A former governor of Anambra State and vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, Peter Obi, has said he was a trader who ventured into banking before he became a governor.
Obi said this during an interview on The Morning Show, an Arise TV programme that aired on Monday.
The Pandora Papers listed Obi as one of the personalities who clandestinely set up and operated businesses overseas, including in notorious tax and secrecy havens in ways that breached Nigerian laws.
Obi had reacted to the report, saying, “I did not in any respect whatsoever violate any law before, during and after my stewardship as the governor of Anambra.”
He added, “I think that the authors displayed ignorance on matters of Trust and International Investment Practices.”
Speaking during the Arise TV, Obi answered a question on how he made money before becoming a governor.
He said he ran a planned market management company, adding that he “was the sole importer of Heinz salad cream, just to give you an example of one company.
“I was the sole engineer of South African Breweries. I was also bringing in Ovaltine. The company I was with before, I left it for my brother who took over and paid me off. That company became the Next Cash and Carry which you see in Port Harcourt and Abuja.”
The ex-governor also mentioned that he was a wine importer in the past, and was widely known for this trade acumen.
He said, “I had a very good business but went into banking. I was sitting in the board of three banks and was the chairman of one before I became a governor.”
Obi also revealed that he had major shares in the banks where he was a board member. He, however, stated that joining politics made him poorer even though he doesn’t regret the decision he took.