The Man; Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah

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.

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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.

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(www.capitaloilandgasind.com) 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 with the addition of Oil Force facility to Capital Oil strategic storage network of facilities.  Ubah also championed the building of strategic regional reserve depots within the geo-political zones of Nigeria: Suleja, in Niger State, Funtua, in Katsina State, Enugu, in Enugu State, Warri and Koko, in Delta State. These storage infrastructural developments have created thousands of jobs for Nigerians, and mostly for the youths. This has been in keeping with Ubah’s belief in the tenets of the aphorism that “wealth and job creation are an art, and empowerment is an obligation”.

Inspired, encouraged and equally motivated by the desire and the zeal to accomplish and achieve more successes in the oil and gas sector rather than rest on his oars, Ifeanyi Ubah led his team to acquire more strategic and key assets in the oil and gas business.  These include the largest fleet of marine vessels, barges and tug boats, as well as a large fleet of oil tankers.  These strategic assets can be described as the flagship in the arsenal of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd in the globally competitive oil and gas business.  In this context, Ifeanyi Ubah, has disclosed that “Capital Oil’s depot facility network, with 32 loading arms and a combined capacity to berth 3 to 6 vessels simultaneously, is the largest in Nigeria”. Of course, in terms of provisions for necessary logistics support to the transporters of petroleum products to consumers in the different locations in Nigeria and in the West African sub-region, Capital Oil has to her credit a parking lot with the capacity to accommodate 1,100 trucks at any given time.
Primarily, Ifeanyi Ubah’s core business interests are evidently in the oil and gas, port and harbor facility investments, specifically on the African continent.  He has equally spread his economic dragnet and strategically diversified his investment portfolios to include: property and estate development, telecommunications, commodities trading and importation, financial institutions and healthcare services.  Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, as an accomplished and astute leader and captain of industry sits on the board of several companies including: Knoll & Hachfer Engineering Co. Ltd., Chevron Oronite & Chemical Co. Ltd., Hero Communications Ltd., First Nigeria Independent Oil Co. Ltd., Commodity Giants Nigeria Limited, Oil Force Nigeria Limited and Capital Group Congo S.A.RL., in the Congo DR.

1 In terms of international recognition, Ubah was profiled by the Oxford Brooks Magazine as one of the “Forty under Forty 2009”, a list of the top forty Nigerian business leaders under the age of forty in 2009 (elombah.com/index.php/articles…/16199-the-man-patrick-ifeanyi-ubah‎). Ubah is also a philanthropist.  Perhaps, driven by the desire to give back to society, he established the Ifeanyi Ubah Foundation, which gives students scholarship, drills boreholes for communities, installs electricity transformers, repairs and constructs roads, provides free fuel to Okada riders and bus drivers regularly in his petrol stations in Anambra State.  Ifeanyi Ubah, out of his milk of human kindness, has consistently distributed kerosene in all the regions of Nigeria, including the highly volatile areas, in order to alleviate the plights and wanton sufferings of the poor masses who ordinarily would not have had any access to this product or even purchase it at the subsidized price of N50 per litre.

As part of Ubah’s corporate social responsibility and sustainable community development program, he built and donated a students’ hostel at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. He equally built and equipped with state-of-the-art technology, a 160 seat capacity ICT Centre for the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna. In the same vein, Ubah is sponsoring the building of a befitting ICT Centre for the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.  Ubah has completed and donated the Anglican Bishop’s Court to the Awka Diocese valued at 60 Million Naira.  He is also single-handedly building the Catholic Cathedral of the Nnewi Diocese, said to be the largest in Nigeria.

A family man, Ifeanyi Ubah is married to Uchenna Ubah, a graduate of business administration from Ahmadu Bello University, (ABU) Zaria.  Ubah maintains that his marriage “was the beginning of God’s manifestation in my life, by blessing me with a jewel of inestimable value – my wife, the mother of my five children”.  Ubah is a humble, faithful and trustworthy person.  In all his sojourns, tribulations, achievements and celebrations, Ubah closely identifies with his friends.  In fact, his friends form essentially part of his strengths.  He appreciates his friends enormously and has no god-fathers, but only God.  That is why Ubah is fondly called Ebube Chukwu Uzo, meaning “placing God first in all we do”.

At a very early age, Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah developed and has consistently exhibited the unyielding knack to prevail even against the greatest odds.  He has remained steadfast to this hard-earned but well deserved enviable reputation up to the present times. He has exhibited an uncommon resolve to realize his visions, achieve his goals and objectives in life; irrespective of the magnitude of the obstacles or oppositions encountered.  “I don’t shy away from challenges.  I draw strength and inspiration from God and face challenges head on”, Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, has consistently declared with confidence.  These reassuring words evidently reflect the outlook, the philosophy and the sense of conviction of Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah – resolute, bold, courageous, resourceful and optimistic.

Article written by Nkemjika—a Research Writer and Media Consultant.

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