INTRODUCTION Ifeanyi Ubah is a Nigerian business mogul, politician and entrepreneur; Nnewi-born Billionaire and Managing Director of Capital Oil & Gas,Also the owner of the popular football club Ifeanyi Ubah F.C.
EARLY LIFE AND BACKGROUND
Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah was born on the third day of September 1971, to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Alphonsus Ubah of Umuanuka in Otolo, Nnewi, Anambra State. His parents were teachers by profession. As teachers and role models, Mr. and Mrs. Alphonsus Ubah instilled in Ifeanyi and his siblings the priceless virtues of honesty, hard work, independence, perseverance, selfless service, the fear of God, and the culture of innovative thinking and creative inventiveness.
In order to ensure that Ifeanyi and his siblings obtained proper post primary education, his parents carefully apportioned the meager family incomes to provide for the educational trainings of the children. The result was the attendance of Okongwu Memorial Grammar School, (OMGS), Nnewi, by Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah. However the relentless struggles and the determination of Ifeanyi’s parents encouraged and challenged Ifeanyi as the first child to resolve voluntarily to assume certain responsibilities, ahead of his peers, as a way of helping his parents to provide for the needs of the family.
Ifeanyi’s bold resolution to be directly involved in providing for the sundry needs of the family was not entirely a happy experience for his parents. Though it was an encouraging and welcome development and a relieve to his father, the head of the family specifically expressed grave concerns at the frightening and looming risk of an uncertain future that faced the family. However, Ifeanyi very calmly and optimistically assured his father that he would make him proud in the long run; that he would shoulder the responsibility of providing for the welfare of the entire family and that he would as well equip and develop himself, intellectually.
In fulfillment of his adolescent visionary covenants and assurances to his parents, coupled with a focused determination reflecting the boundless and tireless energies devoted to the pursuits of excellence and extraordinary achievements, Ifeanyi remained unrelenting in his quests for knowledge-acquisition and self-development; and accordingly attended several high profile local and international courses and seminars in leadership and business management. Propelled by the zeal to further enhance, equip and fortify himself for the challenges of the 21st Century, Ifeanyi Ubah enrolled for the globally acclaimed and prestigious Owner/President Management Program at Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA, an Ivy League Institution, and came out in flying colours.
Remarkably, in consideration of Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah’s resolute determination and early life resolution to squarely face the challenges of existence, coupled with a passion to achieve significant success in his chosen field of human endeavour, Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, has indeed achieved immeasurable success despite all odds. As a result of his purpose-driven achievements, and result-oriented contributions to the development of the Nigerian economy, coupled with foresighted visionary intuition, dynamic resourcefulness, as well as sustained entrepreneurial ingenuity, Ifenayi Ubah, was deservedly conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of Management Technology (DMT) by the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Imo State.
No doubt, Ubah’s intimidating success profile was not attained by sheer luck or by any acts of accident, but it is rather the result of a purpose-driven life, rooted in determination, perseverance and exemplary robust commitment to prevail in the face of daunting circumstances and difficulties. Of course, his grand success story had its roots at the early age of 18 years. He started by climbing patiently the business cum entrepreneurial success ladder; first as an apprentice, and moved on subsequently to establish a network of successful regional business enterprises. His business engagements in the early periods took him to the neighbouring West African countries which included Ghana significantly. As a result of his remarkable early success, his earnings capped at the one million Naira mark, at the age of 19 years.
CAREER AND LIFE
Ubah specifically carved a niche for himself within a short time as a major player in the booming tyre export trade from Nigeria to Ghana, and supplied the products to notable traders in Ghana which included Kingsman Enterprises. The proceeds of this lucrative venture were ingeniously reinvested in, amongst other things, the purchase of his first house in Ghana. The next business destinations were Liberia and Sierra Leone. The civil war in Liberia however had adverse effect on Ubah’s trans-West African business concerns and served as the first test-case for Ubah in the unpredictable and fluid business environment. The civil war in Liberia ultimately forced Ifeanyi Ubah to relocate to Lagos, Nigeria, and to re-strategize.
