Orji Uzor Kalu is the chairman of Slok Holding; a Nigerian conglomerate with branches across West Africa. Slok Holding’s interests are in oil and gas, banking and finance, media and publishing, real estate, trading, manufacturing, insurance, and tourism.
He is a philanthropist, a businessman and a politician. Orji Uzor Kalu is currently a Senator elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He was a presidential candidate in 2007, a two-time governor of Abia State (1999-2007) and was a member of the House of Rep in 1991.
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Orji Uzor Kalu Background
Orji Uzor Kalu hails from Abia State. He was born on the 21st of April 1960 to the family of Mr. Johnson Uzor Kalu and Mrs. Eunice Uzor Kalu. The businessman cum politician is married to Mrs. Ifeoma Ada Menakaya and they are blessed with four lovely children.
Educational Background of Orji Uzor Kalu
Orji Uzor Kalu had his primary education at Christ the King School Aba, while his secondary education was at the Government College Umuahia and Barewa College, Zaria.
He enrolled to study political science at the University of Maiduguri which he did not finish because of his involvement in school riot. After some time, he then went to the Catholic University, Washington – the USA where he obtained a BSc honors in Political Science. Orji Uzor Kalu had an interest in business as well so he proceeded to study Business Administration at Harvard University. Orji is a member of the Institute of Directors as well as other professional bodies.
His University Escapades.
Orji Uzor Kalu always had interest in politics so he was a member of the student union government (SUG) while in the university. He was an active member of the union government and spoke out about unfavorable policies of the university.
He was one of the students who fought against an unfavourable policy by the school government through the ‘Ali Must Go’ riot. The whole incident was part of the reason why Orji Uzor Kalu quit school at the time to start a business.
Orji Uzor Kalu Entrepreneurial Journey.
When Orji Uzor Kalu quit school, he decided to trade in palm oil. He did not have the funds to start his business so, he borrowed N5000 from his mother to kick start his business. He would buy his palm oil from Aba and sell in Maiduguri at a profit.
Orji Uzor Kalu has an eye for business opportunities; by frequenting the north, he identified a need that needed to be fulfilled. The need is that the north loved and wanted wooden furniture. Aba has affordable wooden furniture and he could buy them and sell them in the north for a profit. So he dived into the opportunity.
As business boomed, he expanded by launching his own furniture company instead of buying from other companies. Talk about having business sense!
Orji Uzor Kalu’s Big Break.
Orji Uzor Kalu got his big break when he won the contract to supply arms and ammunition to the Nigerian Military in the early ’80s. The deal made him an instant millionaire at an early age. After this, he then founded Slok Holding.
Slok Holding is a conglomerate with different subsidiaries and boasts of a thriving workforce that is driven by common values.
The conglomerate is a functioning member of several industrial institutions some of which are; 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.
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Slok Nigeria Ltd.
This is one of the subsidiaries of Slok holding; it is involved in the upstream sector of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
The company engages in marine transport services involving offshore support and deep-sea transportation within the Nigerian coastal and inland waterways. It is the biggest Nigerian company that single-handedly owns, operates, and manages its own fleet.
The organization’s focus is to be the head in marine utility transport with a focus on vessel supply services within West Africa. The company has experienced remarkable results and expansions thereby making headways in spreading across West Africa.
Other Portfolios of Slok.
The following companies are listed under Slok Holding; Slok United Kingdom Ltd Slok Vegetable Oil, Slok Paper Factory Aba, Slok United States Incorporated, Slok Ghana, Slok Guinea, Slok Korea, Slok Togo, Slok Cotonou, Slok South Africa, Slok Liberia, Slok Botswana, Slok Korea. He also owns Sun Publishing Limited, Adamawa Publishers Limited and Ojialex Furniture Limited.
Slok Air later became Slok Air Gambia. The airline stopped operations in 2008 and in 2009 it became Slok Air International with a new owner in the person of Mr Abdulkareem Idris.
Orji Uzor Kalu Achievements
- Orji Kalu is the Chairman of Daily Sun publishing house. The newspaper is striving towards meeting international paper standards.
- He is the chairman and the publisher of New Telegraph Newspaper in Nigeria; this paper distributes 100,000 copies on a daily basis across Nigeria.
- At age 25, Orji Kalu became the chairman of Borno water Board; As the chairman, he examined the water problem of the state and provided a lasting solution.
- He introduced policies that made possible the availability of clean water to over 5 million indigenes of Borno State; an area where there was an outbreak of Guinea worm.
- Orji Kalu was appointed the chairman of The Imo State Marketing and Supply Agency. As the leader, he developed strategies for acquiring and allocating the necessary goods and services.
- In 1987, Orji Kalu became the Chairman of Cooperative and Commerce Bank Limited. He was just 27years then. The accomplishment made him the youngest person to take on such an eminent responsibility in Nigeria even till date.
- The philanthropist owns a foundation that provides scholarships for undergraduates; the foundation provides anti-malaria treatments as well.
- While serving as governor, he built all major roads in Abia State, he came up with a poverty eradication scheme and drastically subsidized school fees to 35,000 for students at Abia State University.
- Orji Kalu is currently the coordinator of Njiko Igbo Movement, a non-biased political operation set to help the south eastern people of Nigeria realize their dreams and aspirations in politics.
- National Merit Award by General Ibrahim Babangida in 1986
Net worth of Orji Uzor Kalu.
According to Forbes, he had a net worth of $330 million and was ranked as the 49th richest in Africa in 2015.
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