Izoma Phillip Chukwuedo Asiodu, CFR, CON!  What a name!  What a man!  It is always a name that fills one with awe, admiration, and sheer respect.

Here is one of General Gowon’s Super Permanent Secretaries. He was among the first-generation post-independence Nigerian bureaucrats who laid the foundation for the administrative structure of modern Nigeria. He is an encyclopedia of contemporary Nigerian history, politics, geography and even the psychology of the country. Not only that, he also contributed a lot to regional integration in West Africa.

He belonged to a group so vast in intellect, so noble in character and so very far-sighted in public administration.  You had no idea of the meaning of the term ‘all rounder’ until you met Chief Asiodu.  He was knowledgeable about everything.  He was limitless in his scope. From the early days of Chief Asiodu, to the legendary Izoma Asiodu, you were drawn and compelled to admire the man.

Here is a portrait in unalloyed loyal friendship [sticking with Chief Edu to nurture NCF], dedicated stewardship [steering the ship of NCF for so many decades] and a man of a razor-sharp memory, even at this age of 90 years!

The Izoma is a National Treasure here, in detailing the history of not only NCF, but indeed Nigeria, through the ages. He currently serves as the President, Board of Trustees, of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), a position he assumed after meritoriously serving as Chairman, National Executive Council of NCF for many years.

Over the years, each NCF event was important to the Izoma and he would gladly attend all of them.  He would meet the mighty man/woman of distinction and the lowly student, with equal respect and cordial interaction.

He never sits on the fence. He takes a position in every situation. Not even the anonymity of the civil service tradition could alter that sensibility.

It was his foresight and unswerving sense of commitment that informed his teaming up with the Late Chief S.L. Edu and other well-meaning people to blaze the trail in Nigerian environmentalism. Their pioneering efforts led to the setting up of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation in 1982. He has a tremendous chunk of credit for numerous achievements recorded by NCF over the years.

There are numerous achievements by the organization. But the ones that stand out include influencing the establishment of the then Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA), the Federal Ministry of Environment, the National Park Service and various environmental legislations.

Many have written and many more will still write about Izoma Phillip Asiodu, his unquestionable qualifications and his myriad of achievements and awards. 

Some of his quotes include “I have strongly canvassed for a practical approach to support Nigeria’s efforts on forest rehabilitation and a focus on an agenda for rebuilding Nigeria’s vegetation cover to at least 25%, even if it will take some years to achieve.”

While making an opinion on national development, he said “I have no doubt that the solution to our problem does not lie in disintegration.”

Izoma Asiodu occupies a unique position in the history of the Nigeria’s public service and nature conservation.

NCF cannot thank Izoma Asiodu nearly enough.  We wish you sir, not just a happy birthday, but all the very best always.

May your children, grandchildren, and generations of yours yet unborn, reap bountifully from the altruistic seeds you have sowed all your life.

May peace, happiness and unqualified good health be yours, sir till the end of time.

We cannot help ourselves in doffing our hats to you sir.

90 hearty green conservation cheers to our dear unforgettable Izoma!

Written by:

Mrs. Adetoun Fagbayi Mohammed

NCF NEC Member

Former NCF Education Manager

First Nigerian Head of School, Corona Schools Trust Council.


Mr. Paddy Ezeala

Founder/Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Development Agenda magazine – Bilingual [English/French] West Africa-focused publication on development issues.

Former Communications Manager of NCF.

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