Abia mourns passage of Tonimas Group chairman, Anthony Enukeme
…describes him as champion of industrialization
Abia State government has expressed deep grief and sadness at the news of the death of Anthony Enukeme, the chairman of Tonimas Nigeria Limited, a foremost Nigerian company in the oil and gas industry. Enukeme’s Tonimas Group is the largest privately owned business conglomerate in Abia and other parts of the south-east and south-south regions, with interests in oil and gas, real estate, insurance and manufacturing.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in a statement, signed by Onyebuchi Ememanka, his chief press secretary and made available to Businessday, recalled with gratitude, the countless jobs created for the people of Abia State through the entrepreneurial versatility of the late Enukeme.
The Governor described late Enukeme as an outstanding and committed entrepreneur, who made solid contributions to the economic development of Aba, a commercial hub and Abia State as a whole through his numerous business concerns scattered across the State.
Ikpeazu further described the Tonimas Group chairman as a most worthy partner of the state government in the quest for the development of the state’s economy.
“The late Enukeme was not just an ordinary businessman, who was content with buying and selling. He was more than that. He was a committed and passionate believer in the power of industrialization as a key enabler in economic development. He invested heavily in the establishment of industries, which produced top quality products in the area of oil and gas, and created a sustainable platform for job creation for our people,” the governor said.
He said though Enukeme was from Neni in Anambra State, he found a home in Aba, Abia State. He believed in Aba and Abia State, and deliberately chose the Enyimba City as the headquarters and epicentre of his sprawling business empire, from where he branched out to other parts of the country.
“From a humble beginning in Aba several years ago, Enukeme, by a dint of honesty, hard work, perseverance, diligence and the fear of God, successfully built the Tonimas Group, which today is clearly the largest privately owned business conglomerate in our space with sprawling interests in oil and gas, real estate, insurance and manufacturing,” Governor Ikpeazu said.
Through the efforts of Tonimas, Aba became counted as the home of top-quality lubricants and engine oil. Today, the business landscape in Aba and Abia is dotted with positive evidences of the sagacity and entrepreneurial acumen of the late Enukeme.
A principal member of the Aba business community, Enukeme had in the past served as president of the Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ACCIMA).
The governor said that one special attribute that stood out the late Enukeme was his personal belief in the philosophy of corporate social responsibility. He saw communities where his businesses are located as critical stakeholders in his business; and took measured steps to give back to such communities.
Ikpeazu recalled how the Enukeme contributed immensely to the development of the Umuarakpa community and its environs in Osisioma Ngwa LGA where his industry is located by constructing access roads and assisting in other areas of community development, as well as ensuring that indigenes of the community were employed by the company. He also built and donated to the host community, a most befitting Catholic church.
The death of Enukeme, many say, has robbed Abia State of one of its most important, passionate, committed, and successful and consistent entrepreneurs and eminent philanthropists. He was a worthy recipient of the title of Enyi Abia, conferred on him by the state government.
Governor Ikpeazu challenged the children of the late chief to take up the mantle and keep the flag flying. He expressed confidence that Enukeme, while alive, groomed his children well and made them key parts of his business empire; noting that they would accept the challenge and build on the powerful legacies of their very illustrious father.