EXCLUSIVE: Top PDP financier Emeka Offor is broke, shuts down company

Top PDP financier Emeka Offor. [Photo credit: THISDAYLIVE]
Top PDP financier Emeka Offor. [Photo credit: THISDAYLIVE]

The fall of the Peoples Democratic Party at the centre appears to have devastated the fortunes of several politically-connected businessmen who, as once suggested by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, mostly relied on the then-ruling party for government contracts.

One of such billionaire businessmen, Emeka Offor, has indicated that he is broke, just over two years after the PDP left power.

In the build-up to the 2003 general elections, Mr. Offor was reported to have donated N200 million to the Obasanjo/Atiku presidential re-election campaign. During the heat of the Obasanjo-Atiku feud in 2006, the Atiku Media Office in a statement by Garba Shehu, now President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson, said a special account to finance the PDP presidential re-election bid in 2003 was managed by Mr. Offor.

Known for his interests in oil, gas, power and construction, the businessman and politician got juicy federal contracts, many barely executed, while the PDP reigned for 16 years.

But despite the massive wealth many Nigerians believed he amassed in profit from various contracts, Mr. Offor is now indicating he is broke, suggesting that his main cash cow, Chrome Oil, has suffered downturn since the coming of the All Progressives Congress to power in 2015, according to correspondences seen by PREMIUM TIMES.

Some staff members of the company, in a letter written on their behalf by their lawyer, Femi Falana, say they are being owed N1.14 billion, representing outstanding salaries and wages between September 2016 and August 2017.

They also accused Mr. Offor of failing to remit their tax and pension deductions, an act they described as unethical and criminal under our laws.

They demanded that “all pension deductions and contributions from July 2015 to August 31 2017 totalling N244,172,464.80 be remitted to their respective pension fund administrators,” the letter said.

Similarly, they demanded “that all PAYE tax deducted from staff payroll from July 2015 to August 2017 totalling N153,775,382.58 be remitted” to tax authorities.

Then, “that the sum of N579,219,429.5 being the disengagement benefits” of the staff as at end of August 2017 be paid to their respective bank accounts.

But Mr. Offor blamed the “general economic meltdown and recession” for his company’s inability to meet its financial obligations to employees, saying his “businesses suffered frustration commencing from March 2015 and grounded to a halt in September 2015”.

Mr. Offor said the company had “no job to execute and closed office starting from September 2015”.

The PDP-led government left power in May 2015 after losing elections held in April.

Before PDP

While he started out in business with governments years before the PDP came to power, Mr. Offor got some of his most lucrative contracts under the PDP. He also became one of the party’s top financiers.

Under the Sani Abacha military junta in the 1990s, Mr. Offor’s Chrome Group was offered the contract for the Turn Around Maintenance of the Port Harcourt refinery. About that time, he led the Movement for National Stability to campaign for the late dictator’s ultimately futile bid to transmute to a civilian leader.

Reflecting on the condition of Nigeria’s refineries and Mr. Offor’s link, Mr. Obasanjo told PREMIUM TIMES in August 2015 that nothing came of the purported work done by the businessman, despite being paid.

“I explained that what I met were refineries that were not working, refineries that were given to an amateur for repairs, for maintenance, what they call turn around maintenance to the company of Emeka Offor – Chrome Group,” said Mr. Obasanjo.

“Where has Emeka Offor maintained refineries before? Where has he? That’s what we met. So, the refineries were not working.

“What can you recover? A man ‎ (Mr. Offor) who was paid upfront. He had people…. after I left he became friends with every government that has come. Now he’s not only into refinery and oil and all that, he’s now also in energy.”

Nevertheless, TAM contracts of both the old and the new Port-Harcourt Refineries were awarded to Mr. Offor by the Goodluck Jonathan government in 2014, under controversial circumstances.

But the refineries have in recent years worked in fits and starts despite those new rounds of ‘rehabilitation’ by Mr. Offor’s firms. The authorities are yet to give any coherent explanation for this situation. If anything, Nigeria’s oil minister confirmed in July that fresh efforts to revamp the refineries through private sector funding had been commissioned.

‘Broke and shut’

In a letter dated August 16, Chrome’s staff warned of legal action if “immediate steps” were not taken by Mr. Offor within seven days.

But Mr. Offor is not “perturbed”, said his lawyer, Jeph Njikonye, in a reply, dated August 22, to the staff’s counsel.

