By Divine Ihechimerem
Founder of the African Independent Television (AIT) High Chief Raymond Dokpesi is dead.
Daily Review Online has learnt he died in an Abuja hospital after suffering from stroke attack.
Raymond Anthony Aleogho Dokpesi was born on October 1951) in Ibadan is a Nigerian media entrepreneur. His parents are from Agenebode, Edo state in a family including six sisters siblings. He entered the Nigerian mass media industry with his company DAAR Communications and set-up the Nigerian TV network Africa Independent Television (AIT). He was the organising committee chairman of the People’s Democratic Party national conference in 2015.As of March 2020, he is still undergoing a trial on corruption charges. In May 2020, Dokpesi became a COVID-19 survivor.
Dokpesi started his early schooling with Loyola College Ibadan. After which he joined the Immaculate Conception College (ICC) Benin city where he was the pioneer member of Ozolua Play house, a dance/drama group. He did his undergraduate studies in the University of Benin Edo State and completed his studies in University of Gdansk, Poland where he earned his Doctorate degree in Marine Engineering. His studies, from secondary school to university level was sponsored by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur
In the early 1990s, as a result of the historic National Broadcasting Commission decree, according to Muyiwa Oyinlola (2004) Nigerian media was dominated by the government only. Information was only made possible from government owned broadcasting firms. However, the Head of State then General Ibrahim Babangida, issued another decree which allowed private broadcasting in Nigeria. After this decree came the first private television network in Nigeria, Africa Independent Television (AIT). AIT was pioneered by Dokpesi, and was also Africa’s first satellite Television station.
Dokpesi is regarded as the media guru of Nigeria. Some also refer to him as the Ted Turner of Nigeria. Dokpesi not only pioneered the first satellite TV but also the first privately owned radio station in Nigeria. According to the journalist Kolapo (2006), Raymond claims that AIT set the standard for salary structure in the media industry in which Nigerian Television Authority imitated.
Dr. Raymond Dokpesi started as the personal assistant to Alhaji Bamaga Tukur one of the general manager of the Nigerian Ports Authority. Dokpesi also served as a civil servant in the Federal Ministry of Transport under Alhaji Umaru Dikko and General Garba Wushishi. The association of Raymond Dokpesi with the likes of the Tukurs and the late Abiola, resulted in the birth of African Ocean Lines (AOL).