J.H. Doherty

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J.H. Doherty was a Nigerian businessman who rose from an environment of poverty and enmity to create a successful merchandise trading firm. He was one of Nigeria's earliest true rag to riches stories.

Life and career

Doherty was born in Lagos in 1866. He started his career as a clerk in a Lagos business concern and studied the art of business. He left the firm later and started his own outfit as a small master trader in 1891. Then, he had a capital of 47 pounds with a location at the Alakoro district of Lagos. Doherty's background made him more firm in his business conducts. He was considered a man of cautious disposition and studied with care every transaction that he was interested in. Though cautious, he had foresight, and quickly learned various Nigerian commodities trade. Succeeding in trading Nigerian commodities, he gained the attention of an European firm. The foreign firm lent him credit on a gradual scale starting from 1,444 pounds a year to about 48,000 pounds a year. The inflush of credit increased his trading revenues and led to increased wealth. By 1898, he was already independent and was able to fund his own trading.