Connect with us

Society

Elumelu: “We give to empower and break the cycle of dependency. Entrepreneurship is the only path to independence and sustainability.”

Published

on

President Koroma of Sierra Leone, President Obasanjo of Nigeria, Governor Ikpeazu, Minister Lai Mohammed, Mrs Folorunsho Alakija, Join 1,000 African Entrepreneurs At 2016 Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum.

•         Foundation Announces Partnerships with African Development Bank, ECOWAS, Coca-Cola, Nigerian Ministry of Information.

 

 

At the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs, held in Lagos, Nigeria, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) hosted almost 1,000 women and men from 54 African countries, for the 2nd TEF Entrepreneurship Forum.

 

 

 

The Forum celebrates the 2016 cohort of Elumelu Entrepreneurs, selected from over 45,000 applicants. It is the annual highlight of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme and saw the presence of leading policy makers and business leaders from across Africa, giving their support to the Foundation and its promise to identify, train, mentor and seed 1,000 entrepreneurs in a decade-long $100 million commitment. Following the Forum, each entrepreneur is eligible to receive up to $10,000 to implement their business plan.

EEF 2016

(L-R): Former Prime Minister of Benin Republic Lionel Zinsou; President Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria; His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Sierra Leone; Mr. Tony Elumelu CON, Founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation; Mrs. Awele Elumelu, CEO Avon Medical; Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, Vice Chair of Famfa Oil; and Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture.

 

 

Applauding Tony Elumelu’s promise to not only empower entrepreneurs, but also to tackle the fundamental economic challenges confronting the African continent, His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Sierra Leone called on others to emulate Elumelu. “Even when we had Ebola in Sierra Leone, Tony was there. His is an example which other successful Africans must follow.”

 

 

 

Focusing on the uniqueness of TEF’s approach to entrepreneurship development, President Koroma hailed the programme as “a genuinely innovative approach to philanthropy in Africa – an African offering African solutions.”

 

 

 

“What is unique about this programme is that it not only provides a platform for entrepreneurs to build connections, but they are also being taught how to build their businesses in a sustainable way. Other philanthropists will be inspired to support and promote this philosophy” the President concluded.

 

 

 

In his keynote speech, Mr. Elumelu stated “I salute those here, our ambition is that you become ambassadors for entrepreneurship in Africa – you are a generation of wealth creators, who share our commitment to the economic and social transformation of Africa. Let me tell you about Momarr Mass Taal, the CEO of Tropingo Foods, who has turned his first $5,000 seed capital received from the Foundation last year, into a $1.2 million revenue business. We all want many more of these! However, as excited as I am about the 2,000 entrepreneurs that we have selected, this gathering is in some ways bittersweet, as I reflect on the 63,000 ideas received in the Programme’s short two years of existence we were unable to select – our commitment is to all entrepreneurs in Africa.”

 

 

 

Mr Elumelu challenged all stakeholders from the public and private sectors, civil society, multilateral organizations and all individuals invested in Africa’s economic development to join hands with the Foundation to support the wider African entrepreneurial community.  “We need to support our entrepreneurs because extreme poverty and economic opportunity rarely coexist in the same place.”

 

 

 

He also announced partnerships with regional institutions the African Development Bank, ECOWAS, and others including Coca Cola, the International Trade Centre, Nigerian Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism and Côte d’Ivoire Ministry of Entrepreneurship.

 

 

 

The two-day forum buzzed with energy as entrepreneurs shared and gained knowledge, built cross-border partnerships, and connected with investors and policymakers, fulfilling the goal of fostering innovation and collaboration between entrepreneurs from across Africa.

 

 

 

On Day One, attendees benefited from masterclasses on traditional and alternative means of financing, sales and marketing, as well as sector specific workshops and an in-depth session on Africapitalism –  Elumelu’s economic philosophy that identifies the leading role of Africa’s private sector, including its entrepreneurs, in Africa’s transformation.

 

In her opening remarks, Mrs. Awele Elumelu, CEO Avon Medical, Trustee of the Foundation and wife of Founder, Mr. Elumelu, welcomed the entrepreneurs to Lagos and commended their drive and effort in finding solutions to some of the continent’s most pervasive challenges. The CEO of the Foundation, Ms. Parminder Vir, invited entrepreneurs in the audience to continue to build the future and to challenge the flawed perceptions of Africa.

 

 

 

Day Two featured a high-level panel dedicated to identifying policies to strengthen the enabling environment for entrepreneurs, moderated by BBC anchor, Lerato Mbele, with panellists including His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma, President of Sierra Leone, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria, Former Prime Minister of Benin RepublicLionel Zinsou, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture and Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, Vice Chair of Famfa Oil.

