Stella Chinyelu Okoli // (MON, OON) (born c. 1944)[1] is a Nigerian pharmacist, philanthropist and entrepreneur.[2] She is the founder and current chief executive officer of Emzor pharmaceutical manufacturing company founded in 1977.[3]

Stella Chinyelu Okoli

Born1944 (age 79–80)
Alma mater
Years active1976–present

Early life and education edit

Stella Okoli was born in Kano State, Northern Nigeria into the family of Felix Ebelechukwu and Margaret Modebelu, descents of Nnewi clan in Anambra State.[4] She started her formal education in 1954 after enrolling as a pupil at All Saint Primary School, Onitsha before proceeding to complete her secondary school education in 1964 at Ogidi Girls Secondary School, Ogidi.[4]

In 1969, Stella Okoli graduated from the University of Bradford after studying Pharmacy. She also holds an M.Sc. certificate in Biopharmaceutical after graduating from the University of London, Chelsea College in 1971.[5]

Career edit

Prior to the establishment of Emzor Pharmaceutical, Stella Okoli had worked in several pharmaceutical firms including Middlesex Hospital, London, Boots the Chemists Limited and Pharma-Deko.[6]

In January 1977, Stella Okoli started Emzor Pharmaceutical with the initial name "Emzor Chemists Limited" as a small pharmacy retail shop in Somolu, Lagos State.[7] Emzor Pharmaceutical has since become one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria with over 50 products since its incorporation in 1984.[7][8]

A current member of the Economic Summit of Nigeria and the Health Matters Advisory Board of Nigeria, Stella Okoli currently serves as the Vice President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture has served as Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.[5]

Philanthropy edit

After the death of her son Chike Okoli in 2005, Stella Okoli started the Chike Okoli Foundation in 2006 as a non-profit organisation founded with the aim of fighting against poverty and diseases by raising awareness on cardiovascular diseases. She also runs the Chike Okoli Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies.[9][10]

Awards and certification edit

Stella Okoli obtained her West African School Certificate in 1964 at Ogidi Girls’ Secondary School Ogidi, in Anambra State. She furthered her education by travelling to the United Kingdom where she got her Bachelor of Pharmacy BPharm(Hons) from University of Bradford, UK in 1969. In 1971, she earned a Masters in Biopharmaceuticals from the University of London, Chelsea College.[11]

  • International Entrepreneurial Challenge (IWEC) Award[12]
  • CePATHonors Lifetime Achievement Award 2014[12]
  • Ernst and Young Lifetime Achievement Award 2016[12]
  • Institute of Directors Lifetime Achievement Award 2016[12]

In recognition of her achievements and contributions to the health sector in Nigeria, Stella Okoli was bestowed with the Member of the Order of the Niger award. In 2012, she was honoured at the 17th ThisDay Annual Awards.[3] She is also a recipient of the ECOWAS International Gold Award.[7] She is also an alumnus of Lagos Business School, Harvard Business School, Boston and I.E.S.E Business School in Barcelona, Spain.

References edit

  1. ^ "Stella Okoli @70". The Nation Newspaper. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  2. ^ "Stella Okoli in low 70th birthday celebration". The Nation Newspaper. 9 August 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  3. ^ a b Inyang, Ifreke (3 February 2012). "Women of distinction! Sefi Atta, Toyosi Akerele, Diezani Alison-Madueke, Florence It-Giwa & others to be honoured at the 17th ThisDay Annual Awards – See The Full List". YNaija. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Stella Okoli Shocks Family and Friends". ThisDay Newspaper. 24 August 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Profile of Dr. Stella Okoli". Emerald Energy Resources Limited. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Meet Nigeria's Most Influential Women". The Street Journal. 30 September 2011. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Osunnuyi, Adejuwon (30 November 2015). "Nigeria's 'lady of drugs'". National Mirror Newspaper. Archived from the original on December 5, 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2016.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ "'I strive to make people happy'". The Nation Newspaper. 12 October 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  9. ^ "To Make Or Not To Make: Stella Okoli, Emzor Pharmaceuticals". Ventures Africa. 24 June 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  10. ^ Ayobami, John (2 June 2012). "Why we fight poverty, heart diseases – Stella Okoli, MD, Emzor". Vanguard Newspaper. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Stella Okoli: The woman who built a pharmaceutical giant from a small store". nairametrics. Naira Metrics. 29 August 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  12. ^ a b c d "Stella Okoli". emzorpharma. Emzor Pharmaceuticals. Retrieved 28 April 2021.