In the letter, Mr. Offor described the claims by his aggrieved ex-staffers as “bogus and presumptuous”.

“The totality of your claims, allegations, inclusive of monetary claims and allegations of unfair labour practices and failure to make remittances are with respect, gold digging and grossly unsubstantiated,” Mr. Offor’s reply read.

“They are unequivocally repudiated”.

He, however, offered explanation why Mr. Offor had been unable to meet his obligations to “a handful of former staff”.

“Sequel to the general economic meltdown and recession in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, our client’s businesses suffered frustration commencing from March 2015 and grounded to a halt in September 2015,” read the reply.

“Consequently,” Mr. Offor, his lawyer said, “had no job to execute and closed office starting from September 2015.”

“If our client’s businesses revive as our client hopes they will, our client will determine whom to re-engage as staff and what terms and conditions such a re-engagement will be.”

PREMIUM TIMES confirmed the closure of the company. During our visit to the 22 Lobito Crescent, Abuja headquarters of the Chrome on Monday, a private security agent said “the office has been locked for long.”

“As you can see nobody came to office; the office is under lock.”

“Long long before Sallah,” said the security officer, when asked if it was the case that the company was yet to resume from the last Eid holiday officially observed nationwide between Friday and Monday.

Asked why the company was shut down, he replied, “because there’s no operation; the company stopped operating.”

Apart from Chrome, Mr. Offor’s other company, Global Scansystems Limited is also troubled.

The staff there have not been paid for two years, while their terminal benefits remain unpaid, the employees said.

The staff of Global Scansystems are now locked in battle with Mr. Offor at the National Industrial Court.


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  • kusanagi

    This man is far from broke. He’s just lost his govt contacts.
    Can’t keep paying employees if your govt money has been cut off.
    I’m sure Mr Offor still has many billions in the bank.

    • Rumournaire

      Not in the bank. Perhaps in Elcrest – the oil company he put together to acquire OML 40 from Shell/Total/Agip in 2011. But that company has substantial foreign investment and those foreign investors would not allow Emeka to just dip his hand in the kitty anyhow.

    • Inyamiri

      He is owing billion+. When that money is paid…..mhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

  • Mizch

    Sign of bad government, not because of being a financier.

    • jamajake

      Sign of bad contractor and looter

  • Egbu Yugo

    People that fretted away our commonwealth

  • SeniO.

    It’s sad to know that a company as big could have survived solely on juicy “government contracts” for years. What happened to vision, innovation and creativity? No one really cared I guess. Very disturbing to know that a good number of Nigerian companies are set up this way.

    Good work @ Hassan Adebayo. Very detailed report.

  • chiemex

    Last time I checked, Mr Emeka Offor was in APC. He has since decamped to the change party

    • Arabakpura

      They did not welcome him with open hands! Nnamani is still mediating!

      • Julius

        Straight up…Correct !

    • Julius

      Well, they are not giving him money for contracts that he will not execute !. That’s the difference with the pdp and Jonathan.

  • Oladele

    These lazy soaks ought not to be paid. Were they working all those years? Emeka that will secure contract and not do it, so which work were they doing, many of the ladies were just girl friends and he paid them for their services when he was able to service them. The guys were just accomplices and if you went on robbery operation and it didn’t work what more is the gang leader owing? They should look for work to do. Proper work!

    • Tommy Soto

      I concur. Wine, women(ashawos), and song has been the downfall of many men throughout the ages.

      • Julius

        All over the world !!

  • thusspokez

    One of such billionaire businessmen, Emeka Offor, has indicated that he is broke, just over two years after the PDP left power.

    Most likely, a naira billionaire. No proper (dollar) billionaire would go bust in such a short time.

  • Francis Nzelu

    I wonder what the writer of this article stands to gain with this publication just to bring down Sir Emeka Offor never he can’t you want him to pay workers for work that was never done never they should look for another work somewhere until something gets better tell me which company that did not have problem since 2015 was Emeka Offor’s company different? Even states could not pay workers why Sir Emeka Offor just because he was formally in PDP please kindly leave the man alone if you want to discuss Emeka Offor then talk about the other beautiful things he has done and been doing for his people and for humanity in general.

    • thusspokez

      I wonder what the writer of this article stands to gain with this publication just to bring down Sir Emeka Offor

      Oh piss off!!!

