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Obi Iyiegbu: Hospitality Maestro Driven by Consistency, Hard work and Resilient  

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By: Oladapo Sofowora

 

Born and raised under the roof of modest civil servant parents, Obi Iyiegbu’s parents were core disciplinarians both teachers. Growing under such conditions has helped shape his perception of life most especially enhancing his ability to bring fortune out of every misfortune. Like the Biblical Joseph the Dreamer, the dark husky-voiced cosmopolitan super dandy is typically a man who sees tomorrow and believes in his lofty dreams and aspirations.

After serving as a youth corp member when Nigeria returned back to democratic rule in 1999, Obi envisaged he and many others were going to be absorbed as full-time staff of the National Assembly being the first set of corp members to serve there. Alas, his heart was broken as they were released after their compulsory service to their motherland. His dreams of being a civil servant like his parents did not see the light of the day. He would have fit the job at the National Assembly perfectly having graduated with a second class upper division in Political science from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Super Dandy Obi Iyiebu

He was at a crossroads but going back to his parent’s house in Anambra was never the option. He opted to stay back in Abuja to make ends meet. He started off as a house agent in Abuja and also ran a boutique. With hard work, consistency and resilience he was soon popular as a top choice for those who need to secure a stress-free apartment in Abuja. He secured houses for people and got a commission in return. His breakthrough came when a client he got an apartment for told him to furnish the house to high taste. After caring out that project, the proceeds he made from the contract he used to rent an open space where he and his friends sold beer, palm wine, bush meat and other delicacies. His idea was quite unique as he infused continental and local bar standards together. He enjoyed massive patronage as his joint was a mecca of sort for fun-seekers. He racked in enough funds not until then Minister for FCT Malam Nasir El-Rufai demolished their joint claiming it was not part of the Abuja master plan. It was painful but he needed to move ahead for challenges ahead. As a skilled sailor despite the turbulence and typhoon direct to sink him, he was able to navigate through the heavy tides. He alongside his friend opened another bar called Ibiza. The business boomed as they got triple the amount of patronage they used to get. They redefined the open business with uncommon ideas infusing their knowledge as graduates. He was never ashamed to serve beer to customers where there are plenty of orders. He enjoyed what he was doing with sheer passion.

 

In one of his numerous trips to South Africa, He went to chill with his friends at a spot called Cubana in South Africa. On getting there, he was fascinated by the sartorial elegance and sheer luck that comes with the name Cubana. He decided to adopt the name immediately. He phoned a friend and asked for a name search at the Corporate Affairs Commission. He was told no one has ever registered the name. He immediately registered the name and that was how Cubana came to life.

Man of the Moment Obi Iyiegbu

To flourish in the Nigerian business terrain, you must have the heart of Hercules, the fearlessness of Achilles, the grace of Terpsichore, the memory of Macaulay, and the hide of a rhinoceros. The Society Big boy definitely possesses all the above qualities as he made up his mind to go all out and chase his dreams taking all necessary risk. All his life, he has never delved into any business without seeking partnership. He believes partnership helps business grow quickly so he adopted the partnership model. He called friends and associates who saw his dreams for Cubana. While some faulted his dreams those who believed in him invested their funds. After sowing with tears, God rewarded his hard work with the success story of Cubana Groups as a business conglomerate with an interest in Oil and Gas, Real Estate, Hospitality, Liquor Production, Events and Branding. He is reaping bountifully with a smile on his face.

 

Many of those who questioned the source of his wealth never knew the pain and failure he faced to get to the current position he is today. He loathes media attention no doubt, but his type of business keeps throwing him into the public domain. He is a silent achiever and rather than talk, he prefers his good works and achievement speak volumes of him. As of today, his Cubana Night Club chain is currently the most talked-about fun place for fun-seekers. With its edifice pattern and architectural wonderment; the club resonates the popular city of Las Vegas in the United States of America known for its bright light and other spectacles.

 

When it comes to the Hospitality business, the father of four knows it like the back of his hand. For those students looking to write a thesis in any hospitality-related courses; citing the Night Life generalissimo’s approach to business; gives you an edge. Apart from being the cynosure of all eyes, the witty and highly cerebral businessman is not carried away by appraisals from praise singers. He is a focused man who believes in God’s time for everything. He is not pressured to do anything. He does things within his capacity at any time he wishes to do it.

