NNEWI -A settlement that has produced more billionaires than any other town in Nigeria
One of the most horrible demonstrations of under-development is ignorance. This phrase actually affects me too, being a Nigerian, resident in Nigeria, yet unaware of the advancements recorded by a prominent community that I used to clarify as a sleepy settlement. The picture that I carried in my head about Nnewi, a community in Anambra State changed a few weeks ago following findings of a research I carried out about the settlement. I must confess that I was dumbfounded by my findings. The story of how Nnewi came into reckoning as home of some of the most prominent Nigerians; dead and alive is simply astounding. My findings, in real and positive terms indicate that there is indeed hope for Nigeria if we play our parts well, individually and collectively.
Some Yoruba idioms are pertinent here, following how indigenes of Nnewi, the second largest town in Anambra State have been able to push their community into relevance. And the reasons for the advancements recorded by the town and its natives cannot be far-fetched than the FAMILY VALUES & VIRTUES agenda that we are preaching. The idioms are: ‘’Trim the branches of an iroko tree while it is young, if it matures completely it cannot be bent again’’ This translates into ‘’Training of a child commences when the child is still very young and impressionable; otherwise his training becomes late and an uphill task. The progenitors of the people of Nnewi must have taught their children and wards properly; thus they are giving them peace of mind as shining stars.
HOME OF THE PATRIARCH OF THE OJUKWU DYNASTY: Nnewi is the second largest city in Anambra State . Nnewi as a metropolitan city encompasses 2 local government areas, Nnewi North, Nnewi South; and Nnewi North. This community has recorded several firsts and diverse memorable and significant breakthroughs. One remarkable research revelation is that the first Nigerian to become a millionaire, Sir Loius Phillipe Odumegwu Ojukwu, OBE, (honour bestowed by the Queen of England) the patriarch of the Ojukwu Dynasty originated from this blessed town. Ojukwu was the first President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, followed by another prominent Nigerian, Sir Mobolaji Bank Anthony, who became the second President of the Stock Exchange. In the second instance, the first indigenous car manufacturing plant in Nigeria is housed by Nnewi. (Wikipedia)
The publication under reference states that: ‘’Nnewi has an estimated population of 391,227; according to the Nigerian census. ‘’Its satellite towns is home to nearly 2.5 million residents. Christianity came into Nnewi as early as 1885. ‘’Nnewi is a major trading and manufacturing center in Nigeria. ‘’Due to its high commercial activities, the city has attracted millions of migrants from other states and countries’’. In terms of economic development in Nigeria, Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu stood as a colossus with strong business acumen.
The town, nicknamed ‘’The Japan of Africa,’’ is reputed to have more billionaires than any other town in Africa.
Let us first examine the names of prominent Nigerian politicians from this great settlement, that include the first woman to be sworn in as a State governor in Nigeria, Dame Virgy Etiaba..
• Sir Louis Phillipe Odumegwu Ojukwu, KBE (Knight of the British Empire) One time richest man in Africa, founder and first president of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and father of Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu
• HRH Prince Nwafor Orizu ; Writer, Politician and Educationist, 2nd Senate President of Nigeria (16, 1960 to January 15, 1966) and Acting President of Nigeria (1965–1966)
• Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (Ikemba Nnewi) ; Former military Governor of the Eastern region of Nigeria and first President of defunct Republic of Biafra
• Dr. Edward Ikem Okeke ; Former Deputy President of the PRP Political Party
• Dr. Chu Okongwu ; Former Minister of Finance, Federal Republic of Nigeria
• Prof. A. B. C. Nwosu; Former Anambra State Commissioner of Health & Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria
• Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, OON, former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria
• Ambassador Francis Chuka Nwokedi, first indigenous Nigerian Federal Permanent Secretary
• Igwe Orizu I (Eze Ugbonyamba) ; 18th Igwe Nnewi and the first Igbo person to own and drive a car
• M. C. K. Ajuluchukwu, Nigerian Journalist ; Nationalist, Anti-colonialist and first republic law-maker, uncle of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu
• Dr. Dozie Ikedife (Ikenga Nnewi) ; former President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo
• Dr. (Chief) Edwin Leonard Anazor (Ononenyi); St. Anthony’s Hospital Otolo Nnewi
• Joseph N. C. Egemonye (Abianaomume) ; Journalist, Writer, Businessman, Politician; founder of The Nigeria Monitor Newspaper, Co-founder of The Winston-Salem ChronicleNewspaper.
• Felix Ezejiofor Okonkwo (Okonkwo-Kano) Prominent Igbo leader in Northern Nigeria (1960s).
Chief Cosmas Maduka of Coscharis Group
• Chief Cletus Ibeto (Omekannia), CON ; Industrialist and Philanthropist
• Senator Onyeabo Obi (Oso-Oji Nnewi) ; Second Republic Senator
• Senator Ikechukwu Obiorah ; Nigerian Politician
• Gabriel Chukwuma ; Businessman and Founder of Beverly Hills Resort & Hotel, Nnewi and Gabros International F.C., Nnewi
• Late Chief. Augustine Ejikeme Ilodibe (Onwa na-etili Ora Nnewi) ; Philanthropist and Founder of Ekenedilichukwu Motors Nigeria Limited
• Late Chief D. C. Ubajaka MFR (Okaka Anaedo & Epulepu Nnewi) ; Astute Transporter and Founder of Izuchukwu Transport Nig. Ltd
• Late Dr (Chief) David Bennet Anagwu Ofomata (Atuma Nnewi); Former Chairman, Old Nnewi LGA and First Medical Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
• Chief. Eugene Eke Nzom Ojukwu (Odinanwa); Founder E. Ekeson Group of Companies.
