Owned by Nnewi man, it was one of the earliest aluminum companies in Igbo land when no one thought of going into aluminum manufacturing. The company’s founder had children, nephews and nieces who were my schoolmates at Nursery and Primary school stages. I knew the company’s manufacturing site. I practically grew up with the company because its budding years were also my budding years as a child through teenage. Manufacturing was heavy. Chartered employed so many people and made huge profit and name at the time. No one in Anambra State mentioned aluminum without first remembering ‘chartered’ either consciously or reflexively. The owner was one of the richest Igbo capitalists at the time. They were even diversifying their products into other stuffs many people don’t know then.
Fast forward to 2017, Chartered Aluminum was already a shadow of itself. Dying. Dead. The founder, a hardworking Nnewi man had gone the way of all flesh. I learned the slow but steady death of his lifetime achievement quickened his death some years ago. He couldn’t live to bear seeing all he spent his entire life building go to blazes.
How did it happen?
The quest to give the children the “best” having made the money!
He acquired several properties for them which I witnessed myself. Money was excess. Of course, he provided them with mindless comfort. Those weren’t any issue, by the way. He sent them to study abroad, see abroad, live abroad, meet abroad. And his plan was to return one or two of them to take over his lifetime goldmine that they may never experience the poverty from whence he cut his teeth to swim in fortune.
The boy(s) returned, of course, with abroad degrees, abroad theories and abroad vibes. US, UK, what have you. The man, old and tired, shifted. His boy(s) took over. Brought the abroad theory in combination with their abroad tastes, abroad lifestyle, abroad mindsets to a goldmine that was locally made. Chartered Aluminum began to sink. Old man, confused, weak and tired of what to do anymore, left both the business and the world.
2018, Chartered Aluminum, together with all its subsidiaries, is described in the past — almost dead! A lifetime achievement of a very hardworking Igbo man started and ended in a space of less than 3 decades — thus joining those evidences of Igbo big businesses lasting for only 2-3 decades at most before crumbling totally.