    • Julius

      Yeah, I bet you are one of the people he was doing ! He is like the majority of the Nigerian business men and women..they all depends on the government and when the government lose election, they are finish.

      • Francis Nzelu

        Yes Julius Emeka Offor made me so what?

  • thusspokez

    Known for his interests in oil, gas, power and construction, the businessman and politician got juicy federal contracts, many barely executed, while the PDP reigned for 16 years.

    A lot of Nigeria’s (corrupt) so-called billionaire businesspeople are in the oil sector. Many have not reviewed and changed their corporate strategies to diversify or even disinvest in oil. My prediction is that in 50 years time, many would have gone bankrupt.

    • Kalofy

      Thusspokez, 50 years time frame is rather generous! If Emeka Ofor, a gburugburu and jugujugu, multi-billionaire of no mean repute, could become bankrupt in two years of his benefactors’ losing an election, then lesser known gburugburus would have started squirming since last year. Somebody once said that more than half of Nigerian’s economy is powered by corruption. Without any known source of livelihood except government contracts, many so called wealthy Nigerians are in for a tough ride.

      • thusspokez

        Thusspokez, 50 years time frame is rather generous!

        You might be right. These oil (Naira) billionaire people face two realities. Firstly, the dwindling demand for oil which will be forever: [1] Countries across the world are going electric cars; [2] China is building nuclear plants across the world cheaply and as fast as speedy gonzales; [3] Plastic is now a dirty word in many parts of the world.

        Secondly, even without the above problems, these businesses would still die in 50 years. This is because businesses in Nigeria lacks continuity. How many business started by a Nigerian do you know that is more than 50 years old? I can’t name even one!

        Very few Nigerians get to inherit a healthy family business started by their parents. By the time parents die, the business is run down or bankrupt.

  • wode

    There is simply no ROI this time around. That’s why business, like any other ventures, is a risk taken, even for companies doing proper businesses. This tells me that there is truly a change. People need to learn to do right things and do things right.

    • The facts

      Nothing has changed what has happened is that other people have started getting government contracts. #SGF The Grass cutter. Remember him? And a host of others we haven’t heard about yet.

      • Inyamiri

        Remember that the grass cutter is now cut off his seat. Was the situation the same during dumbo’s rule? No! No, because basically ‘stealing is not corruption’ in dumbo’s eyes.

        • The facts

          And what had happened to him since? Nothing. This is what people like you blamed Jonathan for when officials were relieved off their duties without any punishment.

          • Inyamiri

            First of all he lost his seat something which could never happen during dumbo’s regime. The report of the investigation is before the President. We should wait and see if the grass cutter go unpunished (considering the Nigerian bad and corrupt justice system), then I will join you in saying ‘NO’!!!!

          • The facts

            I think your hatred of Jonathan has beclouded your memory of went on during his tenure. Let me remind you Stela Odua was relieved of her duties due to vehicles scandal under watch.

          • Inyamiri

            What about his concubine. Did she get sacked after SLS exposed her for stealing ‘twenty dollars’ from ‘NNCC’?

          • Julius

            Name the officials…liar. Oduah was giving him blow job in Israel when she was supposed to be out of job/suspended or fired till the whole country started abusing Jonathan. Diezani enjoyed herself till the last days of the Administration and now we see why. Jonathan was a total failure especially when it comes to corruption. He was signing Dasuki’s documents without knowing what he was signing. Please, don’t even mention Jonathan when it comes to ANYTHING !

      • Du Covenant

        Is it not sad that this is how our country is being run?, a proper society should function regardless of who is in power. Leaders are individuals who come and go but, the system remains. For over 50 yrs Nigeria has been systematically destroyed precisely because of the mindset you just posted. My take is, instead of adhering to a primitive ‘Federal character’ policy, ethnic representation in government etc, we should glamour for people with integrity to be appointed regardless of where they come from in the country. The grass cutter you mentioned has since been kicked out which is the way to go, there should be consequences for every bad behaviour no matter what office you occupy. How do you feel about the revelations coming out of NNPC of past administration?, it is all too simplistic to call it a ‘witch hunt’, when Sanusi just raised the alarmed, he was branded ‘incompetent’ by GEJ and was sacked!.Can you see how Nigeria despite it potential remains a very backward country?. Serious leaders don’t think or reason so shallow, now everything is comming day by day!.

