Steve Jobs, Elumelu

The Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, Tony Elumelu, says the eradication of poverty in the country is the ultimate solution to insecurity and extremism.

Elumelu, who described poverty as a threat to every citizen, called for collective dedication and contribution to eradicate poverty in Nigeria.

The billionaire businessman made the call at the Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja on Sunday, August 27, 2023.

He further called for an investment in youth, women, and the power sector, saying transforming Nigeria is a journey that demands collective dedication and not the responsibility of the government alone.

Elumelu said: “Nation building is not a quick fix, it entails sacrifices.  We cannot keep doing the same things and expect different outcomes.

“Poverty anywhere is a threat to all of us everywhere. The ultimate panacea for insecurity and extremism is prosperity.

“This is why all of us must think of legacy and play our role and part now, that we can, to urgently support our young ones to become economically engaged, else we are doomed.

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“Let us not underestimate the power of hope.  Hope is what fuels the dreams of our youth, what ignites the determination of our entrepreneurs, and what unites us in our pursuit of a better future.

“Nations that prioritise their young go far – it is no coincidence that an America that created Harvard and Stanford, also produced Amazon, Microsoft, and Google – we need the same focus on our young, their futures, and ambitions.

“Let us invest in our women.  When a woman succeeds, families and communities are lifted out of poverty. It is no surprise that in my businesses, women lead and flourish.

“Let us invest in our power sector – let us create regulatory structures that reward success, that deliver to our people, our schools, our hospitals, and our industries, the sustainable, robust power supply that our country so urgently needs.

“Is it not ironic that a country with abundant gas resources cannot optimally operate its power plants due to lack of gas!”

The businessman further urged Nigerians to approach the task of nation-building with unwavering determination, guided by the principles of unity, inclusivity, and progress.

He stressed that the citizens’ pursuit of nation-building must be characterized by unwavering determination, empathy, and the commitment to create a legacy of progress, unity, and hope for generations to come.

Elumelu added: “Let us invest in our social infrastructure, in our civil society, our courts of law, and our administrators of justice.  No country – and no entrepreneur, can truly thrive without the rule of law, without peace, without certainty and fairness – for all – for our young, our old, our women and our men, our future generations.

“Let us invest in security. Banditry; kidnapping; oil theft; pipeline vandalization, transmission line cuts.  These create uncertainties, fears, deprivation, poverty, and untold hardship.

“Let us invest in brand Nigeria. We know the frustrations.  We know that joblessness of our youth is a betrayal of a generation; and the plundering of our commonwealth is inhumane and cruel, but we have no other motherland than Nigeria.

“Let us invest in Nigeria – so we are respected abroad and at peace and prosperous at home.”

The Star



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