Chief Executive Officer of Mainland Oil & Gas Co Ltd and Chairman Chrisnak Group, Dr Christian Odinaka Igwe, stands eminently in the list of Nigerian entrepreneurs that currently amplify the power and potentials of driving industrial and economic development with indigenous capacity.
A graduate of Business Administration and a renowned businessman has a wealth of experience spanning over 22 years. He is the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Chrisnak Group of Companies. He has acquired enormous Management and Entrepreneurial Education, both locally and overseas, and he has a track record of strategic business management and administration.Born on February 16, 1970 to a humble Christian family, Dr Chris Igwe grew up familiar with the values of hard work, patience, persistence and perseverance. With the short grooming and business mentorship he acquired as a trading apprentice, Chris has displayed an innate instinct to channel the human genius as the most central and critical capital in enterprise development by developing strategies that enabled him structure a conglomerate that directly employs over 2000 workforce; all from a mere N10,000 seed capital with which he begun business.
Despite a lean capital base, Dr. Igwe altered the tradition of the generation by building the Chrisnak brand from a market shop to well diversified corporate group with independent subsidiaries spread across the full spectrum of the Nigerian economy: from trading to manufacturing, construction, petroleum, agriculture, aviation, maritime and real estate; amongst many other areas.
These subsidiaries are industry leaders in their different fields of play. In the Nigerian petroleum industry, Dr Chris Igwe is printing indelible venture footprints with audacious and sturdy strides; At Mainland Oil and Gas Limited where Dr Igwe is the Managing Director, the group drives petroleum products trading and logistics operations. Its core businesses include importation, a tank-farm, lubricants, stock holding and over 32 owned retail outlets around the country, with a lubricant factory; Mainland Oil has become a fast-rising brand for energy solutions to homes and businesses in the country.
The company has one of the biggest direct supply and direct purchase (DSDP) arrangements with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to fire social and economic activities in the country. Mainland Oil has also successfully integrated into upstream crude oil exploration and production with a significant interest in upstream assets. The ambition is to drive an urgent growth plan that would build from the current asset base. Newcore International Energy Limited is also another subsidiary of the group with focus on trading and tank-farm for storage of petroleum products in the down-stream sector of the Nigeria oil and gas industry.
Chrisnak Ventures Limited stands supreme as the leading importation, freight forwarding and logistics agency that facilitates the flow of trade between Nigeria and industrial China. The company which also operates a licensed bonded terminal in Lagos also features prominently in the export of Nigerian goods and services to China. It is only natural therefore that that an import focused commercial venture would logically diversify into shipping for ease of operations, capacity optimization, cost control and economies of scale. Thus, Chrisnak International Shipping Company Limited was born to provide parallel maritime and sundry logistics support to the parent company and other clients.
Chrisnak Industries Limited operates polymerizing vinyl chloride (PVC) and lubricant manufacturing company at Owaza in Abia State. The company also owns a chain of departmental stores, supermarkets, and a shopping mall in the heart of upscale Lekki and Ajah areas of Lagos State.
With Chrisnak Farms Limited Dr Igwe diversified into full scale commercial agriculture, laying out resources for investment in 150-hectare cashew plantation in Isuochi, Umunneochi LGA, Abia State. Part of the objectives is to assist government promote and advance diversification of the national economy from petroleum dependence while creating jobs for teeming youths in the country.
Chrisnak Properties Limited specializes in land asset acquisition, sales, building, and leasing for the group.
With robust need for specific trainings at the best business schools in the world, Dr Igwe ran parallel courses of study that would ultimately form the source of business decisions and strategies. Apart from participating in countless local and international conferences, seminars and workshops; Dr Igwe still enrolled for tailor made advanced certificate courses in business studies at local and foreign universities.
In 1996, Dr Igwe earned the Ordinary National Diploma from the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra state. He followed up with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from the Lagos State University in 2015. After earning a bachelor’s degree, Dr Igwe proceeded to the Lagos Business School, Lagos, where he earned the post graduate certificate on Owner Manager Programme in 2016. In 2019, he was awarded with an Honorary Doctor of Science degree in Human Resources from the Wesley University, Ondo State. Just in the post COVID academic programme at the prestigious Harvard Business School, USA, Dr Igwe earned the post graduate certificate in Owner President Management Course.
Dr Igwe willingly volunteered a well funded corporate social responsibility under the Chris Odinaka Igwe Foundation to help the less privileged in the communities of the country. Under the programmes promoted by the foundation, orphans attend school, indigent widows get decent houses for accommodation, communities get good roads and drainage, and lower tier governments get partnerships in infrastructure development.
Some of the interventions from Dr Chris Odinaka Igwe Foundation include significant financial donation for the internally displaced persons (IDP) in North -East Nigeria; presentation of cash and other gifts to different categories of people in the form of youth empowerment for 50 persons at annual Christmas party of his Foundation held every 31st December. The foundation also distributes over 1,000 educational materials and other items to needy Nigerian youths annually; it also provides housing and rehabilitation programmes to assist and support the less privileged members of the society. In Lagos State where the group also operates, Dr Chris Odinaka Igwe Foundation makes a yearly donation to the Saints Orphanage, Lagos.
In appreciation and recognition of his enduring legacies, bodies and institutions from the society have expressed their gratitude to Dr Chris Igwe in terms of awards and recognitions. These include:
- 1. The Abia State Merit Awards - Okeosisi Abia.
- 2. Award for “OUTSTANDING ENTREPRENEUR” in recognition of his immense contribution in the development of local content in the Nigerian Oil & Gas downstream sector by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (Lagos Branch).
- 3. Award of FELLOW by the Nigerian Shippers Council.
- 4. Award of FELLOW by the Freight Forwarders Academy of Nigeria.
- 5. Award for National Development by the Department of Economics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka at its Second Homecoming in July, 2017.
- 6. Abriba Award for Excellence in Business and Leadership 2017, to mention a few.
Prince Chris Igwe is happily married to Mrs. Peace Ogechukwu Igwe. Their marriage has been blessed with five children.