vehemently.
He reportedly owns a Refinery in Ghana (Name Unknown) and is into an offshore and onshore exploration of crude oil. The ace politician also owns a chain of hotels and other investments. Amaechi has hinged his socio-economic strategy on security of life and property, fiscal discipline, investment in education, healthcare, power generation, road construction, agriculture, and human capacity development.
A Look At His Other Achievements
- Amaechi holds one of the highest national titles in Nigeria. He has been conferred the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).
- He became a chieftain in 2000, with the conferment of the ‘Ochi Alirii’ of Ikwerre land. That same year he won the International Award for Political Leadership.
- As Minister of Transport, Amaechi facilitated the commissioning of freight services on the Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Rail Line as a major feat, he could achieve in the country.
- He renovated and constructed roads and initiated the construction of the overhead railway in River and, so far, is rated the best Governor the state has ever had.
- Within a few years as Governor, he enriched Rivers State with social amenities, renovated and constructed schools – from Primary to University; and awarded scholarships for students to study abroad.
- Amaechi spearheaded the dredging and sweeping of waterways within the Eastern Port corridor. This project was executed by the Bonny Channel Construction Company Limited.
Rotimi Amaechi Has Been Involved In Different Corruption Scandals
Amaechi has been subject to several corruption charges and has been accused of misappropriating public funds for personal use. Some of his cases include the following;
- In 2014, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) claimed that Amaechi transferred N21Billion from the Power Assets proceeds account of Access bank to the accounts of three private companies with 25 Trans-Amadi Road, Port Harcourt address. The companies had the following names; Advante Consulting and Management Company, Result Imports Experts Company, and Capital Ltd, respectively.
- In August 2015, The Integrity Group, a non-governmental organization, sent a petition to President Buhari and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman to investigate Amaechi for the over N70 Billion stolen from the Rivers State government during his tenure as Executive Governor.
- On the Amanpour Show on Cable News Network CNN, the presenter claimed that Amaechi has been accumulating money in a foreign U.S. Bancorp/Minnesota account amounting to over US$757 million.
- The House of Representatives summoned the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and the Management of the Nigeria Port Authority, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), over the unremitted sum of N166 Billion revenue generated by the Authority as of December 31, 2016. The body had wanted an explanation on why the channels and waterways maintenance rose from N44.427 billion in 2015 to N64.130 billion in 2016.
- In April 2017, the Former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani Kayode accused Amaechi of claiming that he was the owner of the $43 million found by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in an apartment at Osborne Towers on Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. This had given rise to rumors that the money was part of the Rivers State Government money looted by Amaechi, who used the money to finance the All Progressives Congress (APC) 2015 election campaign.
- Amaechi has been the subject of corruption allegations by his successor Governor Nyesom Wike. Wike accused Amaechi of awarding projects in the state as an avenue to loot. He claimed Amaechi awarded 15 Modern Secondary Schools for 15 Local Government Areas at over Four Billion Naira each. Out of the 15, he said that only the Ambassador Nne Furo Kurubo Model Secondary School in Eleme was completed and functional before leaving office. Through a press release by the commissioner for information and communications, Paulinus Nsirim, Wike also stated that a project like Justice KaribiWhyte Hospital is “a scam because it gulped $39.9 Million on paper as there is nothing to show at the proposed site.
- In April 2021, The PDP claimed that the wife of the Minister of Transportation, Mrs. Edith Amaechi, is involved in an N48 billion contract scam in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The above are some of the controversies Amaechi has been involved in. During his ministerial screening with the Senate, he was asked an important question concerning allegations of corruption leveled against him. But the former Governor of Rivers State Rotimi Amaechi said he has never taken a bribe in his life. It should be noted that Amaechi has vehemently denied all allegations of financial mismanagement, calling it fake news. He has not been indicted by any court, and he is a free man who is still in Power as the Federal Minister of Transportation.