Saliu Atawodi emerges Chairman OMNI First Network Services Ltd
Omni First Network Services Ltd is a company established in 2016 to provide Digital Solutions ranging from Smart Homes/Offices, Smart City, Digital Oilfields and Security. The company is in partnership with some of the major ranking firms like GLOBACOM and DAHUA where tripartite agreement has been signed for a take-off.
It is a leading technological firm delivering high quality, affordable, valuable and impacting services to customers around the world. The company’s mission is to be the leading provider of bespoke, first class services using connectivity and artificial intelligence to impact communities, thereby making the lives of customers smarter and safer.
Saliu Atawodi, a retired Air Vice Marshal of the Nigerian Air Force has now emerged as the Chairman of the Company. He was born on 4th July, 1952 at Idah general hospital in Idah Local Government Area of Kogi State. He had his primary education at Ajaka/Idah and later attended the Nigerian Military School, Zaria 1967 – 1971. Thereafter he joined the Nigerian Defence Academy in 1972 as a member of the Regular Cadet Course 12 and was commissioned into the Nigerian Air Force as a Pilot Officer on 14th December, 1974.
AVM Atawodi was the first Nigerian to undergo advance fast jet flying course at the Royal Air Force, Valley, North Wales United Kingdom on the Hunter Aircraft. Thereafter, he attended the fast jet instructor’s course with the Parkistan Air Force Risalpur. He is a graduate of the Air War College, Karachi, Pakistan, an affiliate of the Karachi University, Karachi.
Saliu Atawodi OFR is an ex-fighter pilot and has flown several aircrafts in the Nigerian Air Force Inventory and abroad including Bulldog, Jet Provost MK 3A, Jet Provost MK 4A, Hunter T7, Hunter F6, Hawk and T-37. Others are Mig 15, Mig 17, Mig 21 and Alpha jet.
In terms of working experience, Air Vice Marshal Atawodi in 1983 led the Mig 21 deployment in support of Nigeria Army operation. Also, in 1988 he designed and built the Air Force Air to Ground Firing Range in Kwenev Makurdi. He became the first NAF Fighter Pilot to deploy the Air to Air Missile on the same Kwenev range. For over eight years, he led the Mig 21 aerobatic display team, the capability of which he was widely acknowledged in the Nigerian Air Force.
Between the ranks of Pilot Officer and Air Vice Marshal, Saliu Atawodi has held several appointments. These are: Commanding Officer Operation Conversion Unit Air Defence Group Makurdi Commander Air Defence Group Makurdi Commander Air Weapons School, Kainji Director of Operation, NAF Headquarters, Lagos.
Senior Air Staff Officer, NAF Training Command, Kaduna. Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command, Makurdi.
Air Officer Inspections NAF Headquarters, Abuja. Chief of Policy and Plans, Defence Headquarters, Abuja.
Meanwhile, in 1988 General Fidelis Atahiru Makka in Benue State appointed then Squadron Leader Atawodi as Director, Directorate of Food, Roads and Rural Infrastructure (DFRRI). He combined this job with his flying duties. Within a period of one year, Benue DFRRI which was berated for poor performance rapidly improved from 19th position among the states in Nigeria to 4th. As Director of DFRRI in the then Benue State, he used his position to touch the lives of rural communities like opening of rural roads and electrification of towns and villages. Under his leadership, over 1700kms of roads were constructed and 19 towns and villages across the length and breadth of Benue State were provided with electricity. Notable among these villages were Ushongo and Achuwa in the Tiv speaking area, Upu – London and Ogoli – Ogboju in the Idoma area and Ojoku and Ajaka in the Igala speaking area.
When the Igalamela community Development Association (ICDA) put up a memo for the creation of Igamela Local Government Area in 1995, he accepted the call to service by his community and led the lobby group for the movement for the creation of the L.G.A. The Local Government was created and today Atawodi is an acclaimed leader of this local government and indeed the Igala race.
After his retirement from the military, AVM Atawodi was a gubernatorial candidate in the 2011 election in Kogi State. He is still involved in active politics.
He is currently the Chairman of Vector Integrated Services Ltd, a Company nominated to represent Eco-Gen California, USA which specializes in equipment driven by the modern technology in generation of power using renewable energy.
He is a philanthropist and lover of tennis, who over the years begun a catch them young tennis programme designed to put the faces of Nigerian young talents on the international tennis map.
AVM Atawodi OFR holds traditional titles which include the following; Amana – Achofe by his Royal Majesty the Attah Igala in 1985, Dikenagha 2007 from Bende in Abia State, Oga Etemahi Igalamela 2008, and Ohioma Ejeh Ankpa 2009.