Essentially, the strategic response Ifeanyi Ubah applied was the lateral and vertical expansion of his business interests to include the supplies of auto spare parts to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which eventually served as his host nation and the primary base of his business activities on the African Continent for a reasonable time. Apart from re-launching his business and breaking new grounds business-wise, Ubah’s gift and talents equally manifested in the leadership qualities he exhibited in the DRC that accorded him recognition and finally elevated him to the position of the President of the Nigerian Community, at a relatively young age. As the President of the Nigerian Community in the DRC, Ubah was saddled with the challenges and the arduous responsibilities of providing food and housing for hundreds of Nigerian refugees who fled the neighbouring Congo Brazzaville as a result of political crises and instability that engulfed the nation.
In the DRC, Ifeanyi’s business engagements blossomed and thrived enormously. His foray into the automotive spare parts supplies proved to be rewarding. The endeavour elevated him to the status of a major importer of auto spare parts. New opportunities opened up and Ifeanyi creatively and astutely exploited same by participating in several international trade fairs and exhibitions mounted by auto manufacturers and dealers in places such as the Automotive Industry Week, in Las Vegas, USA, and the Automechanika,in Frankfurt, Germany. From the DRC Ubah equally established strong presence in the United Kingdom, Belgium, South Africa, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and a host of other prospective and lucrative locations. The following notable companies and organizations engaged in, and accordingly cherished meaningful mutual beneficial business transactions with Ifeanyi Ubah: AE, Payen, Kolben Co., and Anglo American Industrial Co-operation, in South Africa. In Europe, Belgolaise (Brussels), Belgium, and AE Automotive (Leeds) UK, were other notable associates of Ubah’s fast growing business concerns.
Principally Ifeanyi Ubah’s ultimate emergence as a business mogul and oil and gas magnet, as well as an entrepreneur with international muscle, recognition and stature, dates back to his clairvoyant, strategic and visionary decision to embrace the highly challenging and high-risk but equally potential opportunities he acutely spotted in the oil and gas industries.
With the establishment of Capital Oil SPRL in the DRC, which Ubah effectively used to facilitate his dealings and activities in the oil and gas business, Ubah laid the foundation, retrospectively though, of his future business empire (unarguably the backbone of Ubah’s current multi-billion Naira mega business concerns). Ubah’s business relationship with Ibeto Petrochemical Nigeria Limited in the oil and gas was very significant and proved to be highly rewarding, especially in providing Ubah the platform to procure products for supplies to Capital Oil SPRL clients in the DRC, which included government agencies.
In fact, in a similar situation to the unpalatable Liberian experience, which orchestrated the forced relocation to Lagos, Nigeria, of Ifeanyi Ubah’s erstwhile tyre business, the outbreak of political instability and armed struggles in the DRC equally resulted in Ifeanyi Ubah fleeing the chaotic and restive DRC entity to relocate and establish a new base in Nigeria. Despite the sudden change experienced in relocating to a new and more complex business environment and turf in Nigeria, Ifeanyi bounced back and adapted quickly to the demands of the volatile oil and gas business in Nigeria, courtesy of his mentor, Cletus Ibeto, who provided necessary logistics support to Ubah’s business, and equally tutored Ifeanyi on the intricacies of the oil and gas climate in Nigeria.
By 2003 and 2004, through foresighted, visionary and uncanny strategic and analytical abilities, Capital Oil delved into haulage, transportation and retail of petroleum products. In 2006, Capital Oil built its first strategic depot and commissioned the facility in March 2007. The second depot was successfully completed a year later in 2008, and in 2010, the third deport was added. In 2011, the number of Capital Oil strategic depots increased to four
He is the founder of The Authority Newspaper, a Nigerian daily newspaper and also the owner of Ifeanyi Ubah F.C., a football club in the Nigeria Premier League, following its purchase as Gabros International Football Club.
In 2014, Ifeanyi Ubah unsuccessfully contested at the 2014 Anambra gubernatorial election under the platform of the Labour Party.
Ifeanyi Ubah is married to Uchenna Ubah, a Business Administration graduate from Ahmadu Bello University, with whom they have 5 children. He also runs a foundation called Ifeanyi Ubah Foundation.