By Amaechi Ogbonna
ALTHOUGH Nigeria is still largely regarded as a dumping ground and net- importer of several foreign manufactured products, one outstanding entrepreneur that has reposed absolute confidence and faith in the Federal Government’s local content policy is Mr Mallison Emmanuel Afam Ukatu.
His bold and visionary step to make the country self-sufficient in the production of floor tiles and ceramics products in the face of daunting electric power challenges and other fiscal constraints have imprinted his name in gold in the annals of Nigerian industrialisation journey. He remains a manufacturer who made impossibility a reality in just three decades of doing business in the country.
For this amiable entrepreneur and Managing Director of Nispon Porcelain Company Ltd, Nigeria’s first indigenous floor tiles and PVC manufacturing company, located in Ogun State and other parts of the country, the economy has what it takes to produce all it needs considering its enormous raw material deposits, rather than spending billions of Naira importing goods from overseas.
True to his dream, Ukatu, has, over the last 30 years, created thousands of direct and indirect jobs, thereby putting Nigeria on the global map of leading manufacturers, and restoring hope to its moribund real sector.
Today however, that bold decision to begin the local production of sanitary wares and other plumbing components hitherto imported from America, Europe and Asia, has brought about an unprecedented transformation to the economy bolstered by its attendant technological transfer gains.
That Nigeria no longer imports most of those products but rolls them out from Ukatu’s tiles and ceramic wares factories spread across the country has continued to save the economy huge sums of money in foreign exchange.
Born on May 8, 1964, and married with five children, Ukatu’s contributions to the industrial development of Nigeria have distinguished him among his peers, most of whom preferred to continue with importation of foreign products.
Before launching out into the world of business, this debonair industrialist had armed himself with a B.A Honours degree in Philosophy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and an MBA from Crawford University, Ogun State.
Notwithstanding his numerous academic laurels, the constant craving for continuous intellectual self-improvement remains a driving force for value creation for the Anambra State-born businessman who is totally committed to the industrial and economic development of his fatherland.
As a leading light and role model for most Nigerian youths and entrepreneurs, Ukatu, who is also the Executive Chairman and Founder of Mallinson & Partners Limited, is heading several thriving businesses around the country, having distinguished himself on many fronts.
He is a Director in Cowry Assets and Management, a Director at Master Energy Oil & Gas Limited, Director Urban Space Services, and Director, Alor Microfinance Bank Limited.
Ukatu is a Fellow of the Rotary Club International, Fellow, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, (MAN), member of the Certified Institute of Cost Management of Nigeria (CICM), and a certified member of the Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria.
Ukatu is not only creating jobs and wealth; he is also a renowned philanthropist. he has committed enormous resources to the development of his Anambra State and Alor country home, as well as to the growth of other locations where he plies his trade across the country.