For Nigerian multi-billionaire magnate, Sam Iwuajoku, he has been around for some time. Though an effervescent personality and successful by all indicators, Iwuajoku prefers to operate under the radar. As a highly successful personality with the midas touch, Iwuajoku is one businessman with a clear-cut vision, boundary-shoving commitment to birthing novel and noble ideas and passionate belief in the Nigerian dream. He’s a very close friend of many Nigerian uber-wealthy dudes including Africa’s richest billionaire, Aliko Dangote.
As one of the wealthiest Nigerians, he also understands the needs of his peers. With substantial interests in steel and real estate among other sectors, Iwuajoku is also an authority in the aviation sector. Given his interest and passion, Iwuajoku floated Quits Aviation Service, a company that was given the official approval in December 2017 to operate as the only terminal for Business Aviation in Lagos. The approval was issued after meeting international standards for Business Aviation Services. Of course, he partnered with Switzerland’s ExecuJet Aviation Group which manages the world’s largest fleet of private jets and chose Lagos as the location for its first West African facility over several other potential locations in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. But Iwuajoku’s partnership with ExecuJet has further raised the bar and built confidence in the standard of maintenance and services that come from his terminal. The facility is the first of its kind in Nigeria nay Africa and exudes class, style and opulent splendour that differentiate men of means from boys rising. Here the rich and the famous alongside their toys called private jets are in for that special privilege that only money can buy.
Few people would dispute the disruptive nature of his contribution to that special aviation service in Nigeria. His company is best known for its state-of-the-art facilities and an ambience of class, style, comfort. It is a run away from the hustle and bustle of the main international terminal of the airport. So, those who know the unobtrusive Imo State-born business mogul could feel his pain leading to his outburst arising from the indefinite suspension of his flight company’s operations licence for violating the special approval granted it.
Spotlight gathered that Iwuajoku was thoroughly embarrassed and angry after the Minister of Aviation, Captain Hadi Sirika announced the suspension of ExecuJet for filing false information to fly a Nigerian pop star, Naira Marley to Abuja for a concert last weekend contrary to the federal government’s interstate travel ban. The minister said the flight was approved for a different purpose, to convey a serving judge from Lagos to Abuja and back, on official assignment but Iwuajoku’s airline violated the approval.
In a leaked letter of apology written on the official letter head of ExecuJet, which is an international franchise, Iwuajoku —who exhibited extremely poor communication skills— allowed his emotions to becloud his sense of responsibility by describing the passengers on that particular Execujet —which included Naira Marley and his crew) as “a bunch of useless people”, a reference which instantly sparked mixed reactions across various social media platforms. Many have condemned the choice of words he deployed. He has been roasted on the social media space as someone blessed with wealth but not with required class and finesse, especially his inability to exhibit even temperament and calmness in his memo to the Minister. On the contrary, others empathize with Iwuajoku and his company for their stand on the matter.
A source told Spotlight that Iwuajoku fired off that impassioned memo majorly because he’s deeply hurt that such an act of dishonesty was ascribed to his person. “This man feels tainted as he has played by the rules in his entire career with billions of dollars in investments in various sectors. He has built a reputation quietly and wouldn’t knowingly engage in such an act that he knows would rubbish his hard-earned respect in the Nigeria and global business clime,” the source said of the billionaire who acquired his first Hawker 700 aircraft in 1997.
Not only is Iwuajoku angry at what happened, he was even said to be angrier that the musician who was at the centre of the whole brouhaha has been allowed to go legitimate, and rant against his company on social media. Meanwhile, many have called on Iwuajoku to restructure his jet charter service company as they question a situation whereby he as the Chairman and CEO is the one vested with corporate communications which shows lack of organization for such a global brand.