Cletus Ibeto is the founder and chairman of the Ibeto Group, the largest conglomerates in the eastern part of Nigeria. He moved from an apprentice of auto spare parts to importation of spear cars parts and automotive lead-acid batteries and plastic accessories into the country before he moved into cement business. In 1988, after he completed the construction of his factory in Nnewi, he started direct importation of lead acid automotive battery and plastic Motor accessories. By 1995, the company had become one of the largest auto spare parts manufacturing company in Nigeria and have ever since grown bigger.
The Ibeto Group Has recorded various successes in various sectors of the Nigerian economy like hospitality, agricultural, Industrial, banking sector, real estates and cement business. He is an astute Investor who employs the right strategy for his business growth and development. He grew some organically from ground up while some he grew inorganically through strategic mergers and acquisitions.
The Ibeto Cement Company Ltd Produces bagged cements at Bundu AMA, Port Harcourt. The group commenced the business in 1997 with Importation of bagged from Portland before establishing Ibeto Cement in 2001. Into 2018, the Ibeto Cement company limited announced a reverse merge with century petroleum corporation in the United States. A publicly traded exploration production company in a move to enter global markets and bypass the complex process of listing. Ibeto acquired a 70% controlling stake of the company and Cletus Ibeto was subsequently made chairman of the board of directors.
Cletus Ibeto’s humanitarian gesture has lifted thousands of people out of poverty. He has also helped some businesses to stand. Ibeto believes in ethics in business, even if its application or observances will cost him money and business opportunities. A veteran journalist, Mike Awoyinfa, tells an enchanting story of how Ibeto elected to lose millions of dollars during the Gulf War than compromise on business ethics: “Ibeto said that during the Gulf War II, his company received a lot of pressure from Saddam Hussien’s officials who badly wanted Union Recycling Plant to export the lead products refined by his company at very lucrative terms, but the company turned down the tempting offer because Ibeto believed that such leads would go into production of dangerous weapons of war by Saddam.” This was far more ethical than a business decision, but Ibeto argued to his astonished management that even though the group desperately needed the fund to inject into the construction of the cement terminals at Bundu Ama Creek.
Though denied access to formal education by his father at 13, that burning desire to see the four walls of a classroom remained aflame. Ibeto later sat for his WASSCE at the age of 48 and got a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from University of Nigeria, Nsukka, at the age of 54. He was subsequently honoured with a Doctor of Business Administration degree from the same university.