Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, the chief executive officer and the chairman of the world-famed Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, the chairman and founder of the premier league Ifeanyi Ubah Football Club, and the chairman and publisher of The Authority newspapers, among many other businesses, turns 45 years today. It would really be a surprise to many to hear that he is only 45, as before this time, Ifeanyi Ubah had packed into his kitty, achievements that many equally gifted people can only manage to chalk-up in several lifetimes.
As Dr Ubah’s self-effacing personality does not allow for roll-out of drums of celebration of himself at this occasion, more so, as his ever-busy schedules would hardly allow him any lee-way for such. For, at 45, there so many things to celebrate about the eventful life of this man whose footprints have touched on many significant floors of this continent, just as his breath of philanthropy has blown on so many.
Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah was born on September 3rd, 1971 to the humble family of Mr & Mrs Alphonsus Ubah of Otolo Nnewi in Anambra State of Nigeria. It was obvious that he was not born with a silver spoon – and many say, with no spoons at all – as his parents, who were village teachers, worked so hard, with their meagre earnings, to cater for and bring up Ifeanyi and his six sibling, a task that was not easy. It was at that period, whilst at Okongwu Memorial Grammar School, Nnewi that his special nature first reared its head. He opted to step out of school to go into business to supplement his parents’ meagre income to train his younger ones – a decision that almost broke his father’s heart.
Since then, there has been no stopping Ifeanyi, who started right from the scratch of trade apprenticeship to moving swiftly up the ladders and outclass those who had mentored him. his sights were focussed far and ahead of his contemporaries, as he was soon to step outside the shores of Nigeria and started exporting tyres and motor spare parts to Ghana and across the West Coast of Africa, where he established a thriving business by the time he was only 18. Needless to say that by 19, Ifeanyi had become a clear millionaire – a rare feat in those days.
The crises in Liberia and Sierra Leone could only delay him but not stop his ever-forward voyage to conquer new horizons. His shift of focus to Central Africa, especially to the Congo DRC, where as the key player in automotive parts business, he became both an economic and political force in that country, not only as the president of the Nigerian community in that country as well as a very influential player whose voice counted in the government of that country. His influence was such that his intelligence, astuteness and other capabilities were soon recognized by powers-that-be in the DRC. Consequently, he often served as the nation’s official envoy to many countries on the continent and beyond, where he negotiated intricate business and political deals.
Apart from his deep and varied involvements in business and politics, Ifeanyi Ubah’s leadership qualities manifested eminently through his support for other Nigerian businessmen and women, as well as for his undertaking to provide and cater for Nigerians who were displaced from Congo Brazzaville and Gabon. Systematically and steadily, his company Capital Oil SPRL grew in leaps and bounds and easily established him as a business mogul to reckon with on the continent. He further used the opportunity to acquire that education that he had given up for the betterment of his family and has acquired and been honoured with degrees in different areas of business and social endeavours.
Back to Nigeria, Dr Ifeanyi Ubah established Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd in 2011 and it easily became the key player in the nation’s downstream petroleum industry. Having started with haulage and retail of petroleum products, Capital Oil soon grew into a distribution and storage octopus, having built four largest petroleum storage depots in the country, with 32 loading arms and a combined facility to berth three to six vessels simultaneously. Capital Oil is responsible for the distribution of about 50% of oil products in Nigeria, and at such times, when the nation had been held to ransom by some forces, Ifeanyi Ubah has led his company to intervene on the part of Nigerian people. Needless again, to say that the company has about 3,000 Nigerians on its payroll, with the capacity to generate further 2000 side jobs.
Dr Ifeanyi Ubah has proven that wealth without public face is worthless and that is why he has continued to diversity into areas that would bring about service and meaning to the ordinary Nigerians. He is not a man to complacently sit down, enjoy his wealth and watch things happen in the ways he believes they could be improved. That is why he has become involved in politics, social services and philanthropy as a way of becoming the part and parcel of bringing about real change in the life and circumstances of the people. He is not just content with the disbursement of millions of Naira through his several philanthropic ventures, he believes more in building up people and institutions which would enable Nigerians to be, not just fish-eaters, but fishermen themselves. He believes in using the promethean force of the youth – Nigeria’s best assets – to bring about development and progress. He has enormous consideration and love for the youth and has remained the all-time role model of the youth of Nigeria.
When he makes new investments, it is to create new opportunities, livelihoods and meaning to the youth and the less privileged because he believes that with the right encouragement, Nigerian youth can perform even better than he has done. So, when he went into politics in Anambra State to vie for the governorship, it was the interest of the youths and the deprived that he carried aloft like a beacon. When he set up the Ifeanyi Ubah Football Club, which has, just within its third year, started challenging the oldest clubs for superiority, it is to afford the youth a means of self-expression, what with the superstructures that he is constructing in Nnewi, in form of a games village, five star hotel and other facilities, not just to provide employment, but to bring life to an area that is yearning for its gifted people to “think home’. With the conclusion of an agreement with the English premier league Westham Football Club in London, two weeks ago, Ifeanyi Ubah, who has since become the chairman of Anambra Football Association, scored another first in Nigerian football, by being the first club to have such an international vista.
Because, what concerns us must be last attended to, we record with pride that on account of Ifeanyi Ubah’s Midas Touch, not many people imagine that The Authority newspaper, the second Nigerian newspaper to go daily as its first day, (after the Concord in 1982), is not up to one year old, as in spite of the brevity of its existence, it has left an indelible mark on the information landscape of Nigeria and the world through its very powerful online presence. The Authority was established by Dr Ifeanyi Ubah on October 15th 2015!
Dr Ifeanyi Ubah is a very contented man especially as he enjoys a very stable family life in partnership with his loving and amiable wife, Mrs Uchenna Ubah, a very smart graduate of Business Administration, and who, definitely, is a very powerful anchor to Ifeanyi’s life.
There are many so many more glorious things to say about the life and achievements of Dr Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, the Ebube-Chukwu-Uzo of Nnewi, that if we were to try to say it all, all the pages of this issue of our newspaper on this auspicious day might not be enough. But suffice it for us to extend our heart-felt and fervent wishes to our chairman and publisher, and to thank the Almighty, on his 45 years on earth. We join his family members, his associates, members of our sister companies and his friends in wishing him a most merited Happy Birthday and many wonderful returns of this day.
Ebube Chukwu Uzo, a man of many parts, a Jack of all trades and a master of all, a man who has broken all the records, we hail you! We fervently hope and pray that by the next five years when you will be marking the golden jubilee of your birth, the only records that would be left for you to break will be your own records.
May God bless and keep you, Sir.