The Founder of the Prof. Owen Tam Adikibi Scholarship Foundation is Prof. Owen Tamunoiyowuna Adikibi himself. He announced his intention to set up the Foundation in his name on 11th January 2015 during an August ceremony when his Community, the Kalio-Ama Community of Okrika Clan in the Rivers State of Nigeria, conferred on him a distinguished award of recognition and honour for his achievements including being the first academic Professor from the Community. The Foundation was formally established on 26th August 2015.
Prof. Adikibi is one of seven children of Chief Humphrey and Madam Elfrida Adikibi Obudibo of Kalio-Ama Community who was born into and grew up in a poor and deprived environment. The limitations of the circumstances of his background became a major constraint to his development particularly his educational ambition. The young Owen Adikibi struggled against tough financial constraints in his educational pursuit and was forced to take a Teacher Training Educational route, after his primary education, to gain admission into the University upon obtaining the British General Certificate (GCE).
Through the magnanimity of the Federal Government of Nigeria during the three year Nigerian Civil War (1968-71) in offering a blanket financial support to all prospective students from the secessionist Biafra area who had gained admission into universities, the young Owen Adikibi seized the opportunity and attended the prestigious University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where he obtained his BSc. and MSc degrees in Economics. He subsequently obtained his MBA (Liverpool) and PhD (Manchester) degrees with scholarship awards from the Rockefeller Scholarship Foundation and the Rivers State Government of Nigeria.
Without these scholarship awards, Owen T. Adikibi would have been one of the wasted talents of the human race because of poverty and deprivation. Stubbornly determined to defeat the challenges of poverty and drag his family out of the poverty trap, Owen T. Adikibi pushed ahead in the academic and business fronts to become Professor of Business Administration, Founder of various business enterprises including Fenico Textile Trading Company (Nigeria & United Arab Emirates). He became Advisor in Logistics to the Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates (2000 – 2013).
Largely because of his unpalatable experience, Prof. Owen T. Adikibi vowed to develop the Adikibi Family and establish an institution to support the education of brilliant and deserving children from poor and deprived backgrounds in his Community and beyond. The Prof. Owen Tam Adikibi Scholarship Foundation is a direct outcome of this vow.
The Foundation was established on the basic principle and belief of the Founder that the talents of brilliant and deserving children need not be wasted or underdeveloped because of poverty. Thus, his main objective in establishing the Foundation is to provide opportunity to deserving children from deprived backgrounds to obtain worthy education and develop their talents for the good of society.
For the continuity and perpetuity of the Foundation, Prof. Adikibi inscribed in the Constitution of the Foundation iron-cast Clauses that cannot be changed even after his death. He is married with four children all of whom have followed in his academic footstep.