A Forbes Africa story by Eromo Egbejule has said that Nnewi in Anambra state houses the most number of Naira-billionaires in the country.
According to Forbes, Nnewi also produced the first billionaire in the country, Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu, who founded the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1960.
His son, Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, who led Biafra to the Nigerian Civil War, was also a billionaire from the city.
Nnewi, nicknamed the Japan of Africa, is home to several automobile spare-parts dealers, and houses the assembly plant of Nigerian car maker Innoson Motors.
The 9 most prominent Naira-billionaires from Nnewi are listed as:
- Cletus Ibeto, who started out as an apprentice to an automobile spare-parts dealer. He ended the importation of lead acid car batteries in Nigeria in the late 80s, and founded Ibeto Group, a conglomerate dealing in hospitality, motor products, real estate, petrochemicals, agriculture and cement.
- Cosmas Maduka dropped out of school to sell akara (bean cake). He is the founder of Coscharis Group, one of the country’s foremost car dealerships.
- Innocent Chukwuma is another school dropout. He went on to found Innoson Motors, makers of SUVs, commercial vehicles and passenger cars.
- Gabriel Chukwuma is the elder brother of Innocent Chukwuma. He has investments in sports, real estate, and the hospitality sector.
- Alexander Chika Okafor is the founder and chairman of Chicason Industries, a conglomerate that deals in mining, manufacturing, and real estate in Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
- Augustine Ilodibe pioneered the interstate luxury bus transport service. After helping organize vehicles for the Biafran side during the civil war, he established Ekene Dili Chukwu Transport, then diversified into brewery and agriculture.
- Ifeanyi Ubah‘s wealth comes from investments in oil and gas, as well as exportation of motor spare parts. He also owns the Nigerian Premier League football clube Ifeanyi Ubah FC.
- Louis Onwugbenu is the head of Louis Carter Industries. He sold spare-parts under the Carter Bridge in Lagos, before diversifying into manufacturing car batteries and pipe fittings, agriculture, food processing, real estate.
- Obiajulu Uzodike is a Harvard Business School alumnus whose cable company Cutix Nigeria was the first indigenous company in the South-East to be listed in the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
You can read the Forbes story HERE.