Millionaire businessman takes his business acumen to the Nigerian Parliament

Business tycoon and the CEO of Capital Oil & Gas Ifeanyi Ubah, has won the Senatorial ticket for Anambra South in Nigeria’s South-east region. Given his proven knowledge of business, Ubah is expected to bring fresh energy into the parliament, offering his constituents the efficiency and urgency to produce measurable results which has seen him grow his wealth.

While many consider equating business success to political competence wrong, it is also fair to expect that Ubah, who is estimated to have a net worth between $150 million- $200 million, ran for office because he believes he can make a difference. Following his victory, Ubah said “democracy stood tall and providence held before us a beacon summoning us to collectively build a more progressive Anambra South”.

The millionaire, who ran under a new party the Young Progressive Party (YPP) won with 87,081 votes beating his closest rival, Chris Uba of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who got 62,462 vote and his younger brother the incumbent Senator for the area, Andy Uba.

Ifeanyi, the first son of seven children became an international exporter of motor tyres and spare parts majorly in West Africa including Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and DR Congo, Europe, Belgium and the United Kingdom. In 2001, he founded Capital Oil and Gas Limited which has since gone on to become one of the largest distributors of petroleum products in Nigeria with a combined capacity to berth 3-6 vessels simultaneously and 32 loading arms.

Anambra is among the 29 Nigerian states that have implemented reforms that enable people to do businesses easily. These reforms are across four areas namely, starting a business; dealing with construction permits; registering properties and enforcing contracts.

According to the World Bank, Nigeria is ranked 146 among 190 economies in the ease of doing business, and Anambra state ranks 19th in ease of doing business in the country, according to the World Bank sub-national ease of doing business report.

With the current National Assembly likely to end without passing some important bills his constituents would like to see passed, Andy Ubah has his work cut out for him. One such is the National Commission for the Prohibition of Illegal Importation of Small Arms, Ammunitions and Light Weapons Establishment Bill.

According to the United Nations Centre for Peace and Disarmament, there are approximately 500 million assorted firearms in West Africa and 70 percent, approximating 350 million of them are in Nigeria. In 2013 and 2017, thousands of arms and ammunition were discovered in/ enroute to Anambra, Edo and Rivers State. Given that Ifeanyi Ubah is an astute businessman, who understand the relationship between peace and business, this bill could be important to him.

Another bill that incoming senator might focus on is the Chartered Institute Entrepreneurship Act (Est.) which President Muhammadu Buhari said was unnecessary. As a successful entrepreneur, Ifeanyi Ubah understands the need to promote technical and professional skills for both emerging and existing entrepreneurs. This bill is aimed at instituting a reliable databank and information service system for resourceful operations of small-scale enterprises. It will also ensure better educated, courageous and vibrant entreprenuers like Ubah.

While hopes may be high about the twist seasoned businessmen bring to legislative duties, there are often worries about possible clash of interests in legislative activities where their businesses are concerned. But this can easily be addressed by ensuring businessmen abstain from voting on issues that directly affects any of their companies.

Among Ubah’s well known businesses is The Authority Newspaper, a Nigerian daily newspaper and Nigerian Premier League side Ifeanyi Ubah F.C. Given his love for sports, Ubah may also be at the forefront of sponsoring bills that will see to the growth of sports in the country.