Ibru Patriarch, Olorogun Michael Ibru Dies At 86
Olorogun Michael Christopher Onajirhevbe Ibru, the patriarch of the Ibru
family and Otota of Agbarha-Otor kingdom is dead.
A statement by the family says one of Nigeria's foremost business mogul
passed on peacefully at a medical facility in the United States in the
early hours of Tuesday, September 6, 2016.
He was aged 86.
Ibru was born to the family of Peter Ibru, a missionary worker, who also
worked at the Igbobi Orthapaedic Hospital, Lagos. After secondary school,
he joined the United African Company, as a management trainee.
In 1956, a few years after joining U.A.C, he dropped out of the company
and started a partnership, which he called Laibru.
The corporate entity was in partnership with an expatriate, Jimmy Large.
After engaging in general trading with some success, in 1957, Michael Ibru
discovered that the frozen fish market was a fertile market with the
potential to deliver returns above the market rate.
However, it was a tough market to penetrate, at the time, many expatriate
firms and Nigerian traders were lacking and some were not interested in
But he felt he could put extra effort communicating with general traders,
who played key roles in products acceptance.
To trade in seafood, he established an importing company, he also rented
and built cold storage facilities across the country.
By the mid-1960s trading fish had become the traditional money maker for
the Ibru organization.
Though he had other profitable interests such as transportation and
construction, fish trading helped him secure financing and other forms of
capital to engage in large scale trading.
He established a partnership with a Taiwanese company, Osadjere Fishing
Company, which provided Trawlers and other accessories for trading.
By the end of the 1960s he branched out fully into other areas of the
economy. Like a lot of his contemporaries, he established a transportation
company, called Rutam.
He also invested in palm oil production. Over the years, the Ibru
Organization has expanded into other areas such as Tourism, Brewery,
Timber and Poultry.
He is known as an entrepreneurial figure who created one of the largest
modern Nigerian owned groups with other figures such as the low key Bode
Michael Ibru attended Igbobi College, and acquired a school certificate in
Chief Ibru has five wives and seventeen children, the most prominent being
Olorogun Oskar Ibru (who heads Ibafon Ports) and Oboden Ibru (who is a key
player in Oceanic bank International PLC). He also tried his hands in
politics, in 1983, he was a gubernatorial candidate but lost to Samuel
Ogbemudia. He is also a member of the Liberal Convention and the New
Movement, which metamorphosed to become NRC.
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