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Nnewi city with most Naira-Billionaires per capita in Nigeria – Forbes



Nnewi, city with the most Naira-Billionaires per capital than anywhere in the World - BellaNaijaA 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.


  1. C

    August 11, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Nnewi men are blessed with business acumen and wealth.

    Nnewi kwenu!

    • #Proudnigerian

      August 11, 2017 at 3:39 pm

      When my Igbo friends travel for Christmas and there’s any nnewi party they must go lmaooooooo! Now I know why??

  2. emeka ugo

    August 11, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Ndi Nnewi oooo. Last december i went to nnewi for the first time, mehn that place na mini london. All roads are tarred and even have street names self.

    • Miss_Flygerian

      August 11, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      Nnewi people don’t play mehn. Business and entrepreneurship is their mantra in that town.

      ‘Get rich or die tryin’ set of people.

  3. ijele

    August 11, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    they have many more than listed…..very industrious people and very wise people

  4. Beautiful

    August 11, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Chai Igbo people are super blessed

  5. nwa nna

    August 11, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Ndi igbo kwenu! Sigh, wish we had better set of leaders, the whole eastern parts of Nigeria could have been totally developed and thriving due to the resourcefulness and tanacity of its people.

    • Chinedu

      August 11, 2017 at 8:57 pm

      @nwa nna…….No worries Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has opened our eyes now.No more investment outside Igbo land now.We are back to develop our land now.Enough is enough!!

  6. Asa

    August 11, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    That’s the reason Peter Obi gave on the platform in 2016 for not entertaining “big men” in the Anambra government house. He said he would visit them instead and be catered for and not the other way round.

  7. Anon

    August 11, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Can I add the Orizu family? Igwe Orizu I and his son Nwafor Orizu. The Igwe was the first Igbo man to own and drive a car.

    Izuchukwu Transport too – the late Chief Ubajaka.

    Nnewi men (especially yonks ago. It may have changed now) married beautiful women. That trophy wife thing in Igboland started with them.

    Very industrious people and the “Igboman likes money stereotype” started with them too.

    • Didi

      August 12, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      We are talking about billionaires, you’re talking about who drove a car first…. smh
      What about who rode donkey first?

    • Anon

      August 12, 2017 at 7:55 pm

      Didi don’t be a berk. Here you go – he was very rich to have bought a car in his lifetiime (1881-1924.) Drain your donkey brain. RME!

  8. papa

    August 11, 2017 at 3:53 pm


  9. Olori

    August 11, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    LOL I know my Igbo friends will be happy with this one haha. Igbo kwenu. I love Igbo people. I am 100% business minded so I will learn a lot from them. In fact I need to go to Nnewi one of these days. Never been to the East.Congrats Nnewisians! (LOL)

  10. NG

    August 11, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    How much cheer is there in this fact if despite such acumen, our politics is so mired in inefficiency and ineffectiveness as to keep us in abject poverty of the third world order?

  11. common sense

    August 11, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    There are more than a 100 billionaires in Anambra alone and their wealth is legit…business.
    The Igbo man is an astute businessman. But I beg my brothers lets fight for restructuring and not secession. Igbokwenu!!!

    • Diamond

      August 11, 2017 at 6:23 pm

      Restructure Nigeria, and you will kill Biafra agitation.

    • Seriously

      August 12, 2017 at 12:27 am

      There are 100 billionaires in Anambra and most of the streets are still not developed? Not even enough good schools and universities. The healthcare system there is something else. C’mon now, let’s stop this deception. It’s the same as how Nigerians boast about how rich the country is yet basic necessities is luxury. The wealth is shared among the too. . I know the east, Igbos always try to prove how powerful and better they are than the rest of the tribes. Geez, show the productivity and result first not just mouth

    • Diamond

      August 12, 2017 at 5:10 pm

      Somebody is SERIOUSLY jealous. Easy, let it not choke you.

    • seriously

      August 12, 2017 at 6:49 pm

      Truth is bitter, lies are sweeter. I’ve come to realize being accused of jealous and a hater is a good thing, it means you are telling some truth that hits home

    • Diamond

      August 12, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      There is nothing truthful about your comment. Just hate and jealous filled. Your last two sentence confirms it all.

      Let me give you a free advice: Since people have continued to accuse you of being hateful and jealous, stop the denial and take a good (deep) look at the mirror (you), and you will see they were not wrong after all. There is a good reason for that saying that people are our mirror.

    • seriously

      August 13, 2017 at 6:49 pm

      lol you are funny. And you confirm the truth once again which is people are triggered when their guilty conscience and truth is hitting them. If it’s not the truth, you won’t be bothered at all. It applies to everything in life, learn from this simple logic. It will help you pick what battles to fight. Calm down, okay.
      I will like to further ask, what exactly will I be jealous of though? This is a bogus claim, not yet backed with strong evidence. Igbos are known for their business skills, which is admirable. HOwever, with such claim and nothing to back it up is useless. Jealousy and hatred means you have to personally know someone right? I don’t know any of these billionaires maybe my dad will.. What exactly have these billionaires done for their community?