 

Many wonder how despite his tight business schedules and travel itinerary, he still carves out time for his wife and kids; he is of the opinion that; family time should be held in high esteem. He believes when his home is at peace business will flourish. That’s why he makes every free time with his wife and kids worthwhile. Those close to Okpapaozuora 1 of Oba will agree that he is a generous giver who gives without blinking an eye. He gives like money is running out of fashion. There are several people for who he has built houses, settled for business, given scholarships and lots more but he has never made noise about it. He believes in humanity that he loathes the sight of another human in distress. He is readily available to do everything humanly possible to help. More reason he partnered with his wife Barr. Ebele Iyiegbu on her Kiek Foundation to reach out to the needy; most especially vulnerable children.

Obi Cubana

Those who just heard about him, during his mother’s burial think he just shot into limelight with no deep root or history. Taking a glimpse at his story shows that; he has been around for a while silently doing his thing before his mother’s burial gave him the highest media attention he has ever received all his life. When he was nominated as The Sun Newspaper Hospitality Icon of the year 2020, some raised eyebrows by making disparaging comments. His detractors are quick to forget that with his track record in the hospitality sector with clubs, lounges and hotels littered across the country; he is more than deserving the award. As of today, he is one of the biggest employers of labour in the hospitality sector with over one thousand direct staff and two thousand indirect staff working for him. His business is currently doing well competing with Night clubs across the world. To further extend his business tentacles; he is set to commission his Cubana Hustle & Bustle in the heart of London in 2022.

 

Obi Iyiegbu Receiving Sun Hospitality of the year 2020

A day to the award presentation; The shrewd businessman was hosted and celebrated and awarded by popular Liquor brand Remy Martins alongside his friends. On the day of the Sun award presentation, Obi was glittering like a diamond in the company of his wife, friends, business associate and family members. His table was the center of attraction as many thronged there to pay homage to the gentleman extraordinary. With a warm and welcoming smile on his face, he greeted everyone with an open heart. When it was time for his award; half of the crowd in the hall stood up and escorted him to the stage. This singular gesture opines that; he is indeed a man of the year. It also connotes that; he is loved by many and his giant stride as a cosmopolitan businessman is being appreciated and recognized.

 

For him, the award is a clarion call to do more and also make sure he continues to impact his immediate society positively. With the launch of his wine brand Sageitude and his under construction CASA by Cubana Homes in Lagos and Abuja, it’s a clear indication that Obi is going into the year 2022 with much firepower. For naysayers, Obi remains a moving train that can’t be stopped. He remains God’s project still under construction.

Business

Ganado Farms: Redefining Nutrition, Agric Business In Nigeria

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The quest for the diversification of the Nigerian economy has no doubt hit a chord with many Nigerians, especially young people with an unquenchable thirst for entrepreneurial endeavors. The recourse and adherence to the quest for diversification, from research and daily realities, is more pronounced in the areas of agriculture and agribusiness, an area several Nigerian youths and start-ups are playing hard and smart. One of such start-ups is Ganado Farms, a multi-crop and integrated agribusiness involved in crop cultivation and livestock breeding. The success story of Ganado Farms is one many Nigerians will find inspiring and at the same time, surprising. This is because the reach and scope of the company, which started off in 2017, to say the least, is phenomenal.

Ganado Farms, which no doubt have its hands full, growing crops such as Cassava, Fruits, Vegetables, Ofada Rice, Ginger, Strawberry, Potatoes, Onions, Watermelon, Cucumber, Lettuce, Cabbage, Tomato, Pepper and Carrots, aside livestock breeding, can be described as one of the most diversified companies involved in agribusiness in Nigeria.

Speaking on the operations of the company, it’s Head of Operations, Mr. Tomisin Inumo-Jacobs in a chat, said though Ganado Farms is still a young company, which came into being in April 2017, the company nevertheless have the vision of becoming the pioneer of agro and techno platforms, through organic food, which will help in promoting and uplifting the agriculture sector in Nigeria and Africa at large.

 

He said: “We believe strongly that agriculture is still man’s oldest profession and as long as people and even animals eat, the sky is the beginning.

“Though we are still young, haven started operations precisely in April 2017, we already have farms in Nigeria and Ghana. We are in 3 states across the southwest and Plateau State in the North Central.

“In Jos and Epe in Lagos, we have our fruits and vegetable farms, while in Wasimi in Ogun State, we have the livestock farm. The Ofada Rice and Cassava farms are located in Oyo State, while we also grow ginger, Onions, strawberry and potatoes in Jos.

Speaking further, Inumo-Jacobs said the company focuses primarily on large-scale production of watermelon, cucumber, lettuce, cabbage, tomato, pepper, carrots, vegetables, potatoes, onion and strawberries.

Unlike many other companies that focus only on farming and the production of farm products, Ganado Farms is multi-faceted, as it also offers agricultural training and consultancy.

