Alexander Chika Okafor – Top 10 Igbo Business Moguls Shaping Nigeria’s Economy

Dr. Alexander Chika Okafor is founder/group executive, Chicason Group – which began with the setting up of Chicason Nigeria Ltd, the mother company of his group in 1981. The group has expanded to include in a number of business activities in oil and gas exploration, production and sales of petroleum products, manufacturing and mining. The group also includes operations in real estate, project management, agriculture, travel/tourism, health care and construction.

He ventured into manufacturing in 1988 when he set up a vegetable oil refining factory – Resources Improvement and Manufacturing Ltd [RIMCO]. The company runs a fully integrated operation from vegetable oil refining to solvent extraction and animal feeds production. It refines palm oil into vegetable oil and extracts and refines palm kernel oil.

He added a solvent extraction plant in 2002 in a backward integration process, which maximized product extracts. The plant has an installed capacity of 250 tonnes of palm kernel and 300 tonnes of soya been extracts per day. Yet another level of backward integration followed with the establishment an animal feeds plant, which uses waste products from the solvent plant as raw materials.

In 1995, Okafor made a big move into the petroleum sector with his establishment of A-Z Petroleum Products Ltd. The company began operations with marketing and distribution of petroleum products and later moved into the production of A-Z range of lubricants. The company blends a wide range of lubricants that have become household names in Nigeria.

His company has attained great heights with the A-Z range of lubricants, which have been rated among the best in the country. A-Z Petroleum Products is the flagship of Chicason group with products and processes certified as compliant with global best practices.

Chicason group also has one of its members in soap manufacturing. Promotex Industrial and Chemical Company Ltd manufactures top-of-the-range soaps and disinfectants. It produces a wide variety of beauty and hygiene products. It has built an ultramodern soap plant that has elevated its output capacity to 22, 464 metrics tons’ annually.

Chicason Group also has a member company in mining business – RIMCO Mining Company Limited, set up in 2009 in Daudu, Benue State.  The company was designed to provide mineral products to industrializing economies of West Africa and holds 34 barite mining concessions across Nigeria.

It supplies various grades of barite to pharmaceutical companies, petroleum exploring companies and manufacturers. The company is also exploring opportunities in heavy minerals, precious metals and gemstones throughout West African.

Afro Asia Automobile and Plastics, another subsidiary of Chicason Group, is a full-blown plastic processing company that produces various plastic-based products such as automotive plastic spare parts – including industrial and crash helmets. It also produces industrial and domestic plastic containers, PVC pipes and ceiling profiles. Other products include medical service accessories, household containers and disposable wares. The plant located at Nnewi, has been upgraded to process over 20,000 metrics tonnes of high grade polymers and metal based raw materials annually.

Chicason Group operates in the real estate sector through its subsidiary company Rock of Ages Properties PLC. The company engages in various business activities such as real estate development, project management, facility management, project evaluation and consultancy.

The firm has grown to become one of the leading property investment and asset managers in Nigeria with vast areas of land acquired across different states in Nigeria. It develops different housing schemes to provide contemporary styled homes for the modern consumer in and outside Nigeria.

International Cement Company Ltd is also a member of Chicason Group after it acquired 70 percent of the company’s ownership in 2011. The company, which is located in Shagamu in Ogun State, targets to meet a supply gap of about 2.6 million metric tonnes in cement supply in the south west. The ultramodern cement plant is an effort by the group to fulfill the government’s backward integration policy that aims at Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in cement production.

The group is involved in transportation through its subsidiary outfit – A-Z Transport Limited. It runs one of the leading haulage companies in Nigeria, offering comprehensive road haulage services with readiness to deliver anywhere in Nigeria. Its vehicles include various capacities of

LPG trucks, tankers of various sizes, light trucks, trailers and low beds for moving mining and construction equipment.

There is also a travel and tour arm of the group operated by Cason Travels Limited – an International Air Transport Association registered travel agency. The company, which has been in business since 1984, arranges travel packages to suit the needs of its clients.