      At least we all know that Bill Gates has microsoft which provides jobs for thousands of Americans, people and we are able to use his product today. Oprah, built school, gives out scholarship to students, and constantly does charities.
      List companies owned by these billionaires, and what they’ve done/are doing.
      No shade, I’m open to learning.

  12. Bowl

    August 11, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    And we can do better than this

  13. momo

    August 11, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    so where is the marginalisation cry coming from if 100 billionaires are in the east

    • Diamond

      August 12, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      The Igbo wealth is hard earned through business as against that of the Hausa fulani that use pen to amass billions of our collective wealth, and the Yoruba that are content with feeding off the crumbs the fall from the table. That is what the marginalization cry is about.

      How many educated Hausa fulani have you heard graduated and are jobless? But as an Igbo, your children graduate and have to venture into that same business you trained them with because they couldn’t get a job. Unless you happen to know one Hausa, then they can get fixed easily. To get something that belong to all of us, you have to suck up to one Alhaji or Mallam whose only credentials for occupying that position is his tribe and religion. That is what the marginalization is about.

      I can go on and on, but let me say this: the bulk of multi-billionaires in this country are not from the South, they are from the core North. Those people steal away billions just with the stroke of their pen.

  14. john

    August 11, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    I think a study last year ( I cant pin point the exact one ) said Anambra as a whole has the lowest poverty index in west africa)..those guys dont play..when I passed through anambra for the fist time last 4 years ..the kind of buildings and 4 or 5 stories I saw even outside Onitsha was like a competition..I was like if only Nigeria was a better country with atleast constant electricity..that place would have been like a mini manhattan

    • The Real Oma

      August 11, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      Yep, I read a report that it had the highest standard of living in Nigeria in the early 2000s, not sure about now but it makes me proud. Anambra is a state with zero oil revenue, zero income from natural resources, not and never been a capital city, no notable Federal project to speak of, just business, fuelled by the sheer grit of people bent on survival.

  15. Anon

    August 11, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    BN did you fry my comment?

  16. Josephine

    August 11, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    This makes me proud and sad. There would be even more billionaires with better governance. Those listed here are roses that grew out of concrete. I’m glad to see Cletus Ibeto survived the attack on his business by Aliko Dangote. And that none of these people owe AMCON or their staff like the “billionaire” debtors whose kids BN loves hyping.

  17. Mikeolysis

    August 11, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Igbo Amaka.

  18. Oluwakemi Olotu

    August 11, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    I hope with all these money owned by the indigene of nwewi, that they have a state of the heart hospital in that town. let us put that money in use people.

    • Ephi

      August 12, 2017 at 5:39 pm

      Not only state of the “heart” hospital, na state of the liver. Rather than appreciate good things, they must look for a hole to pick. Mschew.

    • Diamond

      August 12, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      Lol. Na really state of the ‘heart’. When there is a post about a Judas from Igbo land, you see them with all their arms and ammunition. And even when it’s something commendable, they still find ways to criticize. Menn, I weak!

      I’m proud to come from somewhere in Igbo land where industrious sons don’t wait on government for anything. Individuals build houses for others, give scholarship to less privilege students to university level, road construction, build hospitals and employ doctors, give widows and elderly monthly stipends, open skill acquisition centers. Almost every rich man drilled borehole in their homes. Nobody visits the stream to go fetch water, unless for swimming and fun etc. IGBO AMAKA

  19. Physio Tinu

    August 11, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    Coughing and clears throat delicately. Permission to ask questions…

    1. Nnewi is in the East abi? Eastern part of Nigeria, specifically one of the states crying for seccession and clamouring for Biafra. If being part of Nigeria has been good to these folks, I am curious about this call for Biafra…maybe things are not as bad as they seem.

    2. The statement reads Nnewi is the city with the most naira billionaire per capital in Nigeria. It makes me wonder about min of finance statement, Kemi adeosun who in June said only 214 people pay tax above 20 million Naira in the entire nation ALL of which are in Lagos state? These raises interesting questions about the headline of the press report. Is it that these billionaires hail from Nnewi and reside in Lagos or they reside in Nnewi but do not pay tax?

    3. Since Anambra state is so wealthy and fertile for growing billionaires, it would be good to see the states IGR. How much does Anambra generate internally? I searched for 2016 report and it was the only state in the federation that was blank.

    4. Finally, if i was a cartoonist, my image of Nigeria would be the south-west, south-east and maybe parts of the south-south carrying the dead weight of the Northern Nigeria. But what do I know, I’m just a physiotherapist.

    Finally finally, kudos to the resilience and ruggedness of the “eastern” Nigeria. Despite their N20 refund after the civil war they show us that there is nothing you can’t achieve no matter how they try to put you down.

    I still have other things to say but let me stop here.

    • BlueEyed

      August 12, 2017 at 1:47 am

      Bye ??

