Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The Igbo have a saying: “When wealth gets home, it announces the owner.” This underscores the current concept of ‘Aku ruo uno’, a think-home campaign aimed at taking substantial part of Igbo investments to Igbo land.
One person that has embraced the call is an Onitsha-based industrialist, Chief Anthony Onyemaechi Onyia.
Aside from his numerous philanthropic gestures, the managing director/chief executive of Fegmatic Associates Limited has also established some multimillion-naira investments in his community, Umana, in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
It was in recognition of all these that the traditional council of Obeleagu Umana, recently conferred him with the chieftaincy title of Orimili I of Obeleagu Umana, while his wife, Ijeoma, received the title of Odibeze.
The ceremony attracted his business partners within and outside Nigeria, government officials as well as in-law, Igwe Laz Ezeifedi, the traditional ruler of Imenyi autonomous community of Ihite Nansa, Orsu LGA of Imo State.
It was double recognition for Onyia as the Ezeagu LGA chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo also honoured him for community service.
Onyia started business in the year 2000 after completing apprenticeship at Onitsha Bridgehead. He established Fegmatic Associates, a known name in industrial tools and allied construction as well as garden equipment.
Conferring the title on Onyia, Igwe (Dr.) Patrick Anaekwe (Odenigbo I) reeled out his achievements and developmental strides in the community.
He said that Onyia singlehandedly donated a 33KVA transformer to the community at Okpudo and funded the installation and inauguration as well as the streetlight project there: “Chief Onyia singlehandedly graded the town’s road to make the road motorable. To solve the problem of water scarcity in the area, he provided a borehole. He has given so many young people in the area scholarship for tertiary education. He also empowers youths. During the recent COVID-19 lockdown, Chief Onyia doled out millions of naira and food items to support the less privileged.
“Worthy of note is his bold step to develop a multimillion-naira twin-factory in his town, which will soon be commissioned for oxygen gas production and concrete mixer equipment assembly. As a lover of God, he recently sponsored many church projects such as construction of chapel and painting of St. Michael’s Parish building in Okpudo.
“As an employer of labour, he has employed many young graduates in his company. His factories, when commissioned, will give many youths jobs within Umumba, Okpudo and Obeleagu areas.”
Local chapter chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Eke Chinedu, said they identify with people from the area who use their God-given wealth to develop the community: “This is part of our own encouragement to appreciate what he has been doing in the community.”