My love for the people of my country is my driving force, Sir Tony Ezenna
Patriotism is an act love or commitment towards one’s country.
In this part of the world, the word patriotism is not very common reason being the inconsiderable actions and policies of the government whom many would argue has not done much to warrant the patriotism of its citizenry.
As it happens, the western world with whom the act of patriotism is frequently heard would not have been so if the government where not up and doing.
However, the life of Sir Tony Ezenna gives more meaning to the saying credited to John F. Kennedy “ask not what your country can do for your but what you can do for your country.”
The founder of Orange Drugs limited which later metamorphosed into Orange group has always believed that the reason for one’s existence is to lend helping hands to people in need.
At a time when other companies where folding up and relocating outside the shores of the country, ‘Orange’ as Sir Tony is fondly called revealed that the thought of rending people jobless could not let him follow suit.
Born in Port Harcourt in 1957 into the family of late Ernest Ukwandu Ezenna who hails from Owerri Akokwa in Imo state, south eastern Nigeria, Tony was introduced into the intricacies of business by his father.
The Eastern industrial chemist, a patent medicine store popularly known as chemist in these parts was where tony started learning the principles of business.
Tutelage under his father lasted for 13 years after which tony branched out to begin his and that was the birth of orange drugs limited in 1988.
The necessary business requirement to succeed which tony had learnt from his father came to bear in this new store of his situated in the Imo state capital at that time.
The result was evident is the way and manner in which Orange drugs limited expanded over a short period.
As an entrepreneur par excellence, tony relocated orange drugs limited from the Imo state capital to the city of Lagos.
The standard of employees, the closeness of the seaport and other factors required to build a business of international repute facilitated this move.
After dealing in the retail of imported drugs for a while, tony that is of the opinion that Nigerians would patronize locally produced goods if they were of high quality established his first factory in Lagos.
Drugs like procold, medik, canon extra, canon paracetamol were among the first set produced at the factory.
From that point onward it has been a forward movement for the C.E.O of Orange group with interest in cosmetology production as well as that of lightening bulbs.
In 2012, the production factory in Onitsha, Anambra state was commissioned by the then president, Goodluck Jonathan.
Need to say that the factory at Onitsha is the only factory in Nigeria that produces bulk goods which are completed in other smaller factories across the country.
Rather than result to importation of parts or most of the materials needed for production, the patriotic need to contribute to the building of the nation’s economy is the key reason why all products of the orange group are produced locally.
The raw materials are sourced from within the country and productions are carried out by Nigerians, many of whom have been trained in special skills outside the shores of the country at the company’s expense.
Sir Tony’s philanthropic gestures spread from sports to religion with his company sponsoring different sport tournaments.
The procold table tennis championship, the boska football championship as well as the arm wrestling in Kano are part of the sports sponsored by the Orange group.
In 2006, the Sir Tony Ezenna foundation was founded to assist indigent students all across the federation by granting them scholarship.
I concur with Sir Tony’s motto which says ‘if you don’t love your country, then you can’t love anything.’ Do you love your country?
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