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 Odimegwu Ojukwu. But the fact is that he was one of the greatest Business men ever produced in Africa and one of the richest. 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 clerk with John Holt Lagos in 1929. It was while working as a tyre clerk 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 traveled 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 Louis therefore employed the theory of multiple streams of income when no one knew what the concept was. (Even today, most people know of multiple streams of income, but still depends 100% on their salaries. Millionaires Academy strongly discourages this fact, because it is the easiest route to high blood pressure and financial mess. We encourage you to make use of our online training resources to establish a side business even if you are in paid employment.)
Sir Louise’s textile boomed. By 1930, Louis bought a second hand truck and employed a driver in order to 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 Ojukwu’s fleet of trucks for the War effort to which he agreed.
When the war ended in 1945, the British Government recognized 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 Ojukwu’s 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. It is worthy to note that great men usually don’t become great alone. They have other great men around them. Mentorship is the fastest way to reach any goal. This is one of the pillars of the successful Millionaires Academy program. Mediocres and unsuccessful people call this favoritism, or hobnobbing, or “IM” in the east. But successful people call it Networking, Master mind alliance and Mentorship. And whether you like it or not, it is an essential ingredient to massive success.
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
8) 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
This man was simply larger than life. Sir Louis also owned numerous building, landed properties and stocks. At the time of his death in 1966, he was worth about 4 Billion Dollars in today’s money, and was the Richest African of his time.
Whether you love or hate the Odumegwu Ojukwu dynasty, you have to admire the extreme business sagacity of the patriach, in an era when business knowledge and technology was not readily available as it is today. An era when travelling from lagos to the east will take weeks. An era when men still communicate by posting letters. A very rough and challenging time.
Believe it or not, any one that works with the principles of greatness, will be great, no matter the physical and economic condition surrounding him or her. True greatness comes from the inside. Great men will turn a barren desert into a fertile ground, but poor souls will turn a fertile land into hell. Dubai was a complete arid desert just 50 years ago, but today it is one of the top tourist destination in the world, one of the most beautiful places to visit, and the indigenes have one of the best quality of life in the world. Isreal also was an arid barren land that was turned into one of the most fertile in the world, and the people of Isreal are involved in over 50% of high technology export companies in silicon valley. Nigeria on the other hand is so blessed that almost every land is fertile, not to mention our abundant mineral resources. But where are we today? Of course we can easily blame the government, but who is the government? How many people even cultivate their little farmland? So if crude oil stops flowing today, or if it is no longer needed in the world, we should all roll over and die? Entrepreneurship is easy for anyone to start with the right training, but how many people are taking advantage of these training platforms and abundant technology, to launch a product that will change the world.
Any day we decide to wake up, we would realize that no one is holding our prosperity. We would realize that Dangote do not have monopoly of production. We would realize that wealth is in every one’s backyard. And we would realize that all suffering stems from ignorance, for “my people perish for lack of knowledge”. How will you feel, if you know that you can make all your dreams come true, only if you try?
Join Millionaires Academy today, and begin to see a world of endless possibilities. Life has no duplicate, therefore take informed risks, and live it well.
Remember this, No pain…..No gain. No trial….No success..
See you in the Academy.