Ambrose Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiako (ABC)
Ambrose Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiako (ABC)

Ambrose Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiako (ABC): Iconic Billionaire Businessman/Surgeon, With A Heart For Community

In both the upstream and the downstream sectors of Nigeria’s petroleum industry, he has his fingers all over. He provides leadership and direction as Chairman and board member of some blue chip companies. He is fondly called ABC. Legally, he is Ambrose Bryant Chukwueloka Orjiako.

Orjiako who was born on October 1, 1960, in Cross River State, to the family of Chief Daniel Obiesie and Rebecca Orjiako of Umuchima, in Uli Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State, is the Chairman and co-founder of SEPLAT, a leading Nigerian oil and gas company listed on the London and Nigerian Stock Exchanges with a strategic focus on the Niger Delta region.

After obtaining an M.B.B.Ch. degree in 1985 from the College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar (UniCal), he trained as a general surgeon at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Lagos. He, however, received his early education at Sacred Heart Primary School, Calabar, Holy Cross Primary School, Uli and Uli High School, Uli between 1972 and 1978.

After his secondary school education in his native Uli community, he advanced to the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu in 1978-1979, from there he moved to study medicine at UniCal in 1985. ABC started manifesting leadership skills during his days as an undergraduate when he held the position of African Regional Director, International Federation of Medical Students, and thereafter, attended Harvard Business School from 2004-2006.


ABC started as a House Officer at LUTH from 1985 to 1986, and moved to the National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi, Lagos, for his NYSC 1986-1987. After, he became a Senior House Officer (General Surgery) at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, 1987-1988, Senior House Officer (Orthopedic and Trauma) at the National Orthopedic Hospital, Lagos, 1991-1993.

Between 1991 and 1993, he was elevated to the position of a Junior Registrar (General Surgery) at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, and later its Senior Registrar (Orthopedic and Trauma Department) from 1993-1996.

As National President of the Association of Resident Doctors in Nigeria, he was said to have grown the revenue of the association to a reasonable height. He raised funds for the association and procured computers for the secretariat and was instrumental for the rise in medical workers pay. He also revived branches of the association and galvanise it to participate in national issues in the country.

Babangida’s Pall

Dr. Orjiako, an orthopedic and trauma surgeon, is said to have made it in life because of his links to top military officers such as former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida. The Babangida family and Orjiako is said to have bonded under an oil well exploration joint venture in Equitorial Guinea with the Babangida holding a substantial interest in Equitorial Guinea’s “Block M” estimated to be worth $8.2 billion. With the Equitorial Guinea government, the Babangida/Orjiako partnership is said to have floated Fruitex Oil Exploration and Production Limited (FOEPL), to jointly execute projects due to the huge capital and technical outlay involved in the oil industry. FOEPL which is promoted as being owned by Mohammed Ibrahim, and Orjiako as its chairman, however, started operations in 2004.  

 A Business Tycoon

ABC engages in varied businesses- oil services, shipping, oil rigs supply. It seems he inherited his business genes from his family background. While working as a surgeon, he promoted several companies including Abbey Court, which trades on crude oil and refined petroleum products, the UK’s Glencore, Abbey Court Energy, Zebbra Energy, and Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited. He co-founded Seplat in 2009 with Austin Avuru, who is now the company’s managing director. Seplat has achieved remarkable results in the four years since it began operations and is now considered the industry benchmark in terms of management, efficiency, and corporate social responsibility.

ABC also has business interests in construction, real estate development, pharmaceuticals, and shipping. He is the Chairman of Neimeth Pharmaceutical International Plc, and a Director of MPI and Etablissements Maurel et Prom, listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Euronext Paris.

Arguably, ABC may be the richest medical doctor in Nigeria

Seplat has remained profitable as a company and continued to be cash generative, a strong revenue earner to the government. It maintains a very healthy cash balance and regular payment of dividends to its investors. It has been paying huge taxes and royalties to the relevant authorities. It boast that its corporate social responsibility programmes are on and growing in its areas of operations.

Though he is not a politician, ABC has always had strong ties with politics. With the inception of this persisting civil rule, he financially supported the emergence of former Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju, on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra. In 2011, he also oiled the gubernatorial ambition of Prof Charles Soludo, pointing out that he supported Soludo because the former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor will provide strong transformational leadership and lay a solid socio-economic foundation for the Eastern Nigeria state.

