Orji Uzor Kalu

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Orji Uzor Kalu
7th Governor of Abia State
In office
May 29, 1999 – May 29, 2007
Preceded by Anthony Obi
Succeeded by Theodore Orji
Personal details
Born (1960-04-21) April 21, 1960 (age 54)
Abia State, Nigeria
Political party People's Democratic Party (1st and 2nd terms). Formed Progressive Peoples Alliance(PPA) as a political party in July 2006 and contested as the party's presidential candidate in 2007.
Occupation Chairman,
SLOK Holding
Chairman,
Daily Sun
Chairman,
First International Bank Limited
Chairman,
New Telegraph

Orji Uzor Kalu (born April 21, 1960) is the chairman of SLOK Holding and the Daily Sun and New Telegraph newspapers in Nigeria, who served as the governor of Abia State, Nigeria from May 29, 1999, to May 29, 2007. Prior to his election, he served as the chairman of the Borno Water Board and the chairman of the Cooperative and Commerce Bank Limited. Kalu was also a member of the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and the chairman of the PPA Board of Trustees. He was the party's candidate for president in the April 2007 general election.[1]

Background[edit]

Kalu attended Christ the King School Aba and Government College, Umuahia. After studying at Barewa College, Zaria, he enrolled in the University of Maiduguri where he studied political science. During his time at the university, Kalu became a student activist, and participated in the “Ali Must Go”[2] riots against the education minister.[3] His participation resulted in his suspension. While his fellow students later took the school authorities to court, Kalu left school to build his own business.[4]

With only $35 to his name that he had borrowed from his mother, Kalu began trading palm oil, first buying the oil from Nigeria's eastern regions and then selling it in the country's northern regions.[5] He then began buying and reselling furniture on a large scale.

Kalu eventually established SLOK Holding, a conglomerate that would consist of a number of successful companies, inclusing the Ojialex Furniture Company, SLOK Nigeria Limited, SLOK United Kingdom Limited, Adamawa Publishers Limited, SLOK Vegetable Oil, Aba, SLOK Paper Factory, Aba, SLOK United States Incorporated, SLOK Ghana, Togo, Cotonou, Guinea, South Africa, Liberia, Botswana, SLOK Korea, Supreme Oil Limited, SLOK Airlines, Sun Publishing Limited, and First International Bank Limited.

Kalu became the youngest Nigerian to receive the National Merit Award from President Ibrahim Babangida, at the age of 26 in 1986. He was selected as the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce's Industrialist of the Year, and awarded the Humanitarian Award of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka's Humanitarian Club, the Volunteer Award of the International Association of Volunteers, the National Merit Award, the EU Special Award in Brussels, and the World Bank Leon Sullivan Award.[1][4]

Kalu has a degree from Abia State University, a Certificate in Business Administration from Harvard University and honorary doctorates from the universities of Maiduguri and Abia State.[1][4]

Corporate / Political Background[edit]

Kalu headed First International Bank Limited at the age of 33.[6] He also stewarded Nigerian commercial relations with China's SinoPacific Shipbuilding company while serving as a principal of SLOK Holding.[7]

On July 11, 2007, Kalu was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on charges of corruption while serving as the governor of Abia State.[8] He was later released on bail, and accused the Obasanjo regime of persecuting him during and after his tenure in office, an accusation mentioned by former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell in his book, "Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink."[9]

Daily Sun[edit]

Kalu is the chairman of the Daily Sun, a Nigerian daily print newspaper founded and published in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.[10] The newspaper had a daily circulation of 130,000 copies as of 2011, and 135,000 for weekend titles, with an average of 80% sales. The Daily Sun was the highest selling newspaper in Nigeria. The Daily Sun was incorporated on March 29, 2001, and began production as a weekly on January 18, 2003, and as a daily on June 16, 2003. The newspaper is similar in format to the Sun newspaper in the United Kingdom.

New Telegraph[edit]

Kalu is also the chairman of the New Telegraph, Nigeria's first politically independent all-national newspaper, with a circulation of 100,000 copies per day. The newspaper targets domestic and foreign readers in major urban centers throughout the country and offers objective coverage of political, social, and cultural issues.[11]

SLOK Holding[edit]

SLOK Holding is a wholly owned Nigerian consortium of companies that is involved in a wide array of operations, with a strong presence in West Africa. The group operates in all sectors of the economy, with a focus on oil and gas, banking and finance, media and publishing, real estate, trading, manufacturing, insurance and tourism. It is a member of industrial institutions including the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nigeria-America Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Nigeria-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.[6]

SLOK Holding is the owner of SLOK Nigeria Ltd., the leading indigenous player in the upstream sector of Nigeria's oil and gas industry. The corporation operates in marine transport services, involving offshore support and deep sea transportation within the Nigerian coastal and inland waterways. SLOK Nigeria Ltd. is the largest indigenous company in Nigeria that owns, operates, and manages its own fleet. It is compliant with the Nigerian Cabotage Law and is registered with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.[6]

First International Bank Limited[edit]

Kalu is the chairman of First International Bank Limited. The bank operates branches throughout The Gambia. All of the bank's branches are networked, allowing customers to make deposits and withdrawals at any branch. It was incorporated as a commercial bank in January 1999 and commenced full banking operations on July 1, 1999.[12]

Njiko Igbo Movement[edit]

Kalu is involved with the Njiko Igbo Movement, whose purpose is to help secure the presidential seat for a Nigerian citizen of Igbo extraction; an Igbo has only held the presidency for six months since Nigeria's independence.[13]

The movement has branches and support groups throughout the diaspora.[14] Kalu launched the organization together with former Nigerian Senator Emmanuel Onwe, a human rights advocate and lawyer earlier based in the United Kingdom.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Governor Orji Uzor Kalu". Orjikalu.com. Retrieved 2007-03-31. 
  2. ^ "Nigeria: Student Organizations". Country-Data.Com. 2008-08-11. Retrieved 2013-05-30. 
  3. ^ "Orji Kalu’s Braggadocio". SaharaReporters.Com. 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2013-05-30. 
  4. ^ a b c "Orji Uzor Kalu: Nigerian Billionaire and founder of Slok Group". Strategic Business Team. 2008-08-11. Retrieved 2013-05-30. 
  5. ^ ""I was also the first to give Obasanjo N100m to campaign during the 1999 election" – Orji Uzor Kalu". YNaija 2015. 2013-05-19. Retrieved 2013-05-30. 
  6. ^ a b c "The Team". SLOK Shipping Ltd. 2008-08-11. Retrieved 2013-05-30. 
  7. ^ "SINOPACIFIC Inked a New Order of 6 OSVs". Morski Wortal. 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2013-05-30. 
  8. ^ "Two Nigeria ex-governors arrested". BBC News. 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  9. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Nigeria-Dancing-Council-Foreign-Relations/dp/1442206896
  10. ^ "Countries: Nigeria: News". Stanford, California, USA: Stanford University. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  11. ^ ""New Telegraph, Nigeria's First Independent Political Broadsheet Out Today"". African Herald Express. 2014-02-03. Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  12. ^ "First International Bank: About Us". First International Bank Limited. 2013-04-21. Retrieved 2013-05-30. 
  13. ^ "Igbos are third rate citizens in Nigeria – Kalu". The Eagle Online. 2013-04-21. Retrieved 2013-05-30. 
  14. ^ "Igbo marginalisation: Njiko Igbo to the rescue". The Daily Sun. 2013-05-04. Retrieved 2013-05-30. 

External links[edit]