Founder of the largest auto spare parts manufacturing outfits in Nigeria

Cletus Madubugwu Ibeto (born November 6, 1952) is a Nigerian businessman from the industrial city of Nnewi. He is the head of The Ibeto Group, the largest business enterprise from Nnewi, a city unique for its entrepreneurial spirit. In the early 1980s, when the oil crash and a controversial import licensing system were making a dent in the Nigerian manufacturing environment, Nnewi went through a growth period. The Ibeto Group, under Ibeto’s leadership, was a pacesetter in the region and the nation’s trading and later manufacturing development.

Cletus Ibeto started out as a spare parts import dealer after spending some time as an apprentice in the motor parts business, a gradual step taken by many eastern traders. In March 1988, he stopped direct importation of lead-acid automotive batteries and plastic motor accessories after completing his factory in Nnewi. By 1995, The Ibeto Group had become one of the largest auto spare parts manufacturing outfits in the country.

On October 2, 1996, he established Ibeto Petrochemical Industries Ltd., which is engaged in the blending of oil lubricants as well as the production of various types of petroleum products for local and international markets. The Company owns one of the largest liquid storage facilities for petroleum products in Nigeria with a capacity of over 60,000 metric tonnes located at Apapa Wharf and Ibru Jetty Complex, Lagos.

In May 2018, Ibeto Cement Company Limited announced a reverse merger with Century Petroleum Corporation, a United States publicly-traded petroleum exploration and production company, in a move to enter global markets and bypass the complex process of listing. Ibeto acquired a 70% controlling stake in the company, and Cletus Ibeto was subsequently made the Chairman of the Board of Directors. He graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, with a degree in Accountancy.

In 2008, Ibeto received the national Honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) from the Federal Republic of Nigeria for his outstanding contributions to the country through his manufacturing enterprise. In 2012, he was awarded the Honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) for his continued outstanding service to the nation.


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