Who is Sir Louis Philip Odumegwu Ojukwu

A lot of people may not know who Sir Louis Philip Odumegwu
Ojukwu is besides the fact that he was the father of late Biafran
Warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Ojukwu. But the fact is that he was
one of the greatest Business men ever produced in Africa and one
of the richest of wealthiest African at his time.
It beggars belief that Sir Ojukwu went to Lagos with nothing in
1929 aged just 20 but 10 years later aged just 30, he was already
managing his own chain of businesses which included, Ojukwu
Stores, Ojukwu textiles and Ojukwu transportation company. By
1950, just Ojukwu Transportation company had over 200 trucks in
its fleet. How did he do it?
Born Louis Philip Odumegwu Ojukwu in Nnewi in 1909, the only
boy and second of four children,Sir Ojukwu went to Government
primary School Asaba. In 1922, he proceeded to the only
secondary School in the Eastern region at the time, Hope Waddell
training institute, Calabar. After completing his secondary School
education in 1928, Sir Louis secured a job as a tyre sales clark
with John Holt Lagos in 1929.
It was working as a tyre clark the Sir Louis Ojukwu noticed that
many Igbo traders who came to Lagos to buy tyres also bought
textiles as well. With his meagre saving, Sir Louis travelled down
to Onitsha where he opened his first business venture called
“Ojukwu stores” and employed one of his relatives to oversee it. He
then returned to Lagos and started sending down textiles on
Lorries to his shop while still working for John Holt. Sir Louise’s
textile boomed. By 1930, Louis bought a second hand truck and
employed a driver in other move his goods himself and ‘Ojukwu
transport company’ was born.
Sir Ojukwu worked tirelessly and by end of the 1930’s, was the
major transporter on the East-West Road. In 1939, on the outbreak
of world war 2, the British Government requested the use of Sir
Ojukwus fleet of trucks for the War effort to which he agreed.
When the war ended in 1945, the British Goverment recognised the
sacrifice he made and he was awarded a KBE (Knight of the British
Empire). The end of the war also created a high demand for raw
materials from West Africa and sir Ojukwus Transport business
exploded sky high and he diversified into other businesses.
Some of Sir Ojukwu’s early drivers such as Chief Ilodibe (Ekene Dili
Chukwu) and Chief Izuchukwu (Izuchukwu Transport) would later
become Transport moguls themselves. Sir Ojukwu was so rich that
in 1956 when the Queen visited Nigeria, the British authorities had
to borrow his Rolls Royce and personal driver to chauffeur the
Queen around. Sir Louis was also a financial pillar of Ziks NCNC
party and when the party came to power in 1960, Sir Louis was
offered the position of Finance Minister which he turned down, the
position ultimately went to Okotie-Eboh.
Sir Louis died in Nkalagu, present day Ebonyi state, in 1966. Sir
Louis CV is the most intimidating I have ever seen and probably
will ever see. He was:
1)The first President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange
2) President, African Continental Bank
3) Chairman, Nigerian cement company (NIGERCEM)
4) CEO, Ojukwu Transport company
5) Chairman, Nigerian National Shipping Line
6) Chairman, Lion Of Africa Insurance Company
7) Chairman, BISCO Nigeria Limited
cool Chairman, Nigerian Industrial Development Bank
9) Vice President, Lagos Chamber Of Commerce
10) Chairman, Palmline Shipping company
11) Chairman, Nigerian Produce Marketing board
12) Chairman, Eastern Nigerian Development Corporation
13) Chairman, Costain west Africa
14) Director, Shell D’Arcy Petroleum
15) Director, Thomas Wyatt & Son
16) Director, Nigerian Coal corporation
17) Director, Guiness Nigeria Limited
18) Director, Nigerian Tobacco Company
19) Director, Daily Times of Nigeria
The man was simply larger than life. Sir Louis also owned
numerous building, landed properties and stocks. It is estimated
that as at the time he died in 1966, he was worth about 40 Billion
Dollars in today’s money.

1 Comment

  1. Good

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