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ROYAL FATHER OF THE WEEK: Obi of Onitcha Nnaemeka Achebe



ROYAL FATHER OF THE WEEK: Obi of Onitcha Nnaemeka Achebe

His Royal Majesty, Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe CFR, mni, born 14 May 1941, is a traditional ruler and the 21st Obi of Onitsha, in Anambra State, South-Eastern Nigeria. He is chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University since 2015,  and was earlier chancellor of Kogi State University. Achebe also serves as the chairman of the board of Directors of Unilever Nigeria, and the Chairman of International Breweries (ABInBev) Nigeria. Before emerging as the Obi of Onitsha, in 2002, he had a long and distinguished career in the Royal Dutch Shell Group serving as Director in various companies in the group.

Early Life

He attended Government Secondary School Owerri. Achebe holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Stanford University in 1966 and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Columbia University.  In 1979, he attended the maiden Senior Executive Course of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in Kuru, near Jos.

ROYAL FATHER OF THE WEEK: Obi of Onitcha Nnaemeka Achebe

After graduation from the university, Achebe worked briefly in the United States before he returned to Nigeria in 1972 after the Nigerian civil war and began work with Shell Petroleum Company.  He is currently a trustee, National Traditional Rulers Council and its state Chairman in Anambra State. Besides his long tenure as director of Shell Nigeria, Obi Achebe was also, during 1985 – 87, a director of several other Shell companies in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, the Gambia, Liberia and Angola.

Achebe retired from work in 1995 after reaching the retirement age. However, despite his retirement, he remained passively active within the company which saw him posted to Shell International in London, where he served as “ambassador at large” for Shell Nigeria. He remained in this position until his emergence as Obi of Onitsha in May 2002.

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ROYAL FATHER OF THE WEEK: Obi of Onitcha Nnaemeka Achebe

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