Onitsha is the commercial nerve center of the Igbo land, but one of the most underrated cities in Nigeria. It is an incubator that has raised many billionaires in the country, most of them now big players in the Nigerian economy.
From our research, these are some of these billionaires who started their business from Onitsha and managed to build powerful brands.
The former governor of Anambra started the business as a student, selling kerosene.
In high school he would sell eggs to Onitsha and would later join his mother’s supermarket and restaurant. He later went into the distribution of alcoholic beverages before moving on to importing beverages and cosmetics.
Today Peter Obi is a major player in the Nigerian economy with interests in the banking and financial sector, hypermarkets, etc.
GODWIN UBAKA OKEKE
G.U.O. is the founder of G.U.O. A group that has interests in commerce, hospitality, banking, manufacturing, education, real estate and their flagship which is transportation. The G.U.O group was born as a trading company in Onitsha and today is one of the most visible brands in Nigeria from Anambra. Based in Lagos, the company has around 55 bus terminals across the country.
ERNEST AZUDIALU OBIEJESI
He started as a trader in Onitsha where he joined his father’s business. They dealt with articles, sold fishing nets, and later engaged in the sale of building materials. Ernest Obiejesi was among the traders who pioneered the importation of firecrackers (knockouts) in the Onitsha market. From Onitsha, he left for Lagos and founded the Obijackson group which includes Nestoil, Hammakopp Construction Company, Smile Communications, etc.
He started the business in Onitsha with ₦ 480. His company Dozzy Group was born in 1980 as a very small trading company engaged in the purchase and sale of artifacts from inside and outside the country. Dozzy Belts, one of his brands was popular in the country in the 1980s.
Today he has transformed his company into a national organization with investments in almost all sectors of the Nigerian economy. Above all, it is a major player in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
He started in Onitsha, Anambra state where she had her primary and secondary education which she combined with trading with her father at Onitsha’s main market. Obiora Okonkwo was specifically in the fancy line, trading imported clothing materials such as scarves and wraps, and later moved to the supply line on Sokoto Street in Onitsha. Obiora Okonkwo is today the founder of the Dome Entertainment Center in Abuja and the United Nigeria Airline.
He started the business in Onitsha where he traded in building materials. From Onitsha he moved to Lagos and expanded his business, becoming a major player in the construction industry. Its main franchise in that sector is Wichtech roofing sheets and Betek paints. It is also a major player in the Lagos real estate sector.