• Chief. Mathias Onwugbenu; Founder Omata Holdings Limited.
• Chief. Innocent Chukwuma (Ifediaso), OON ; Businessman & Founder of Innoson Group
• Late Sir Lawrence C. Amazu (Eze Afojulu Nnewi) ; Founder of Chi di Ebere Transport Limited and Amazu Oil
• Chief C. C. Obienugh JP (Okputolokpu Nnewi) ; founder African Pioneer Company
• Senator Z. C. Obi (Eze-Onunekwulu-Igbo Na Okemili Nnewi) ; First indigenous east Niger produce Manager of UAC Nigeria, President of the Igbo State Union & appointed Senator in the First Republic.
• Late Chief Dan Ejidike Ulasi (Ezeonyeolulu Na Okosisi Nnewi); scion of Ezeagha Royal lineage; Historian, Businessman and Community Builder; founder Bornu Contractors Ltd., Kaduna; chairman Igbo State Union, Maiduguri; elected chairman of NCNC, Kaduna; elected chairman of Nnewi Community Development Projects 1973-1988
• Criminologist K. C. Okafor-Igwe ; Philosopher & Poet
• Late Chief Onuzulike Daniel Okonkwo (Ozuome-Nnewi); Diplomat, Educator, and Writer. Chief Okonkwo was the first indigenous Principal of Okongwu Memorial Grammar School, Nnewi, Nigeria, and the former Chairman of Onitsha Southern County Council
• Engr (Chief) Francis Christian Nnodumene Agbasi (Omenka Nnewi) ; First Nigerian Rector/Principal, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos and Engineer and Founding Partner, Frank Agbasi & Partners.
• Mr. Samuel Chukwurah ; Industrialist and Founder of the now defunct Chukwurah agricultural industry
• Late Mr. Isaiah Nwafor (Mgbagbala) ; Businessman & Philanthropist
• Mr. Benson Egemonye ; Nigerian professional Basketball Player.
• Evangelist Cosmas Maduka ; Founder of Coscharis Group
• Dame. Virginia Etiaba ; First Nigerian Female Governor. Former Governor & Deputy Governor of Anambra state.
• Mr. Louis Onwugbenu (Louis Carter) ; Founder of Louis Carter Group.
• HRH Late Prince. Sunny Obi (Igiligi Nnewi) ; Businessman & Philanthropist
• Engr. Obiajulu Uzodike ; Industrialist and founder of Cutix Nigeria Plc.
• Chief. Chika Okafor ; Industrialist and founder of Chikason Group.
• Senator. Ifeanyi Uba ; Businessman and politician; founder of Capital oil and Gas Ind. Ltd and F.C. Ifeanyi Ubah (Anambra Warriors).
• Engr. Ebele Okeke ; Head of the Civil Services of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from July 2007 to 2008.
• Chief Olisa Metuh; Former PDP national publicity secretary.
• Late Chief. Mike Ilodibe (Ononenyi Nnewi); Founder of Ilodibe Motor ltd
• Dr. Emma Okeson ; C.E.O City lights West Africa,West African leading lighting company and leader of a conglomerate,one of the most influential Nigerians in west Africa, and a Philanthropist of high repute.
• Mr. Joachin N. Okonkwo (Akin) ; Co-Founder UBI Group of Companies (Nigeria & Ghana), Founder and CEO of Nahid’s Properties and Philanthropist
• Engr. Odi Nwosu ; Was Nigeria’s Ambassador to Burundi
• Mr. Robert Anwatu ; Entrepreneur and Founder of ROBAN Stores.
COMMERCE: Nnewi is one of the few settlements in Nigeria that have produced outstanding businessmen who are standing firmly on their feet. These successful businessmen’s experiences would reveal that they rose by dint of hard work, resilience and determination to succeed. They have enabled the rapid industrialization of the town that is recorded as having over 20 medium-to-large-scale industries. Nnewi residents, says the publication under reference, have controlled approximately 80 to 90 percent of the motor-parts trade in Nigeria. The first indigenous car manufacturing plant is located in the city, while the first wholly Made-in-Nigeria motorcycle was manufactured in Nnewi by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).
The following are highly notable:
• Coscharis Group of Companies
• Innoson Group of Companies,
• Ibeto Group of Companies,
• Cutix and ADswitch, Uru Industries Ltd,
• Omata Holdings Ltd,
• Cento Group of Companies,
• Ebunso Nig. Ltd,
• John White Industries,
• Ejiamatu Group of Companies,
• Chicason Group, Louis Carter Group, etc. (Wikipedia)
ROLE MODELLING: Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu was one of Nigeria’s first transporters. He literally opened the way, possibly through generation of the feelings of empathy as a ROLE MODEL, for which we are campaigning. Other transporters are:
• Chi Di Ebere Transport Ltd
• Ekene Dili Chukwu Nig. Ltd.
• Ijeoma Motors Nig. Ltd.
• Ekeson Motors Ltd
• Izuchukwu Nig. Ltd.
• Nsoedo Transport Ltd
• Orizu Transport Limited
• Bluebase Transport Solutions
• Izu Okaka Anaedo Ltd
• UBI Logistic and Transport Ltd
• Nwa CHINEKE Ltd Door to Door Charter Service (Source: Wikipedia)
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