 

 

 

Opening the High-Level Panel, Mrs. Alakija congratulated the entrepreneurs, praised TEF’s focus on entrepreneurship and shared her own personal story of perseverance to demonstrate the entrepreneurs need for resilience and doggedness. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo hailed Elumelu’s perseverance and focus on giving back. “By every means, God has made His face shine upon you. You are not the only one, but unlike you, some others do not have the idea of empowering the next generation of Africans in the manner and scale that you are doing.” He further emphasized patience to the young entrepreneurs. In his words, “For strength in life you need a bit of adversity.” He also called on the Nigerian government to implement policies that encourage investors and entrepreneurs to do business in Nigeria. Former Prime Minister of Benin, Lionel Zinsou, commended the Tony Elumelu Foundation, stating “What Tony Elumelu is doing is the exception, not the norm.”

 

 

Other speakers at the event included Clare Akamanzi, Representative of President Kagame of Rwanda,  Kennedy Uzoka, Group CEO of the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), Minster of Solid Minerals, Hon. Kayode Fayemi, Segun Awolowo, CEO of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Clem Ugorji, Public Affairs & Communications Director, Coca-Cola West Africa, Emeke Iweriebor, Regional CEO of UBA Africa (Francophone), Matthew Pearson, Head of Africa Equity Sales at ICBC Standard Bank, Sam Nwanze, Chief Investment Officer at Heirs Holdings.

Details of the 2016 Elumelu Entrepreneurs can be found at http://tonyelumelufoundation.org/teep/ and TEF’s documentary “Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurs: Transforming Africa” at http://bit.ly/TEEPdocumentary.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Society

I Know My Husband Likes Women – Olori Sekinat Elegushi

Published

on

Olori Sekinat, the first wife of Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi, Elegushi of Ikate-Elegushi, said she is not bothered by her husband’s love for women.

In an interview with BBC Yoruba, Sekinat, who married the monarch in 2003, said she knew at the beginning of their relationship that the monarch loves women.

The queen, who argued that all men are promiscuous, said she decided to continue with the relationship because of her love for him.

“My mum had a shop at Lagos Island. That’s where the king saw me and picked interest in me… I gave him a chance and we became friends,” she said.

“However, I told him that I had a boyfriend at the time but he said there’s no problem with that since we were only going to be friends.

Whenever I tell him that I’m going to see my boyfriend, he usually insists on accompanying me there. In fact, he knew my boyfriend then.

“In 2003, he proposed to me. I love him and he also loves me… despite the fact that he had other women in his life.

“For someone like him, who loves women, I ought to have turned him down that I cannot cope but we got along till he proposed and we got married.”

The monarch took a second wife in 2019, Olori Hadizat Elegushi.

Reflecting on how she copes with the monarch’s love for women, she said: “God has given me a patient and enduring spirit since childhood, my husband knows that I don’t disturb him on issues that have to do with women.

“That is because I know he truly loves me, and he always puts me first. So, I’m not scared because I know no one can take my place.

“It’s basically all men, it does not have to do with my husband alone. It is now left for the wife at home to handle the situation well. There is no man that is not promiscuous, it’s not possible except those that are yet to be born.”

Continue Reading

Society

How Green Space Recyling’s Yemi Megbope Allegedly Dupes Investor Of N42million

Published

on

 

Being a sustainability adherent, Joshua Adegbola participated in a seminar organised by the Lagos Business School in 2019 with the hope that the platform would connect him with the right people and ultimately propel him into realising his lifelong ambition – owning a recycling plant.

 

During the seminar, he met Yemi Megbope, who was equally a recycling enthusiast, and thought his prayer had been answered.

 

Yemi Megbope.

 

After the exchange of ideas and an extensive conversation on recycling, Megbope offered Adegbola a stimulant – an invitation to her recycling plant in Ikorodu, Lagos.

 

“I paid a visit to her factory called Green Space Recycling Services Ltd. in Ikorodu in 2019 and was impressed by what I saw. I became so excited that I expressed my desire to set up something similar to hers,” Adegbola said.

 

The N34 million invoice Megbope sent to Adegbola

 

The PSP operator said he began making payments to Megbope in tranches but was forced to ask for a refund when he noticed a grey area in the agreement they had.

 

“When I started having doubts about all the things she told me, I took my money back from her. However, when she gave me assurances that my funds were safe, I started paying the money back to her in tranches,” Adegbola said.

 

“She said there was no problem and that I should reach out to her anytime I was ready.

 

“I asked her what it would cost me to set up a similar recycling centre, especially in the area of getting all necessary equipment needed for the business, and she said she would find out and get back to me.”

 

Adegbola said he reached out to Megbope in June 2020 when he felt he was ready to start the business.

 

“When I told her I was ready, she gave me a quotation of N29.2 million and a list of the equipment that would be transported to Nigeria from China once I made payment,” Adegbola said.

“When she gave me the list, I told her I personally didn’t have that kind of money but there were people that could borrow me.”