Disturbingly, one of his numerous companies, Shebah Exploration and Production Limited was entangled in unpaid loans it incurred seven years ago. It almost left a blot on his reputation. He finally shamed his traducers following a meeting between him and the representatives of a consortium that including Afrexim bank, Access Bank, and Polaris bank, AMCON and the receiver/manager. He claimed that he had previously paid the sum of $68 million from his money to the creditors and that his plan was to make more commitment as regards the payment of the loan. Parties were pleased with the outcome of the meeting and looked forward to a faithful implementation of the agreements reached.

But, the loan was not paid as agreed and a Federal High Court in Lagos certified a judgment delivered by the High Court of Justice Queen’s Bench Division and upheld by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom directing Orjiako, his Shebah Exploration and Production Company Limited and Allenne Limited to pay African Export-Import Bank, Diamond Bank Plc and Skye Bank a sum of $144.2 million being the outstanding and accrued interest of a facility granted to him.

In a bid to unburden himself of the fiscal baggage, he decided to trade off some of his lucrative assets including part of his Seplat stakes. Since its inception, he has remained its Chairman spearheading new business development and providing leadership on strategy and stakeholder relationships.

Philanthropy & Honours

In 1996, he established Daniel Orjiako Memorial Fondation, in memory of his late father. It’s a non-profit and non-governmental organisation primarily focusing on philanthropic activities, sponsorship and award of scholarship to deserving indigent students. Over 8000 students are currently on a free primary education scheme and 200 others on a post-primary school scholarship in Uli.

Scholarships are being awarded to students in the areas of science, medicine, pharmacy, agriculture, as well as civil, mechanical, and petroleum engineering. The Foundation also provides free health care services to the elderly and micro-credits to rural farmers, and rural women. It equally encourages retired but not tired teachers from Uli with an employment scheme in the community..

ABC is a Member of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA); Fellow, West African College of Surgeons (FWACS); Fellow, Nigerian Medical College of Surgeons (FNMCS); President, Association of Resident Doctors; and member, Board of Nigerian Chamber of Shipping.

The billionaire ABC has received plural awards and recognition for his services to humanity and entrepreneurial achievements. He was awarded a distinguished entrepreneurship award by the Rotary Club of Awka, the Anambra capital, Special Merit Award by NMA, Meritorious Award of Excellence from Ohanaeze Student Association, Award of Excellence in the industry by UniCal Alumni Association, Lagos in 2000, Special Award for Professional Attainment, philanthropic gestures and contributions to the development of Anambra from the NMA, Anambra branch in 2000, Most Distinguished Alumnus Award by the College of Medical Sciences, UniCal in 2004, Platinum Award of the West African College of surgeons in 2006, the coveted Zik (Nnamdi Azikiwe) Prize in the Professional Leadership category by the Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre, African Business Executive of the year by the Oil and Gas Council in 2014.

While he is a member of Aka-Ikenga and Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Pope John Paul II gave him the Papal knighthood of the Order of St Gregory in recognition of his services to Humanity and the Roman Catholic Church in 2003. In 2012 he was conferred with a national honour of Officer of the Federal Republic by former President Goodluck Jonathan. Dr. Orjiako is also a good lover of sports and former Chairman of Rangers International Football Club of Enugu. He is also good at Chess and Lawn Tennis.

Mrital Status

Dr. Orjiako is married to Mrs. Henrietta, a seasoned administrative expert from Cameroon. She holds a degree in English Language from the University of Yaounde, Cameroon with 19 years of experience managing various businesses ranging from real estate, oil and gas trade, and construction.

She is said to be an excellence team builder with a strong multi-linguistic and extensive multi-cultural exposure with a strong sense of purpose and openness to improvement and growth. Their union is blessed with four children

Perhaps, the import of ABC’s life in his diverse ventures is, businesses should really interact with their host communities. And, without the doubt, he has been dedicating his life in the service of others.


Amamputu-Uli | Nigeria Facts” Retrieved 2020-05-27.The International Journal of Engineering & Science approach to peer review is open and inclusive, at the same time it is based on the most rigorous and merit-based ‘blind’ peer review processes Our referee processes are criterion-referenced and referees selected on the basis of subject matter and disciplinary expertise (2015-08-30). The International Journal of Engineering and Science (The IJES).

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