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Why Nnewi’ll keep thriving in business

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NDI Igbo all over the world are known for their hustling spirit and entrepreneurship drive running in their veins. Hard work and consistency have been the secrets of the success of the often called ‘Jews of Africa’ which is one reason they never depended on government for survival or development.

Nnewi, a town in Anambra, South East Nigeria, is famous as a hub for automobile spare parts dealers, and most recently, Jensen, Nigeria’s first indigenous car assembly plant with one of the biggest outdoor markets in West Africa

The town which is nicknamed the ‘Japan of Africa’ is also known for its plethora of factories that manufacture household products and as home to the biggest road transport companies in the country, with a population of over 500,000.

Nnewi is blessed with great successful men like Cletus Ibeto, Cosmas Maduka, Innocent Chukwuma, Gabriel Chukwuma, Alexender Chika Okafor, Augustine Ilodibe, Ifeanyi Ubah, Louis Onwugbenu, Obiajulu Uzodike and the great Ikemba Nnewi, Chukwuemeka Odumeagwu Ojukwu, among others. The town can boast to have bred more billionaires than any other community in Nigeria or Africa as a whole.

From Edo Ezemewi Road, to Hundred- Foot Road, down to Umudim Nnewi, where Innoson Group of Companies has its motorcycle building, it would appear as if the town has transformed into a huge ‘motorcycle’ enclave.

The ease of dealing on motorcycles did not just catch up with the traders, but the entire Nnewi population.

Hardly can you get a family without at least, one motorcycle to their credit, even when they also own fleets of cars. This makes it easy for movement in the streets of Nnewi, with its increasing population.

Again, an average Nnewi woman clutches on to her motorcycle which gives her a sense of belonging and also a veritable companion in her daily business. They are industrious and ambitious

Unfortunately, ndi Nnewi has been misjudged by many as ritualists because this part of Anambra State has produced and is still producing great minds with little or no help.

Mischief makers who would have emulated their strength and resilience, channel their energy negatively through spreading rumours that these men did not become successful by dint of hard work but by belonging to  powerful secret societies.

These negative thinkers created a perception than to make it and achieve greatness that you must belong. They misled some people with the perception that the young and hardworking young ndi Igbo must belong to a secret cult before one can climb to the top of his profession; the perception that the successful men in the society have one secret cult or the other they belong to.

These negative stories about ndi Nnewi have created a negative stereotype which has been with many people for long, making people judge them negatively.

With the official restriction of use of motorcycles for both private and commercial uses in the environs of Awka and Onitsha, one would think the fortunes of motorcycle business, especially in Nnewi area of Anambra State, will dwindle. However, the reverse appears the case as the sale of wholly assembled motor cycles and its spare parts is witnessing a boom in the area.

One of the popular markets at the industrial city of Nnewi, at the heart of the city known as Nkwo Triangle, the New Motorcycle Spare Parts, and the adjourning streets and suburbs, are virtually littered with hundreds of thousands of such motorcycles on display and attract customers from the concentration of motorcycle or Okada business in the town. This  has a huge positive impact on the volumes of trade and investment potentials of Anambra as a whole, as customers turn in from across the country, especially, Kano, Kaduna, Lagos and Cross River States.

As born entrepreneurs, even the children of rich men including the educated ones are hoping to take over the business of their fathers after graduation. Just a few of them have the ambition of searching for white-collar jobs. Majority of them prefer to go into business.

The resilient, doggedness and the spirit of never give up of ndi Nnewi have put the community in the map as a business hub not just in Nigeria but Africa.

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