“We help people who are looking at going into agriculture but probably do not have the time and the experience to get started to generate maximum profit by helping them acquire the land and farming for them based on solid insurance and expertise. We also help sell to our off-takers after harvest.

“So far, we have helped over 1,200 stakeholders maximize great profits through agriculture. Our passion for Agriculture and transparency has helped us to stay on top of our game in the Agribusiness”, the Ganado Farms boss said.

Ganado Farms also prides itself of having a mission that speaks volumes of what has propelled it to the enviable level it has attained in a short while, as the mission statement says: ” to be ever dependable in helping people make a risk free agribusiness decision and healthy living, contributing our quota to the most affordable and organic food production, employment rate and promoting agriculture in Nigeria, Africa and beyond.”

 

Ganado Farms

Though agriculture is believed to be the oldest profession in the world with its practice still largely primitive and manual in this part of the world, Ganado Farms have brought in some innovations, taking advantage of information and communication technology to make its operations less cumbersome.

According to Inumo-Jacobs, these innovative ways of doing things, especially with technology, were informed by the quest of the company to give the general public a more affordable, fresher, cleaner, healthier and more hygienic farm produce directly from their farms.

“We have been able to set up a value chain, reaching the final consumers directly with our products. Buyers can now shop from the comfort of their homes and get it delivered to their doorsteps through our fast and efficient delivery service, Ganado Logistics.

“Farm produce such as 100% stone-free Ofada Rice, Well produced Garri Flakes, Dried Catfish, Tomatoes, Habanero Pepper, Chilli Pepper, Local Pepper, Cucumber, Watermelon, Pineapple, 100% Fruit Juice and Smoothies in all variants. Potatoes, Strawberries, Chicken, Turkey, Eggs, Pigs and Cows can be ordered online by clicking on http://www.ganadofoods.com and it will be delivered in record time”, he said

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JCI Nigeria partners P&G, donate Sanitary Towels in the Celebration of the Girl-Child

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As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to commemorate and celebrate the Girl Child, Junior Chamber International Nigeria in partnership with P&G paid a visit to Alapere Comprehensive High School to sensitize the Female Students and donate Sanitary Pads. Speaking at the event, The National President, JCI Nigeria – Abiola Olorunnisola encouraged female students to be upright, Diligent, Bold and Be Active Citizens in all their endeavors, adding that the future belongs to the youth.

Olorunnisola further reinstated the organization’s commitment to continuous support and collaboration for the betterment of the youths through education and other initiatives. ‘’We are committed to improving the state of the world by engaging in meaningful initiatives in our immediate environment.

Also speaking at the gathering, the Local President of JCI Ikeja, Tricia Inalu charged the girls to ensure they pay due attention to themselves, their body and take care of their mental health.

Amongst JCI Nigeria delegates that were present at the donation event are Director of Projects, JCI Ikeja – Ruth Oriyomi Idowu; Director of Membership Services and Awards, JCI Ikeja – Wunmi Fakoya and other Members of the Organisation.

The Sensitization was followed by the distribution of Sanitary Towels. The Principal of the School, expressed his profound gratitude for the existing relationship and usual support to the School.

It will be recalled that 10 Blocks of Modern Toilets were also donated to the School in the month of June 2021 by JCI Ikeja. The President of JCI Ikeja, Tricia Inalu assured the Principal and the Students of the Organization’s continuous supports.

JCI Nigeria has been involved in different developmental projects all across the states of the federation, driving and providing development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change.

The organization is a worldwide platform

of young, active citizens under the age of 40 comprising career professionals, entrepreneurs, and public-spirited individuals desirous of making a positive impact in their communities.

 

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Society

  Siju Iluyomade Begins Distribution of ‘Arise Pink Bucket’ Palliative Across Nigeria

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In a bid to bring succor to the less privileged in the society, Arise Women, led by Dr Siju Iluyomade has put everything in place to begin the distribution of its ‘Pink Bucket’, a food basket to serve as palliatives for millions of people across the country.

The package which consists of a couple of items like Spaghetti, Rice, Tomato paste, groundnut Oil among other things will be the content in a pink bucket, which is now a regular activity of Dr. Iluyomade’s way of reaching out to lots of underprivileged tagged ‘Arise Pink Bucket’ (APB), will commence on December 4th officially.

Though the distribution of the buckets started on 1st of December during Dr. Iluyomade’s championed Handmaidens weekly event at the COD Redeemed Christian Church of God, Victoria Island, were people trooped in to pick up the ‘Arise Pink Bucket’ palliatives, the distribution to Local Governments across the Country later during the week.

Over 3million of ‘Arise Pink Buckets’ are expected to be distributed in many parts of the country in the next few weeks according to Dr. Iluyomade.

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