Chief Lambert Obi and his wife, Ndidiamaka (middle) flanked by some of the South-east traditional rulers at the coronation

Traditional Rulers from all parts of South-east states recently converged at Mbosi community in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State to honour Chief Lambert Obi, the Chief Executive Officer of Lambecca Industries, writes Anayo Okolie

Mbosi Community, a town located in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State will not forget in a hurry what their eyes witnessed at the coronation of Chief Lambert Obi. All the major roads leading to the country home of Obi, were taken over by dignitaries from all walks of life.

Obi, according to the people, deserves to be honoured because he is said to be man of the people, who honours invitation irrespective of tribe, ethnicity, religion or even age.

The Chief Executive Officer of Lambecca Industries was honoured by the prominent traditional rulers with the title of ‘Ogbuwaruzo Dike Di N’ugwu’ following his dedication to service humanity and among others.
The decision to decorate Obi with the Ogbuwaruzo Dike Di N’ugwu title, was taken by the traditional rulers in the area without any dissenting voice.

Speaking during the coronation, HRH Igwe Emmanuel Nnabuife, who represented the host, Oluoha the fifth of Mbosi, Greg Nwokeoha disclosed that after a critical look at the activities of Chief Lambert Obi, all the traditional rulers concluded that he should be honoured with ‘Ogbuwaruzo Dike Di N’ugwu’ as part of the efforts to encourage the good work that he has been doing in his community and beyond.

According to him, “Igwe in Council has checked on your activities and as a good citizen of Anambra State, we concluded that you are worthy to be recognised and honoured to encourage you to keep up with the good job.”
Also speaking to journalists on why he was honoured by the traditional rulers, Obi said: my people must have seen some rare qualities in me to have found me worthy of the title amongst so many notable sons of Mbosi, I therefore promise to uphold their faith in me.”

According to him, one of the reasons the title was conferred on him was as a result of “my efforts in making a small road become big and beautiful.”

“I got to where I am today not because I had a good foundation or that I had the money stock piled for me, no; it is rather due to years of hard work, dedication, commitment and God’s grace.

“I knew what I wanted in life and I diligently pursued my dream until I achieved it. As a result of the challenges I faced while growing up which resulted in my inability to further my education as I would have wanted, I made a resolve to sponsor anyone from my community who has the zeal and determination to go to school but had financial constraints, and today by the special grace of God I have been able to produce so many graduates in my community.
“I was only able to get secondary education. At a point, I worked as a labourer to be able to support myself and gradually I was able to make something good out of life.

“One basic problem with Nigerians is that everybody wants to either work in the prestigious oil companies, banks or become politicians, as it is believed that these are the places where they could make it big time. As an individual, how would you just stay in a place and expect the government to do everything for you? Do you even know what you really want? If yes, how determined are you at ensuring that you achieve your dream?
“We have had carpenters who as a result of the passion that they have for their jobs, went on to become furniture specialists; we also have mechanics who as a result of the same passion, went on to become mechanical engineers; also masons who went on to become building engineers, I mean the list is endless.”

The most important factor, Obi said “is to know what you want and to have the needed determination to help you achieve your dreams. You cannot expect the government to employ every graduate that is seeking for a job, or even to provide the needed capital for those that are interested in starting up business; you can as well start from that little position that you have found yourself and you never can tell where and when your blessing will be coming from.

“Like I mentioned earlier, I had to face a lot of challenges while growing up, but I knew what I wanted out of life, hence I remained determined and dedicated to the course and by the grace of God, here I am today; all those years have now summed up my story on the way to success.

“It is important to note that Nigerians expect a lot from government but they do little or nothing to fulfill their individual responsibilities as good citizens. How many people pay their taxes promptly? For those seeking jobs, how many of them are ready to start small and grow gradually? Success does not come suddenly; it takes years of hard work, dedication, proper planning, execution and ultimately the grace of God.

“You could get a small space and start with 100 chicks, feed and nurture them and within five to seven months they would have become matured enough to be sold. By the time they would be ready to be sold, having managed them properly and by the grace of God, you should be able to get between three to four times what you spent as returns. Gradually, before you know it you would have built something you would be proud of.”

On the part of the government, Obi said they should endeavour to provide citizens with the necessary infrastructure and amenities to help Nigerians excel.” Nigerians are creative people, hence given the necessary favourable conditions, they will thrive.”

According to him, there are many people out there who want to venture into one form of business or the other, but for lack of accessible roads, epileptic power supply, poor medical facilities and poor security just to mention a few; they cannot thrive in their different fields of business endeavour.

For instance, he said: “I import doors both hard and soft from countries like Turkey and China; funny enough these countries do not have hard wood, so how do they now produce hard doors when they do not have the most important raw material? Their governments provided the necessary infrastructure and amenities thus creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, these business men in turn come down to sub-Saharan Africa to buy the hard woods and export them back to their countries.

“After they must have finished the production of these doors, we the owners of these raw materials now go back to these countries to buy these doors, how sad! Now if I decide to go into local production of these doors, the following is bound to happen; buying a big generator to power my manufacturing plant and face the high cost of diesel all due to the epileptic state of power supply, very high cost of transporting the woods from the point of collection to the manufacturing plant, high sales price of the finished doors due to high cost of production and so on.

“How will the business thrive? Hence the provision of necessary infrastructure and amenities is a responsibility that the government owes Nigerians and it should be taken very seriously.”

State governments, Obi believes should forget about federal allocation and concentrate on making states better. “They should concentrate on activities that would help their states to grow. People say that Lagos State Government milks people.

“For me, Lagos State Government knows what they want and they have drawn up a plan on how to achieve it. One thing stands out, no matter how good a government is, people will definitely complain. As it is today, whether or not Lagos State receives federal allocation, she will survive because she makes enough revenue from her internally generated revenue.

“Nigerians must know what they want and work hard to achieve their dreams, the government also has the responsibility of providing the necessary infrastructure and amenities to enable Nigerians take shots at succeeding in their endeavours. If these things are done appropriately, there would be no talk of our youths wanting to travel out of the country in search of greener pastures,” Obi added.

Obi struggled like most successful businessmen to get to the level he is today and he believes in hard work.
Obi’s growing up was not as rosy as he had hoped due to certain difficulties like finance and other challenges.
Though, obi has passion for business right from his childhood days. When he was growing up, while his friends were wishing to be doctors, lawyers and engineers, Obi was dreaming of studying Business Administration.
Unfortunately, Obi couldn’t fulfill his dream of studying Business Administration in the university due to financial problem which forced him to stop at secondary level but that didn’t limit his potentials in life.