Steve Jobs, Elumelu

The Chairman of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu, has urged Nigerian governors to work with the private sector for the development of the country.

Elumelu, who is the chairman of Transcorp Power Limited, enjoined the governors to see themselves as the president of their states and CEOs, saying Nigeria’s destiny can only be achieved with the public and private sectors working together for the common good.

He said this while addressing new and returning governors at the 2023 Governors’ Forum in Abuja on Monday, May 15.

Speaking on the topic, ‘Entrepreneurship, Youth Engagement, and Wealth Creation’, the billionaire businessman said: “Nigeria’s destiny can only be achieved with public and private sectors working together for the common good. An entrepreneur has a stake in our country’s success. An entrepreneur carries others, family, employees, communities with him or her.

“An entrepreneur wants stability, power, education, respect, and certainty in their environment. With this foundation, entrepreneurs can be the engines of our growth. This is why I champion entrepreneurship amongst our youth.

“Every state in Nigeria can be a country and governors must see themselves as the Presidents of their states, CEOs, and lead mentors.

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“Look at Singapore, a country with 6 million people, no oil, no abundance of natural resources, just human resources, and purposeful leadership. Today, the per capita GDP stands at USD55,000, up from USD 500 in 1965 making the country one of the most developed countries in the world.

“But how did they get there? It was not a mistake; it took deliberate actions by focused leadership – a combination of sound financial and economic policy coupled with a corruption-free environment and technological advancement.”

Elumelu, while speaking on the challenges facing Nigerian youths, said the problems bewildering the country would be solved if the youths are empowered and have an enabling environment to succeed.

He added: “As a private sector leader with investments in key sectors of the Nigerian economy through Heirs Holdings Group, Transcorp Group, and UBA Group, I see the challenges faced by our young.

“Together, our Group employs 40,000 people across Nigeria, and I can attest firsthand to the wave of skilled young people leaving the country for ‘greener pastures’. The Japa syndrome.

“We must tell ourselves the truth, the world today is so global that talent will always move to where conditions are most favourable. We cannot afford to waste our most precious resource, our young people. Through what we do at The Tony Elumelu Foundation, empowering young African, I understand first-hand, the importance of entrepreneurship in fostering youth engagement and poverty alleviation.

“It is not rocket science. If we focus on the young people in our respective states, empower them, create an enabling environment for them to succeed, we will solve our problems in this country. It is lack of economic hope or opportunity that leads a young man to carry an AK47 and join a terrorist or bandit group.

“My final advice to our governors and leaders was to pause and reflect as they commence this journey – to reflect on their legacy. How will history judge you? What greater legacy is there than your gift to the next generation – Give our youth economic hope, and they will transform our country,” Elumelu said.

The Star



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