 

The moment Adegbola recommenced payment for the equipment he needed, the narrative changed.

 

“After paying a considerable amount out of the N29.2 million she said the equipment would cost me, she reached out to me and said the dollar exchange rate had changed and that I now had to pay N34 million,” Adegbola said

 

“I couldn’t go back at that point, so I had to make the additional payment she requested.

 

“In February 2021, I completed the payment after I was able to raise the money from friends.

 

“Mogbope told me my equipment would arrive Nigeria in March, 2021.

 

“For me to be able to clear the machines when they eventually arrive the Apapa port, she initially told me, it would cost N4.6 million. But later, she said it would cost me N6.6 million.

 

“At the end of the day, the entire amount I paid to Mogbope was N42,080,000 million. It was also agreed that the equipment I ordered would come in ‘two full containers.’”

 

 

 

WHAT ADEGBOLA ORDERED VERSUS WHAT HE GOT

 

 

 

Yemi Megbope

 

The goods did arrive the Apapa port in March, 2021, as Megbope promised. However, they did not come in ”two full containers” as promised and this sent an immediate signal to Adegbola that something was not right.

 

“When the goods arrived, I noticed they were scattered in six different containers,” the PSP operator said.

 

“I also saw that they loaded other peoples’ goods with mine in all six containers. I quickly sensed that the equipment she had ordered on my behalf was not even up to two containers and that was why she had them scattered in other people’s containers.”

 

Just like he had suspected, when the machines were brought out, Adegbola realised that they were not complete.

 

“Without wasting any further time, I decided to confront her about the incomplete machines that were delivered to me,” Adegbola said.

 

“This was when she said the money I paid her could not buy the whole equipment and that she only later decided to buy the most important ones I would be needing among them.

 

“She added that I should still be able to start my plant with the incomplete but key machines that were delivered to me. She even advised me to buy the missing ones locally.

 

“I became so sad because the equipment Megbope handed over to me were not worth N42 million. I also became quite depressed because I knew I had been defrauded.”

 

THE ACTUAL COST OF THE MACHINES MEGBOPE COLECTED N40M FOR AND STILL DID NOT DELIVER

 

Adegbola told us that he decided to do an independent finding online to know the actual cost of the machine Megbope collected over N40 million for.

 

“Luckily for me, I came in contact with the actual Chinese company that Megbope purchased the equipment from and they sent me all relevant correspondents on the inquiry I made,” Adegbola said.

 

“I then requested for an invoice from the company, and when they sent it, the equipment she collected about $100,000 from me for – because as of then a dollar was still being exchanged for N430 – was less than $25,000!

 

“This meant that the actual cost of all the equipment was within the region of N15 million.

 

“How could she have collected almost triple the actual amount from me and still not deliver all the equipment I needed? I was really mad.”

 

“Despite making over N27 million off me, she still chose not to deliver the complete equipment. Is that not wickedness?”

 

THE MEETING

 

Adegbola told our correspondent that he later scheduled a meeting with Megbope to allow both parties fashion out a solution on the matter.

 

“In the meeting, I told her my findings and the actual amount the Chinese company told me the equipment cost and she gave an excuse that she didn’t go to China herself,” Adegbola said.

 

“She also claimed she made the purchase through an intermediary.

 

“I then asked her, ‘You claimed to have used an intermediary, yet after swindling me this much, you still did not deliver all I requested for?’”

 

Adegbola said he insisted that Megbope get in touch with the intermediary so he could speak to him directly but she became evasive.

 

“I told her I paid for two containers so that my equipment wouldn’t get mixed up with those of others. It was clear she had my equipment scattered in different containers because of the fraud she wanted to perpetrate,” he said.

 

 

 

THE FAILED PROMISES THAT FOLLOWED

 

Adegbola said he had been asking Megbope to deliver the outstanding equipment since March, 2021, but she had continued to give him excuses.

 

In February, he got his lawyer to write her a demand letter.

 

 

 

First Demand Letter Adegbola Wrote to Megbope

 

“In February 2022, I got my lawyer to write her a letter demanding that she address my concern by making the other outstanding equipment available,” Adegbola said.

 

First Demand Letter Adegbola Wrote to Megbope

 

“Her lawyer wrote us back that the reason I did not get all the complete equipment was that there was ‘a mix up from China’. He also said they would be delivered soon. Till date, however, there has been no further response from them.

 

“I later asked her to pay me the equivalent of the outstanding equipment so that I could make the purchase on my own but she still did not respond.”

 

Adegbola said he wrote another letter to Megbope in September but still did not get any favourable response.

 

Message Between Agebola and Megbope

 

“She later sent me a series of WhatsApp messages to ask me where I would want her to deliver the items to. I sent the address to her and to her lawyer also,” Adegbola said.