        • The facts

          Sir/Madam, nothing will change in Nigeria because of our character mark my words. The Grass cutter should not only be kicked out he should also be punished for his misdemeanours. In any case, he was only kicked out to give press a story to run on so that the press won’t be asking questions about Buhari’s health when he was going on ‘medical vacation’ The Sanusi you mentioned what happened to the recent story about the funds he was alleged to have misappropriated when he became an Emir? NNPC will always be cash cow and after this people leave office we will be inundated with stories of financial mismanagement again so don’t think we have reached ‘uhuru’.

          • Onike24

            You believe that Sanusi misappropriated funds as Emir? Cannot you not see that the allegation was to shut him up? Smh

  • Uzoma John

    Where are the Biafrauds? One of your own was busy doling out cash to Hausa and Yoruba and went broke. He didn’t care developing Ala Igbo. This is to say that your Biafraud struggle is in futility. Ndi kpuru ishi (blind people).

    • Tony Z

      Dude grow up…you don’t have to comment.

      • Guest

        Uzoma is a man with conscience and has the highest pride in his Igbo heritage. Why do biafraudians hate the truth, and why should he be quiet when he knows Igbos are Nigerians and Nigeria belongs to Igbo nation.

        • Julius

          Thank you. It’s because he didn’t do the Hitler salute and yell Hail Biafraud at the end of his comment.

        • whereto

          The people you are addressing are the most intolerant of the human specie. In their biafra, all of them will face the same direction while sleeping.

        • Tony Z

          Conscience indeed…what has a corrupt Nigerian got to do with his insulting a whole tribe? and you wonder why Nigerian hate each other!

      • Oladele

        He has an opinion, so he must comment unless he decided on his own not to comment! Allow him please…objection overruled!

        • Tony Z

          I bet you’ll be throwing tantrum if the tables where turned…Do not support bigotry no matter whose on the receiving end!

      • Uzoma John

        Wetin concern you. Ke nke gbasaragi. Are you a Biafraud? Biafrauds are different from Ndi Igbo

        • Tony Z

          Spare me this your google translate nonsense and stick to the Nigerian looter Emeka Offor, thank you.

          • Uzoma John

            Oh he is now a Nigerian looter no longer Biafraud. Ndi ara.

          • Tony Z

            Oh yea, other looters are referred to Nigerians while Igbos are different? sorry, I did not know. You can keep your insults to yourself, thanks.

    • Ceejay Iloelunachi

      You have finally edited your name from Uzorma to Uzoma? Ur proud bearing an Igbo name despite your indifferences to their cause, Doesn’t it suggest an imbalance of/on your personality?

      • Uzoma John

        Noisemakers. Which cause are you fighting? When blind man, an illiterate for that matter in the name of Efulefu Kanu is leading you Biafrauds to perdition. Abum nwafo Igbo, not Biafra- the difference between you and I.

  • Tony Z

    This is what you get when you run a business with corrupt proceeds!

  • joelaw

    The ‘riches’ of the wicked shall disappear like a smoke. Mr Offor is a wicked roque who reaped heavily from where he never sowed. Many like him will taste the same destiny as long as the Lprd reigns.

    • Ade

      Amen!!!!!!!!!.

      They will all meet their lots here on earth.

    • SeniO.

      Let he who has no sin cast the first Stone

  • Du Covenant

    This is what happens when things are not built on solid fundations but on connections/corruption. If this man was a genuine businessman and not a rogue, he would have still been in business come rain or shine. Black people and especially Nigerians are notorious for instant gratification with no ability to think far and plan ahead. Buhari came and drained the swamp and within two years he is broke. Tough luck!.

  • yukkmouff

    Good riddance to bad rubbish!

  • Abdussalami Yaro

    I don’t believe the man is broke. He wants to eat his cake and still have it. EFCC should tighten the nose round his neck.

  • 45Degree

    The Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) should IMMEDIATELY seize these guy’s assets including bank accounts to pay for all un-remitted payroll withholdings outstanding.

  • Keen Observer

    It’s unfortunate that no single indigenous company can survive in Nigeria without enjoying government supports / waivers directly or indirectly. These has made our company’s owner to be unduly close to the current days govt & definitely has encouraged corruption as a way of doing business in Nigeria. Atiku’s Intel Services & many others are not exception.
    No wonder the likes of David Mark, Ekweremandu, Saraki (old crooks) , Dino Melaye & many NASS legis-looters cannot be traced to any viable business as employers of legitimate labor. As a result they have no choice than to stick up to govt as leeches (means of survival).

