Investor with big heart –

The Sun  Award Winners 2021: Okechukwu Nzenwa: Investor with big heart

By Amaechi Ogbonna

In April 2018 when he injected an estimated $9.9million arranged by the Nigerian Export/Import Bank-NEXIM and the Bank of Industry to revive a moribund beverage company, Golden Guinea Breweries, many wondered what treasures Chief Okey Bernard Nzenwa saw in an entity that most investment analysts considered a wreck at Umuahia, the Abia State capital.

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However, beyond what their ordinary eyes could see, Nzenwa saw hope, jobs for millions of Nigerians, restoration and a bright future for a company that was the pride of South East as legacy institution for old Eastern Nigeria.

In the years he had operated as a private sector icon, the ebullient “Oke Osisi na Mbaise,” a distinguished lawyer and an astute businessman whose interests transverse several critical sectors of the Nigerian economy, had proven his mettle as a builder and entrepreneur per excellence whose Midas touch had turned little greenfield enterprises into global giants.

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Over the past two decades, Nzenwa has been investing and succeeding in areas that many dared not venture into, all in a bid to impact his generation and more importantly the downtrodden. Top on his agenda has been job creation to empower millions of Nigerian youths whose hope of decent employment is fast fading away, due to the poor economy of the country.

This vision perhaps must have been a major driving force when he opted to double Golden Guinea lager beer’s production capacity to 48,000 bottles per hour, twice more than what it was producing prior to the 2003 fire incident that incapacitated the firm.  To achieve this goal, the debonair entrepreneur had given the new Golden Guinea management the opportunity of understudying the production processes at other brewers in parts of the country to make it more competitive. Part of his rescue mission agenda for the lovely brand includes the re-launch of Bergedoff Malt, Eagle Stout and Bergedoff lager beer with the franchise it has with Germany-based Holsten Breweries to produce for the Nigerian market.

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Born on December 26, 1966 to the royal family of late Eze BSC Nzenwa of Obizi autonomous community in Imo State Nigeria, Nzenwa studied at both the University of Benin and University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt for his BSc, LLB and BL degrees before being called to the Bar.  Nzenwa horned his working and business career by taking up an appointment as the Corporate Affairs Manager at Pamo Clinics and Hospitals Limited in Port Harcourt River State.  He later moved on to become a General Manager at Rockmary Farms and Industries also in Port Harcourt.

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A Knight of St Mulumba, Nzenwa is The Sun Investor of the Year 2021.

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