About Onitsha City Marathon.

Onitsha City Marathon (OCM) is an initiative developed to discover and harness sporting talents of the teeming youths of Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria and Africa at large and to showcase Onitsha City on the global map as a centre of sporting excellence.
OCM is aimed at revolutionizing sports as a tool for Socio-Economic Development in Africa, and ultimately encourage young people to invest their energies in sports. OCM is an Annual Marathon that would run through Onitsha metropolis.


To be the undisputed best marathon reference in Africa.


To be a platform for discovering, developing and deploying the avalanche sporting energies within the host environment and Africa at large, adopting effective coordinating methodology and contemporary technology.

Stategic Imperative

Purity of intent and sincerity of purpose.

The projects aims to
• To Organize a world class Marathon in Onitsha City
• To place Onitsha City on the global map as a Centre of Sporting excellence.
• To change the perception of Onitsha as a city known only for buying and selling to a Sporting City.
• To develop, harness and showcase new sports talents and give an avenue for existing sports talents to show case their skills.
• To act as a catalyst to revolutionize sports as a tool for Socio- Economic development in Onitsha metropolis.
• To create value added networks that would be catalyst for emerging new partnerships.
• To encourage young people to invest their energies in productively in Sports.
• To lead to the creation of three sports recreation centres within the City.
• To promote sports tourism in Onitsha City.
• To put the Marathon on the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) and other Athletics calendar.

About OCM Initiator and Coordinator.

Professor Olusegun Sogbesan is the Director General of Onitsha Business School and the initiator of the Onitsha City Marathon. The Idea of Onitsha City Marathon is a product of an MBA simulation class which was facilitated by Professor Olusegun Sogbesan, being a solution to observed environmental challenge in otherwise energetic and vibrant youth populace idling away.
Onitsha business school is the coordinator of the Onitsha City Marathon.

Onitsha Business School (OBS) is an initiative designed to harness appropriate educational resources to develop and train the massive pool of commercial, industrial and entrepreneurial talents in and around the commercial city of Onitsha.
While its establishment has been triggered by the peculiar and specific needs of the city and Anambra state, Nigeria in particular, its focus and mission is to become a widely acclaimed Center of educational excellence delivering a strategically crafted range of leadership, vocational and business related academic, professional and skills based programs to a selected category of prospective students.

This school takes students beyond the classroom to understand the practical realities of the business world. The Capabilities of managers and leaders are enhanced to address challenges. People are exposed to leading edge-thinking and by that ensure that businesses have the strategic drive to succeed.

About Onitsha City.

Onitsha is a city located on the eastern bank of the Niger River, in Nigeria’s Anambra State. A metropolitan city, Onitsha is known for its river port and as an economic hub for commerce, industry, and education. It hosts the Onitsha Main Market, the largest market in West Africa in terms of geographical size and volume of goods. The indigenous people of Onitsha are Igbo and speak the Igbo language. The Onitsha people are referred to as Ndi Onicha.

History of Onitsha

In 1900 Onitsha became part of a British protectorate. The British colonial government and Christian missionaries penetrated most of Igboland to set up their administration, schools and churches through the river port at Onitsha. More immigrants from the hinterland of Igboland were drawn to the emerging boom town as did the British traders who settled there in Onitsha, and coordinated the palm oil and cash crops trade.
In 1965, the Niger River Bridge was built across the Niger River to replace the ferry crossing. This has helped to grow trade routes with western Nigeria and created significant economic linkages between Onitsha and Benin City and Lagos particularly. The Nigerian-Biafran war brought devastation to Onitsha as the city was a major theatre of war for forces entering Biafra from the western front. The subsequent oil boom years of the 1970s and early 1980s witnessed a huge influx of immigrants into the city. The result has been hastily constructed and haphazard building which has created a huge number of slums.

People and Culture

Onitsha traditionally consists of nine villages, otherwise known as Ebo Itenani. These are descendants of the progenitor Umuezechima comprising Isiokwe, Olosi, Umuezearoli, Okebunabo, Obikporo and Ogbeotu which claim origin from Igala in Kogi state, Awada (Ogbeozoma), Obamkpa comprising Umuasele, Iyiawu and Odoje Ndugbe and Odumegwu Gbuagu, Ubulu na Ikem, Ulutu, Ubene, Ogboli Eke, Obior and Ogbeotu. Within these groupings there are six administrative wards namely Okebunabo, Umuezearoli, Ogbeolu, Isiokwe na Ogboli Olosi, Obamkpa and Eke na Ubene. Onitsha operates a traditional government headed by the Obi, the titular head of the town who is assisted by Ndi Ichie, titled red cap elders or chiefs. When the ruling Obi joins his ancestors, the Onowu Iyasele, as the traditional prime minister takes charge until a new Obi is enthroned.
Once a year in October the kingdom of Onitsha holds the Ofala Festival which coincides with the traditional New Yam festival held in many parts of Igboland. It is a way for the people of Onitsha to keep their culture alive and it has become a major event that draws visitors from far and wide to the city.