    • Julius

      I totally agree with you and when there is a misunderstanding between them, the gullible poor folks pays the price. They turn tribal.

  • MilitaryPolice01

    Obasanjo is a funny man, he is never at fault not minding that between 1999 and 2003 Emeka Offor was his business front and major financier of his numerous covert projects. So at what point did the hypocrite realize Offor wasn’t competent to handle refinery TAM

    • Julius

      In that case, I would expect Okafor to spill the beans…if what you are saying is even close to be the truth. Right ?. The word on the street is he lost out when Jonathan did not win re-election and he is one of the people backing ipob and kanu. Truth , as they say has a way of coming out !

    • SeniO.

      Super G, glad that you read this article. Rich content se? Now compare with the other…

      • MilitaryPolice01

        Brother, I no get your point abeg no vex I have had a long day

    • dave jacob

      The Obasanjo man is a crook. I would not blame him. I blame those who know the truth about his highly criminal actions in power but have failed to prosecute him. Olusegun Obasanjo is the most corrupt of Nigeria’s presidents since 1999, and one of the two most corrupt Nigerian presidents since independence. Obasanjo, baba barawo, baba awon ole!!!

      • Stephen

        Obasanjo is more Clever than the people he use to accomplish his goals. Once his share is covered if you like do well or not. It is you and your company name the news will carry as the unfaithful contractors. He will be the first to point it out there by exonerating himself.

        • MilitaryPolice01

          Thank you.

    • Onike24

      Emeka Offor? And Obasanjo? Highly unlikely. Baba Iyabo hates him with a passion.

      • MilitaryPolice01

        Onike how now, hope you well. It’s been a while.

        That Obasanjo hates you today doesn’t mean he didn’t do business with you yesterday – Otunba Fashawe, Mike Adenuga, Buruji Kashamu, Maurice Iwu, Gbenga Daniel, Chris Uba are perfect examples still alive today.

        I can assure you that I am conscious of anything I type on this platform.

        Copy and paste this into Google, it is a 2007 piece by Dr Gary Busch. It is a lengthy read but the key detail is towards the bottom.

        • Onike24

          The examples you gave makes your point very strong. He made his bed so shall he lie in it.

  • Ajayi Ifayemi

    Why am I not surprised. There will be many more. The tap has run dry. Most of their dubious sources of money have been blocked. Emergency billionaires.

  • goddy

    The same Emeka Ofor and Uba that kidnapped Governor Ngige..

  • Isaac Azor

    Who is he deceiving?

  • El Patron

    This is the problem I have with we blind supporters of these wicked politicians and corrupt men. We southerners complain that northerners own 80% of oil blocks. When you look at it really, if we owned 80% of the oil blocks will our lives have been improved by these vultures? This is why I keep saying breaking this country up or even restructuring isn’t the answer, they are just temporary feel good pills which won’t last long. What we need in this country is to fight these corrupt men and force them out of our corridors of power. Just imagine an Igbo man frolicking with Abacha. Just imagine if Abacha didn’t die, he would have probably still been President till date and one of his closest allies would be an Igbo man. Who thinks this man cares about Biafra please hands up

  • Passerby

    These are the people that ran Nigeria aground. Now that they are denied access to state treasury, they resort to sponsoring miscreants to destabilise the country.

  • serubawon70

    Is this not the same man they say owns Enugu Electricity Distribution Co.?

  • Comfortkay

    Another overnight Billionaire is shutting down and people says Buhati has done nothing for Nigeria? Think about this.

  • O Sam Joshua

    9ja now in real economy. Gone are days when crooks calls the shot.

  • Frank Bassey

    Good for him. But does that suggest we no longer have “Emeka Offors” in the system? They are still there. As for Femi Falana writing letter on behalf of staff owed backlog of salaries and pnsions, this is an exercise in futility. How many of such letters have he written for state government workers so owned? Or is he just interested in his legal fees?

  • Chukwuka Okoroafor

    My oh my has this mighty oligarch fallen to his knees. This is just the start of it with more to come. God is intervening in the affairs of Nigeria and a new nation is being born.