Barth Nnaji, An Igbo Superstar

By Anthony Onovo

Professor Bart Nnaji, Nigeria’s former Minister of Power who had also served as Minister of Science and Technology, was 60 years on July 13, but it was not celebrated till a month later because he was in the United States in discussions with investors like General Electric, the world’s foremost electric power equipment manufacturer. The celebration was grand. It was an assemblage of who is who in Enugu State, including Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and old Anambra State governor Jim Nwobodo, as well as Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu, wife of the storied Biafran leader Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu. Yet, if Nnaji had his way, he would have marked this milestone in his eminently eventful life very quietly, and would have preferred the money spent on the ceremony given to the needy.

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Nnewi, The Igbo Town That Manufactures, Cars, Motorcycles, Etc., Etc., Etc.

Nnewi is the second largest city in Anambra State in southeastern Nigeria. Nnewi as a metropolitan city encompasses 4 local government areas, Nnewi North, Nnewi South, Ekwusigo and Ihiala Local Government; Nnewi North is commonly referred to as Nnewi central, and comprises four autonomous quarters: Otolo, Uruagu, Umudim, and Nnewi-ichi. Nnewi North also includes Ichi, an autonomous neighbouring town. The first indigenous car manufacturing plant in Nigeria is located in the city, while the first wholly made-in-Nigeria motorcycle, the ‘NASENI M1’ was manufactured in Nnewi.

As of 2006, Nnewi has an estimated population of 391,227 according to the Nigerian census. The city spans over 1,076.9 square miles (2,789 km2) in Anambra State. Nnewi Metropolitan Area and its satellite towns is home to nearly 2.5 million residents As of 2005. Dimensionally, Nnewi has an edge over all other units, being recognized by the 1953 census figures as the largest inland town of all others in the Eastern states of Nigeria.


Economy
Agbo Edo, a forest land which belonged to Edo Nnewi deity, was cleared to make way for a new market called Nkwo Nnewi market. The development of this market propelled the fast development of the local economy.
As a fast developing city and a major industrial and commercial hub in Africa, Nnewi experiences voluminous financial activities, therefore hosts major banks, and other financial institutions. Industries are dotted around the city and adjoining towns. Palm oil, cosmetics, motor, and motorcycle spare parts, books, and stationeries, textiles, electric cables, and so on are produced in commercial quantity in the area. Its main trading centers include Nkwo Nnewi market (the largest spare parts market in west Africa) and Nwafor market, Eke Amaobi market, Eke Ochie, Eke Ichi Market, Orie otube Market, etc


Industries
Nnewi is referred to as the Japan of Africait is home to many major indigenous manufacturing industries including Ibeto Group of Companies, Cutix and ADswitch, Uru Industries Ltd, Omata Holdings Ltd, Cento Group of Companies, Coscharis of Companies Group, Innoson Group of Companies, Ebunso Nig. Ltd, John White Industries, Ejiamatu Group of Companies, Chicason Group, Louis Carter Group,[b]Kotec Industry etc[/b]. The great majority of industrialists in the cluster of spare parts factories in Nnewi are also traders, and most of these traders are producing one or more of the products they specialize in marketing as traders (usually motor vehicle parts), and most began by distributing their products through their preexisting distribution networks. Nnewi is part of eastern Nigeria’s industrial axis. The town has through culturally grounded institutions that act as sophisticated networks expanded to include an international dimension through trading relations with exporters from Asia. Over the last decade, the town of Nnewi has experienced relatively rapid industrialization. Since 1970, Nnewi residents have controlled approximately 80 to 90 percent of the motor-parts trade in Nigeria. Nkwo Nnewi Market is the major import and wholesale point for motor spare parts in Nigeria. The industrialists of Nnewi are adapting foreign technology to local needs, providing employment to thousands, and making available goods and services which are relevant actual needs of the Nigerian citizens. The first indigenous car manufacturing plant is located in the city, while the first wholly Made-in-Nigeria motorcycle was manufactured in Nnewi by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).


Auto parts
Nnewi is known for the vibrant auto industry in the city, t[b]he first Igbo man to own and drive a car was HRH Igwe. Orizu I (Eze Ugbo Onya Mba) in 1912. By 1940, Nnewi residents were at the center of an international trading networkthat dominated the supply of motor spare parts in Nigeria.[/b] The town subsequently became a center for commerce and industry, and has one of the largest automotive parts markets in Africa. Nnewi Township is an authentic “manufacturing miracle.” Small and medium-sized industries have set up in the town and are producing not only for the Nigeria markets but – albeit still to a limited extent – for markets abroad.
Industrialization of the town began around 1970 when Nnewi motor parts traders began marketing their own brand name products instead of the reproductions of “original” parts. There are a several auto and motorcycle spare parts dealers in Nnewi; the Nnewi Motorcycle spare parts market is well known throughout West Africa and has earned the city the nickname, Japan of Africa.
SOURCE: Wikipedia

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Free Igbo Language Course In Lagos

A lot of Igbo born and bred in Lagos cannot speak Igbo Language. If they were to return to Igbo Land, they could learn it with 3 months of serious effort. But that is not always a practical solution.

But while browsing online, we came accross someone who says they give free three-month courses on Igbo Language.

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Igbo Businessman Builds & Donates Police Station To Nigerian Police Force

Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris has commended Air Peace Chairman, Chief Allen Onyema for building a Police Station at Uli in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State.
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