    • Diamond

      August 12, 2017 at 6:40 pm

      Pay tax to who? The FG? So that the Hausa fulani at the top will steal away people’s hard earned money. Look at what they are doing with Niger delta oil, they have completely coveted the natural resources from there, raped the land and left it undeveloped.

      Dead weight of northern Nigeria you said. The northern elites from the core North are pocketing the wealth of the entire nation. Only they have refused to let the wealth spread to the poor amongst them. All they do for those ones is to cook plenty food and give them the remnant, and ‘dash’ the beggars N20.

    • Diamond

      August 12, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      BN, where is my comment here?

  20. nene

    August 11, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    i hope these billionaires are into legit businesses

  21. Chuk

    August 12, 2017 at 12:02 am

    I learnt from his son that Onwugbenu is called carter from when he got sick constantly going over Carter bridge. He apprenticed under Chief James Dalgo Oguchi who sponsored several successful nnewi men. His name should be added to the list. Nnewi people are also into philanthropy big time.

  22. Bowl

    August 12, 2017 at 7:39 am

    @physioTinu, but Anambra is the next most viable state in Nigeria after Lagos State. Goggle is your friend

  23. Bowl

    August 12, 2017 at 7:47 am

    @Momo, everything is self help/community effort . No government presence.I schooled in a teaching hospital built by the indigenes of the town. Cutix cables built the school auditorium, Ibeto , the Children emergency unit, Nnewi women in Aba, the theatre complex etc. Once the road to the pre clinical campus broke down, we waited for the fed govt, they never showed, The Ekenedilichukwu and Okolis fixed the road. You understand the marginalization now !

    • Chiwendu Uzochukwi

      August 12, 2017 at 10:48 am

      Yes. It’s true. Chicason has been doing it since I was a kid, every Christmas he sends food stuff to the widows in his village. Every Christmas. He’s been doing this since early 1990s. He built bore holes for the people of nnewi, there’s always light in Umudim because he bought transformer that powers it as well as the fuel + generator that powers it. He does scholarship for Umudim indigenes and I recently found out that since 1991, he’s been the sole
      Patron (provides feeding, treatment and housing) of the leprosy home at Oji River in Enugu state. My only issue with him is that he focuses and helps only people from his village. I applied for the Chicason Schorlaraship in 2013 and I was not qualified because I’m from imo state.

  24. Carlos

    August 12, 2017 at 8:34 am

    This is commendable, i went through all the comments, there was litle or no hostilities and acrimony. This is good.

  25. Denzel

    August 12, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Chai Anambra men are RICH. The real OBOs, very silent billionaires. You’ll never see them and it’s like their children don’t exist, you never see those ones flexing on instagram or anywhere except when it’s time to take care of their beloved village people?. Maybe they are so prudent with their big money because it was money they worked hard for. There are so many more of these men, profit made honestly from everyday things we consume, making everyday money for market women and traders.

  26. Felix

    August 12, 2017 at 10:39 am

    These guys are also big on philanthropy especially Alex Chika Okafor (Chicason). I heard about him the first in 1998 after my father died and his brothers took all his money and property. We didn’t have money to eat or go to school. My mum is from Umudim (the same village as Chicason) and her friend told her she should go speak with him that he sends any child from Umudim to school up to university level, We thought it was a lie and when my mum went, the guy saw her, gave her money to complete our rent and put my siblings and I through school. It was when I was in Unizik that I found out that there are other students chicason is paying their school fees + accommodation and pocket money. The guy also built hospital in his village and people go there for free. Every two years, he flies in doctors from South Korea to do free operation for people. I saw him once at the airport but I was too shy to go say thank you. I swear i wish I had gone and I regret it till today.

    • Frosh

      August 13, 2017 at 2:08 am

      Awwwh….. saying it here is a blessing as well, I hope you get the opportunity to say thank you in person someday… Godbless his heart…

    • mela

      August 13, 2017 at 10:28 am

      …..May his pocket never run dry!

    • molarah

      August 13, 2017 at 6:02 pm

      This is such a heartwarming tale. Thanks for sharing your story – I’m sure it will inspire many. In fact me I’m now challenged: may God make me the kind of billionaire that uplifts several people and touches lives for good.

    • Koffie

      August 15, 2017 at 2:27 pm

      That’s a great man.
      Thank you for testifying to his philanthropy.
      Maybe you’ll get another chance to thank him.

      May his generations to come never lack for doing things even the government neglects. Someone mentioned that there’s always power in Umudim because of Chicason, mehn.

  27. Uzoma caleb

    August 12, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    It’s not true the Chicason Scholarahip is for Umudim people only. My cousin got the schorlarahip too and we are not from Anambra even. I escorted her when she went to submit her details for the payment and there were different people from different tribes there to submit their details too. We met someone from Yobe, Enugu, etc. This was as recent as August 2015. Maybe you didn’t qualify cos you didn’t get good jamb/WAEC result or some other reason.

  28. Vivy

    August 12, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    Nxt time u do so

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