Onitsha lies at a major east-west crossing point of the Niger River, and occupies the northernmost point of the river regularly navigable by large vessels. These factors have historically made Onitsha a major center for trade between the coastal regions and the north, as well as between eastern and western Nigeria. Onitsha possesses one of the very few road bridge crossings of the mile-wide Niger River and plans are in place to add a second bridge near it.


Onitsha has indeed played a creative role in the transformation to urban life in Eastern Nigeria famous as the setting for Onitsha Market Literature and as one of the hubs for the financing and distribution of Nollywood films.
However, infrastructure has not kept pace with urbanization and haphazard building practices without zoning regulations has left in its wake a chaotic and congested city life with lawlessness. The World Health Organization Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution database’s 2016 update indicates that Onitsha is the most polluted city in the world. However, as Onitsha has been a symbol of urban blight, it is also becoming a poster child of modern-day urban renewal. Significant efforts have been made by the Government of Anambra State to clean up the city and improve security, including the transformation of the formerly lawless Upper Iweka business district and the expansion and fixing of the collapsed federal expressway through Onitsha.
Today, Onitsha has grown into a modern-day urban city in Anambra State with a population approaching a million. Significant efforts have been made by the Government of Anambra State to clean up the city and improve security, including the transformation of the formerly lawless Upper Iweka business district and the expansion and fixing of the collapsed federal expressway through Onitsha.
Today, Onitsha has grown into a modern-day urban city in Anambra State with a population approaching a million.


As the Nigerian economy has expanded, so too has Onitsha played a central role in the trade and distribution of manufactured goods from Lagos and food produce from various northern towns to buyers from all over Eastern Nigeria and across the West African region.
Consequently, Onitsha has grown to become one of Nigeria’s most significant market towns and its Main Market, one of the largest markets in West Africa, a center point where billions of naira are transacted every day. Onitsha’s role as a strategic gateway for trade and commerce continues to expand and deepen and the Anambra State government has made a conscious effort to encourage industrialization over the past few years through infrastructure renewal and directed investment.
In 2012 the state government, through a joint venture, attracted SAB Miller to invest in Onitsha Brewery, which started production in August. It was the first large scale investment in Onitsha since Premier breweries, makers of the Premier Beer, established production in Onitsha in the early part of the 1980s. In January it was announced that upgrades to the value of $110 million would triple the output of beer and malt drinks.
Other factories have sprung up in the popular Harbor Industrial Layout including Orange Drugs, a soap-making factory; Krisoral, a bottle cap manufacturing company; and PZ Cussons, Dozzy Group Of Company, Golden Oil, Hyma Foam, Olympic Packers, Pokobros, Grand Cereals, Life Breweries, Tiger Spices, Kates Associates.


The Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha with Most Rev. Valerian Maduka Okeke as the Archbishop of Onitsha. The Church Of Nigeria Anglican Communion Anglican Church has All Saints’ Cathedral, the Headquarters of the Diocese on the Niger with Rt. Revd. Owen Chidozie Nwokolo the Bishop on the Niger. The Anglicans were the first missionaries in Onitsha in 1857. Later came the Catholics in 1884. It is the residence of the traditional ruler of Onitsha, the Obi of Onitsha, His Majesty Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe CFR, mni (Agbogidi). Islam is practiced in the city by people from Northern and Western Nigeria.

Prize Money.

Prize Money for Men and Women

1st Position = $10,000
2nd Position = $7,000
3rd Position = $5,000
4th Position = $4,000
5th Position = $3,500
6th Position = $3,000
7th Position = $2,500
8th Position = $2,000
9th Position = $1,500
10th Position = $1,000

Prize Money for Nigerian Men and Women

1st Nigerian = ₦ 1,000,000
2nd Nigerian = ₦ 750,000
3rd Nigerian = ₦ 500,000
4th Nigerian = ₦ 300,000
5th Nigerian = ₦ 200,000
6th Nigerian = ₦ 100,000
7th Nigerian = ₦ 75,000
8th Nigerian = ₦ 50,000
9th Nigerian = ₦ 40,000
10th Nigerian = ₦ 20,000

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