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

My friend who warned against investing in Nigeria now taunting me – Aliko Dangote

Published

on

By

The President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has disclosed that his friend who earlier warned him against investing in Nigeria is now taunting him for ignoring his advice.

Dangote disclosed this in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday just as reports quoted the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority as claiming that diesel from Dangote Refinery is of inferior quality.

“Four years ago, one of my very wealthy friends began to invest his money abroad. I disagreed with him and urged him to rethink his actions in the interest of his country.

“He blamed his action on policy inconsistencies and shenanigans of interest groups.

“That friend has been taunting me in the past few days, saying he warned me and that he has been proven right,” Dangote was quoted to have said.

He said he invested in the refinery to help solve a major issue in the country, wondering why some people were working against him.

He added, “As you probably know, I am 67 years old. In less than three years, I will be 70. I need very little to live the rest of my life. I can’t take the refinery or any other property or asset to my grave. Everything I do is in the interest of my country.’

“We have been facing a fuel crisis since the 70s. This refinery can help in resolving the problem but it does appear some people are uncomfortable that I am in the picture. So I am ready to let go, let the NNPC buy me out, run the refinery.

“This refinery can help in resolving the problem but it does appear some people are uncomfortable that I am in the picture. So I am ready to let go, let the NNPC buy me out, and run the refinery. At least the country will have high-quality products and create jobs.”

The 650,000 barrel-per-day refinery, which came to life last year after a decade of prolonged construction, cost $19 billion, more than double the initial estimate, promising to help wean Africa’s biggest oil producer off its reliance on fuel from overseas and save up 30 per cent of the total foreign exchange spent on importing goods.

On Sunday, the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, said it was expecting fresh reports to confirm the real sulphur content of the diesel produced by the Dangote refinery as the company debunked claims of inferior fuel production.

The NMDPRA spokesman, George Ene-Ita, in an interview with The PUNCH, said the agency had done its job and would not engage in a media fight with anybody over the claims made by the NMDPRA Chief Executive, Farouk Ahmed, that Dangote’s diesel has more sulphur content than imported one.

According to Ene-Ita, the authority has about 15 engineers and scientists embedded in the Dangote refinery, whose fresh report about the refinery’s sulphur content will be out on Monday (today).

Africa’s richest man had earlier narrated how a cabal was blocking his moves to import crude and how it has been difficult to get products, slowing down operations.

But last week, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority said the Nigerian government was yet to license the Dangote refinery to begin operations in the country.

The Chief Executive Officer, NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, disclosed this while speaking with journalists at the state House on Thursday, July 18.

According to Ahmed, the claims of ongoing efforts to scuttle the operations of Dangote refinery due to lack of supply of crude oil by International Oil Companies were not true, adding that the refinery was still at the pre-commissioning stage and has not been licensed yet.

Ahmed added that the diesel product of Dangote was below international standard, a claim which the businessman had refuted.

 

Continue Reading

Society

Nigerians Lambast Lawmaker For Gifting Daughter Lexus SUV Amid Hardship, For Graduating From Secondary School

Published

on

By

Some Nigerians have taken to social media to lampoon Yusuf Gagdi, the lawmaker representing Pankshin/ Kanke/Kanam Constituency of Plateau State for gifting her daughter, Aisha, a brand-new Lexus RX SUV for graduating from Lead British International School in Abuja.

Gagdi a member of the All Progressives Congress in the House of Representatives seems to have literally stirred the honest nest as social media users took him to the cleaners.

Gagdi’s daughter also reportedly did well in her Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, Daily Nigerian reports.

Pictures of the proud family and the luxury vehicle were posted on the newspaper’s Facebook page, showcasing the lavish celebration.

The extravagant gift, however, has sparked conversations about wealth inequality and spending habits among Nigerian politicians, especially amidst a struggling economy.

A Facebook user, Lawan Bala Muhammad wrote, “Just secondary school not university. That good representation”

Abubakar Alhaji Abubakar said Nigeria’s “democracy is in wheelchair”.

Abdul Muhammad said, “While his constituents are there without electricity, water, access road or job opportunities.”

“So she would be gifted a jet when she graduates from the university, mispriority of highest order!all the same,congrats to the young damsel,” King Sunday Ajayi wrote.

Adebanjo Joshua said, “SUV that worths more than #75M wasted on secondary school graduated daughter while his constituents are left unemployed and impoverished? God will punish you!”

Babadoko Kutigi wrote, “And they(politicians)keep on telling innocent and venerable Nigerians to be patient with government while add more millions to their reserves everyday by day.”

Ahmerd Muserh said, “How i wish! Such is happening amidst the uncertainty of twice meal for the masses. Nigeria is not a country, it’s a business organisation with heartless proprietors. Astagfirullah!”

Nura Isyaku Fagge wrote, “This is the same lawmaker pretending to pity our situation. He was once addressing the chamber nearly crying.. Mhm.”

Tpl Imrana Daura said, “He could have the money used in buying the car and settle school fees for the less privileged. At least he can for over 300 students in the Nigerian Federal University tuition fees system.”

Also, Ibrahim Magaji Alkasim said, “This car is worth 80-100 Million Naira. How long will it take a working class Nigerian to buy it?

“The politicians are nothing but bunch of looters, they milk the country dry and if you ask for 250k minimum wage they will say Nigeria doesn’t have that money to pay its workers. Always borrowing money from China, IMF and world Bank, they are the same people that will share the money as bogus allowances and mismanage the rest.”

“That is why as ordinary citizens it’s time for us to come back into our right senses and forget our differences, which they are using to divide us. Let us remember It’s us VS them!”

Musa Ibrahim Ahmed wrote, “And they’re still asking Nigerians to be patient. Someone who’s giving out a car worth 40m is asking someone who is struggling with 2 square meal to be patient.!!

“This life no balance at all..🙄 We must protests and bring an end to this inhumane treatment by the gov’t. Aluta continua.”

Continue Reading

Society

Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui convicted in $1b fraud scheme

Published

on

By

A wealthy Chinese businessman Guo Wengui, a self-styled opponent of the authorities in Beijing, was found guilty of defrauding customers of more than $1 billion in a New York federal court on Tuesday, prosecutors said.

Guo presented himself as a fierce critic of the Chinese Communist Party and a fervent defender of democracy, while keeping links with US right-wing figure Steve Bannon, recently jailed in a separate case.

The FBI arrested Guo in March 2023 at his luxurious Manhattan apartment, in a building overlooking Central Park, accusing him of using his online fame to convince thousands of investors to fund his companies or projects.

They included GTV Media, and G/Clubs, which promised profitable investments or luxury services.

But instead of enriching his customers, their funds enabled him to live a life of lavish excess.

“Miles Guo, an exiled Chinese businessman and purported billionaire, brazenly operated several interrelated fraud schemes, all designed to fleece his loyal followers out of their hard-earned money so that Guo could spend his days in his 50,000 square foot mansion, driving his $1 million Lamborghini, or lounging on his $37 million yacht,” prosecutors said, referring to Guo by an alias.

A unanimous jury found Guo Wengui guilty of racketeering conspiracy and various securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering charges. He faces decades in prison.”

 

Continue Reading

Trending