The Igbos of the South Eastern part of Nigeria are known to be very hardworking and diligent people. The Almighty God that created them gave them a special advantage which is the ability to convert whatever they lay their hands upon to gold. Nowhere in any part of the world that the Igbos will not be found and whenever you meet them anywhere, you will almost immediately realize their economic prowess and acumen. From the African continent to Europe, Asia to the Americas, Australia to the Oceanic, the Igbos are everywhere dominating and dictating the pace of businesses and investments in these continents. As a matter of fact, a typical Igbo man can never live a life of redundancy having nothing to do to meet ends needs unlike some of their counterparts in other climes who prefer begging as means of livelihood. A visit to most of the streets in Lagos State, Nigeria’s hub of commercial activities reveals the huge presence of Igbos owning one or more shops in any building(s). In addition to this, Igbos have a massive population in strategic markets in Lagos like the Alaba market, Ladipo market, Oshodi, Mile 2, Daleko, Oyingbo, Mile 12, Idumota and other major markets including the globally popular Computer Village in Ikeja. Igbos are seen everywhere investing heavily in any money making venture as long as it is genuine.
However, in Igbo land, one of the men that worked assiduously to become who he is today is Chief Arthur Eze. This is a man who knows vividly and whose business ideologies and philosophies lies on the fact that wealth creation is irrespective of geographic location, background and other factors. It is based on principles such as personal motivation, a drive to create value, integrity, courage, utmost discipline, man management, building a supportive environment and a few others. If religiously put into practice these principles will surely drive you to business success, and wealth creation eventually, it’s really not rocket science as each step requires more than just willingness and a drive, but it is imperative to know that every single entrepreneurial great has over the years put the aforementioned principles into practice and the results are evident.
Prince Arthur Eze, a celebrated business mogul and one of the major players in the oil and gas Industry on the African continent, a man known for his philanthropic gestures and regarded by sons and daughters of the Igbo ethnic nationality as the Ozoigbobdu of igboland. Prince Eze is known to have founded the largest holder of oil exploration in Africa, a recipient of numerous meritorious awards, one of which was given to him by the highest political authority in the land, In recognition of his contribution to National growth and human capacity development, he was honoured On 14th November 2011 by Former president of the federal republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who conferred him with one of the highest honors in the land, Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR), in an elaborate event held in Abuja, Nigeria’s Capital. Prince Eze has his head held high amongst his peers as he is presently rated as the 8th richest man on the African continent with an estimated net worth of 5.8 billion dollars.
Chief Eze, upon completion of his primary education in 1970 was enrolled into St Augustine Secondary School resident in Nkwerre a community in Imo state to pursue his secondary education, after leaving secondary school in 1974 he proceeded to California USA where he studied mechanical and chemical engineering at the prestigious California state university, long beach and obtained a bachelor’s degree in 1978.
In 1991 Arthur ventured into private entrepreneurial practice by establishing Atlas, Oranto Oil, an oil and gas firm that would later grow into one of the most dominant players in the oil and gas sector, a year later after the deregulation of the Nigerian aviation sector by then head of state Gen Ibrahim Babangida, prince Eze went ahead to establish Triax Airlines with its operation base at the Enugu Airport, the company would later go into administration in 2000.
Undoubtedly the largest holder of oil exploration blocks in Africa, and Nigeria’s largest privately held, Africa-focused exploration and production group, Atlas Oranto oil prides itself as an oil and gas exploration company with 22 oil and gas licenses in 12 jurisdictions across the African continent with oil and gas assets in Gambia, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Liberia. The company’s technical base is situated in Lagos while its corporate headquarters is located in Nigeria’s federal capital Abuja.
Prince Arthur Eze is regarded as one of the greatest and most generous philanthropists of his generation, over the past years he has contributed millions of dollars to various courses and humanitarian projects in his home country Nigeria and even across different parts of Africa. At a fundraiser in Abuja, Prince Arthur Eze donated a whooping $800,000 to help alleviate the sufferings of victims of Boko-Haram insurgency, it is also in public knowledge that in 2018 Prince Eze contributed 25 million Naira to help push the Nigerian football team. In Yirol and Rumbek communities in Central South-Sudan he donated $800,000 for the construction of 2 State of the art primary schools. He is responsible for the modernization of the market near the Ukpo palace, changing the status of the market, he has also gone as far as constructing road networks connecting his home community the Dunukofia clan with neighbouring towns.
In 2013 Prince Eze donated $6.3million to help combat flooding in Nigeria, he has also been praised for single handedly building and equipping a medical research unit at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, he has gone further to contribute to the Association of People living with Sickle Cell (APLSCD), recently Prince Eze constructed a pedestrian bridge in Ebonyi state using his personal funds, these are just a few of the projects that Prince Arthur Eze has been a part of over the years. Over the years, Prince Arthur Eze has donated immensely to the growth of humanity and the work of God. This include but not limited to the Donation of $12 million for the construction of St. Stephen’s Anglican Deanery and Youth Development Center in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Nigeria in 2013, Arthur Eze donated $800,000 for the construction of two primary schools in Yirol and Rumbek communities in central South Sudan, 10 million naira donated to the elderly people of the Ukpo community, donating a sum of N5m to the Association of People Living with Sickle Cell Disorder (APLSCD), for a standard sickle cell clinic at the Ukpo, Dunukofia Council Area of Anambra State. Prince Arthur Eze was part of those that contributed to the relief needs of the victims of Boko Haram insurgencies, of which he donated the sum of $800,000 at a fundraiser in Abuja, Arthur Eze gave 25 million naira of the total funds raised for the ‘Russia 2018’ FIFA World Cup in 2018, Donation of $6.3-million to the flood relief efforts in Nigeria in the year 2013, a church in Abagana community benefited from his cheerful giving as he gave them the sum of 20 million naira for musical instruments and renovations in 2015, singlehandedly built a medical research unit for the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, modernized the local market near the Ukpo palace and also created road networks linking the Dunukofia clan with neighbouring towns like Abba, Awkuzu, Ifite-Dunu, and Abagana and Arthur constructed the overhead bridge in Ebonyi State with his funds, without asking for government intervention.
Although Prince Arthur Eze is not a man that brags about his philanthropic gestures or what he has done for humanity, he is like a proverbial golden fish in the ocean that has no hiding place. He is fished out by highly reputable individuals, institutions, governments and organizations who appreciate his massive contributions to the development of the society. Here are some of the awards and recognitions as bestowed on Prince Arthur Eze. They are; ‘Patron of Ndigbo Lagos’ and adoption into the Ndigbo Lagos Patron Hall of Fame at his 70th birthday, The Governor of Ebonyi State, Dr Umahi, named a major road after Arthur Eze, and also appointed him as the Chancellor of Ebonyi State University, Former President Goodluck Jonathan conferred him with the distinguished award of the ‘Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR)’ in recognition of his contribution towards the development of the nation’s economy and humanitarian gesture to the Nigerian people at an event in Abuja on the 14th of November 2011, Enugu City Centre Rotary District 9142 named him “Outstanding Citizen of the World” in 2015, The Zik Prize in leadership awards honoured him with the ‘Zik Leadership Awards’ in the business category in 2018, ‘Africa Value Award’ by Value Reorientation and Developmental Initiative Africa (VARDIAFRICA) in 2018. Prince Arthur Eze’s networth is around $6 billion.