Orji Uzor Kalu (born April 21, 1960) is the chairman of SLOK Holding and the Daily Sun and New Telegraph newspapers in Nigeria, who served as the governor of Abia State, Nigeria from May 29, 1999, to May 29, 2007. Prior to his election, he served as the chairman of the Borno Water Board and the chairman of the Cooperative and Commerce Bank Limited. Kalu was also a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and the chairman of the PPA Board of Trustees. He was the party's presidential candidate in the April 2007 general election. He is currently a member of the ruling party after he officially announced his resignation as a PPA BOT.
Kalu attended Christ the King School Aba and Government College Umuahia. After studying at Barewa College, Zaria, he enrolled in the University of Maiduguri where he studied political science. During his time at the university, Kalu became a student activist, and participated in the “Ali Must Go” riots against the education minister. His participation resulted in his suspension. While his fellow students later took the school authorities to court, Kalu left school to build his own business
With only $35 to his name that he had borrowed from his mother, Kalu began trading palm oil, first buying the oil from Nigeria's eastern regions and then selling it in the country's northern regions He then began buying and reselling furniture on a large scale.
Kalu eventually established SLOK Holding, a conglomerate that would consist of a number of successful companies, including the Ojialex Furniture Company, SLOK Nigeria Limited, SLOK United Kingdom Limited, Adamawa Publishers Limited, SLOK Vegetable Oil, Aba, SLOK Paper Factory, Aba, SLOK United States Incorporated, SLOK Ghana, Togo, Cotonou, Guinea, South Africa, Liberia, Botswana, SLOK Korea, Supreme Oil Limited, SLOK Airlines, Sun Publishing Limited, and First International Bank Limited.
Kalu became the youngest Nigerian to receive the National Merit Award from President Ibrahim Babangida, at the age of 26 in 1986. He was selected as the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce's Industrialist of the Year, and awarded the Humanitarian Award of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka's Humanitarian Club, the Volunteer Award of the International Association of Volunteers, the National Merit Award, the EU Special Award in Brussels, and the World Bank Leon Sullivan Award.
Kalu has a degree from Abia State University, a Certificate in Business Administration from Harvard University and honorary doctorates from the universities of Maiduguri and Abia State.
Kalu headed First International Bank Limited at the age of 33. He also stewarded Nigerian commercial relations with China's SinoPacific Shipbuilding company while serving as a principal of SLOK Holding.
On July 11, 2007, Kalu was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on charges of corruption while serving as the governor of Abia State.He was later released on bail, and accused the Obasanjo regime of persecuting him during and after his tenure in office, an accusation mentioned by former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell in his book, "Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink."
Kalu has been a staunch supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari, a "close friend and father, who deserves all the support to make Nigeria better."
Kalu is the chairman of the Daily Sun, a Nigerian daily print newspaper founded and published in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria. The newspaper had a daily circulation of 130,000 copies as of 2011, and 135,000 for weekend titles, with an average of 80% sales. The Daily Sun was the highest selling newspaper in Nigeria. The Daily Sun was incorporated on March 29, 2001, and began production as a weekly on January 18, 2003, and as a daily on June 16, 2003. The newspaper is similar in format to The Sun in the United Kingdom.
Kalu is also the chairman of the New Telegraph, Nigeria's first politically independent all-national newspaper, with a circulation of 100,000 copies per day. The newspaper targets domestic and foreign readers in major urban centers throughout the country and offers objective coverage of political, social, and cultural issues.
SLOK Holding is a wholly owned Nigerian consortium of companies that is involved in a wide array of operations, with a strong presence in West Africa. The group operates in all sectors of the economy, with a focus on oil and gas, banking and finance, media and publishing, real estate, trading, manufacturing, insurance and tourism. It is a member of industrial institutions including the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nigeria-America Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Nigeria-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
SLOK Holding is the owner of SLOK Nigeria Ltd., the leading indigenous player in the upstream sector of Nigeria's oil and gas industry. The corporation operates in marine transport services, involving offshore support and deep sea transportation within the Nigerian coastal and inland waterways. SLOK Nigeria Ltd. is the largest indigenous company in Nigeria that owns, operates, and manages its own fleet. It is compliant with the Nigerian Cabotage Law and is registered with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency
In September 2016, the company announced its plans of producing the first made in Nigeria mobile phone
Kalu is involved with the Njiko Igbo Movement, whose purpose is to help secure the presidential seat for a Nigerian citizen of Igbo extraction; an Igbo has only held the presidency for six months since Nigeria's independence
The movement has branches and support groups throughout the diaspora.Kalu launched the organization together with former Nigerian Senator Emmanuel Onwe, a human rights advocate and lawyer earlier based in the United Kingdom.
Kalu married Ms. Ifeoma Ada Menakaya in December 1989, the got married in his hometown of Igbere, Abia State