 

“Till we speak, she still has not delivered them.”

 

Another Demand Letter Written in March

 

Adegbola said he had been getting messages from his creditors to repay the loans he collected from them between 2020 and 2021.

 

I don’t know why she doesn’t want me to flourish,” Adegbola said.

 

“The loan that I secured in order to pay her for the equipment has now risen to over N80 million because of the interest I am supposed to pay on it. It has continued to accumulate interest at a compounding rate.

 

“She has killed my business and I know she is after my life. One of the things that can throw a man into depression is debt, especially when it is an unserviceable debt.

 

“Every day, I wake up, go about my business and come back home to an ever-increasing debt, and this is because Megbope has decided to hold on to what could have brought forth the income I could have used in repaying the debt.

 

“It’s been over 20 months since I made the payment to her.”

 

 

 

REVELATION FROM THE SOURCE

 

Final Demand Notice Issued in October

 

Adegbola said he later reached out to a Chinese contact who also knew about the development.

 

What the Chinese contact revealed to me was disturbing,” Adegbola said.

 

“He told me that Megbope sold my equipment to another person. I also was able to establish that she paid around N15 million for the equipment and kept over N27 million for herself. Yet she did not supply all she was supposed to supply to me.

 

“I challenged her to bring out the list of equipment she ordered and the prices that were given to her by the manufacturers, but she never released the actual price list to me. She only sent me the total sum I was to pay.”

 

Adegbola said that apart from the N27 million fraud, Megbope had also refused to deliver essential machines like a rising tank, three screw loaders and one hot washing tank to him.

 

“It has been a tormenting journey. It is an episode that can make you lose your mind,” the PSP operator said.

 

‘OUR LAWYERS ARE ALREADY SORTING ISSUES OUT’

 

When contacted Megbope for comments on the matter, she said her lawyer was already working with Adegbola’s lawyer to get the issue resolved.

 

“He already told a lawyer to write to me on the issue. I have also contacted mine and they are already exchanging correspondence,” Megbope said.

 

When she was further asked whether she would like to react to the allegation levelled against her, she said she preferred to allow her lawyer do his job.

 

“When lawyers are having conversations, it is always better to allow them do their job. At the end of the day, the legal route is like the ultimate [sic],” she said.

 

After the conversation Megbope had with our reporter, she again reached out to Adegbola in November 2022, promising to deliver the equipment in one week. But she failed again in making good the promise.

 

 

Continue Reading

Society

My 3 Daughters Can Stand Shoulder-to Shoulder With Any Man — Olori Sekinat Elegushi

Published

on

 

Olori Sekinat Aramide Elegushi, wife of Lagos popular traditional ruler, Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi, has revealed that she is not bothered about not producing an heir for her husband.

 

 

 

In a recent interview with BBC News, the elegant Queen of Ikate Kingdom said she is not worried but has been so blessed to have three adorable daughters together with Oba Elegushi—who she married in 2003— and they have both raised the girls to stand shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts in any part of the world.

 

 

 

She admitted that while women are not allowed to sit on the Elegushi royal throne, her daughters are capable of competing on an equal footing with men anywhere in the world.

 

 

 

“I never believed I wouldn’t have a male child but God in His infinite mercies gave me three beautiful daughters. Of course when it comes to ascending the throne, female children cannot inherit the throne. But I am so proud of my daughters because there is no place where any of their male counterparts stand, my daughters will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them,” Olori boasted in the interview released on Wednesday and conducted in the Yoruba language.

 

 

 

The Olori’s experience of successfully raising her three daughters has inspired her passionate love for the underprivileged and showing love to children through her Quality and Selfless Empowerment, QSE Foundation.

 

 

 

Speaking passionately about the foundation which holds annual children’s parties, and always well attended by several children in the community and beyond, Olori Sekinat said: “We care for mothers and their children. We have also been able to help many women in the community. The face of the kingdom has really changed. We have been able to introduce some modernity into the way things are done.”

 

 

 

Fielding questions on how different women swarm around her charming and well-heeled husband; Olori Sekinat said she has never been bothered by this as she claimed that it is natural for her husband to be attracted to different women because of his look and status as a first class modern monarch.

 

 

 

She however expressed confidence in her husband’s love and knowing that he prioritises her above every other woman. “God has given me the virtues of patience and endurance since I was young. My husband knows I don’t make a fuss about other women because I know he loves me and puts me first,” she exuded.

 

 

 

Olori Sekinat recalled meeting the king as a student at her late mother’s shop on Lagos Island, but he did not tell her anything about his royal status.

 

 

 

She claimed to have voiced concerns when her husband was selected for the throne at the time he —Oba Elegushi— was already rising politically and on the verge of getting the ticket to represent his people in Eti Osa at the House of Representatives but the wishes of the people prevailed.

 

 

Continue Reading

Trending