Is one of Nigeria’s high profile businessmen, government contractor and philanthropist, Emeka Offor broke?
This has been the question on the minds of close friends, family members and associates of the popular businessman.
Sources close to Offor reveal that employees of his various companies have been unpaid for several months.
Reports according to Sahara Reporters say the flamboyant businessman is so cash-strapped that he frequently travels between Abuja and Lagos by road.
Mr. Offor used to hire private jets for his trips within and outside Nigeria.
However, sources close to the businessman said he has since last year been unable to afford the jets, which cost $6,000 per hour.
One source revealed that:
“In the last two months, Chief Offor has traveled three times by road from Abuja to Lagos.”
He further disclosed that the owners of a leased private jet that Emeka Offor used to travel, confiscated the aircraft due to Offor’s inability to pay the accumulated lease fees.
Although investigations show that Mr. Offor still has enough personal funds to afford local first class flights in Nigeria, he has chosen to travel by road for fear of being mocked if seen on commercial flights.
A relative of the businessman revealed some shocking details about Offor:
“We do not know how things have become so hard for Sir E.
“Sir E’s father’s remains have been in the mortuary in Ekwusigo Local Government Area for the past seven months because Sir E wants to give him a high profile burial which he cannot afford right now.
“He gets very hostile whenever we the relatives ask him when the old man’s burial will take place.”
Reporters say Mr. Offor’s companies in Abuja have been shut down for a year now due to severe business challenges.
Several disenchanted employees disclosed that Mr. Offor stopped paying their salaries shortly after President Buhari came into office in May 2015.
A source close to the Presidency disclosed that Emeka Offor had approached several individuals to help arrange a meeting with President Buhari.
One of Mr Offor’s associates claimed that the businessman gave several brand new cars to the emirs as public relations gifts to facilitate the meeting.
An Igbo auto dealer, who supplied the cars, is accusing Emeka Offor of tricking him into releasing 12 vehicles without upfront payment.
In the 1990s, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had blacklisted Offor’s company, ANCHOFF Strongholds Ltd, in line with the recommendation by a panel led by the late Aret Adams.
The company was blacklisted following its shoddy performance on a controversial turnaround maintenance (TAM) contract awarded to it for the 115,000 barrels per day Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company in Delta State.
Yet, in 2014, the Goodluck Jonathan administration secretly awarded Mr. Offor’s Chrome Energy the turn around maintenance (TAM) contract for both the Old 60,000 bpd Port Harcourt Refinery and the 150,000 bpd New Port Harcourt refinery in Rivers State for an undisclosed sum.
The New Port Harcourt Refinery TAM contract had in 1997, during the Sani Abacha dictatorship, been given to Offor and his Romanian partners with large sums of money paid.
The refinery has, however, been the worse for it, as it has since gone comatose.
The Romanian partners subsequently sued Mr. Offor for not paying them, but the judgment has yet to be executed for curious reasons.
Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, in an interview published by Premium Times on Monday August 3, 2015, lamented the controversial refinery job and other contracts in the Nigerian industry awarded to Offor’s companies.
Mr. Obasanjo also details the contracts in his most recent book, My Watch, published in 2015.
An associate of Offor said the businessman’s hope of generating income in the foreseeable future is the Anambra State government, which has just awarded his firm a road contract.
According to this source, Governor Willie Obiano gave the contract in a bid to secure Offor’s endorsement for a second term in next year’s governorship election in Aambra state.
A close source disclosed that:
“If it were in those days when Sir Emeka Offor was swimming in money, he would not have considered doing a state government contract.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Offor’s financial woes seem to have given his Oraifite people the courage to protest against him.
Emeka Offor May Be Broke
It was learnt that the Anglican Church recently deleted his name from the roll of knights of the faith, citing his polygamous status.
Emeka Offor had on January 3, 2014, married a third wife, Adaora Ufondu.
Emeka Offor married Adaora who hails from Offor’s Oraifite hometown in a lavish ceremony where expensive musicians like Flavor and P-Square played.
Mr. Offor’s knighthood was withdrawn after some prominent Anglicans from Oraifite questioned how a church that upholds monogamous marriage would honor a man with several wives.
Despite being rebuffed so far by President Buhari, Mr. Offor has not given up on the idea of getting close to him.
Offor has reportedly joined the ruling APC quietly. He has also asked his business partners, including ex-Senate President Ken Nnamani, to join the APC.
Senator Nnamani presently serves as chairman of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC.
A deal Mr. Offor acquired in a most controversial manner on November 1, 2013, during the Jonathan administration.