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Tony Elumelu Sees Africa on the Rise and Calls for Stronger Business Relationships between Africa and France

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At the recent MEDEF Summer University Forum in Paris, the annual meeting of French business and political leaders, Tony Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings and UBA Plc and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, stressed the opportunities Africa offers and urged stronger business relationships between France and Africa; calling for a deepening of commercial relationships based on mutual respect and interest.

The Forum is one of France’s leading gatherings, bringing together over 7,500 business and opinion leaders, including Heads of State, government officials, political and business leaders, academics and over 450 French and international journalists. Elumelu was one of the select representatives from Africa, where he contributed to the opening panel debate, ‘The World is Watching Us’. Moderated by Frédéric Ferrer, journalist, consultant and professor at ESCP Europe, other participants were the President of MEDEF, Pierre Gattaz; Gary Coombe, President of Proctor & Gamble Europe; and Oudet Souvannavong, Executive Vice-President of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and President of Lao Hotel & Restaurant Association.

As a leading advocate for the African private sector and champion of African entrepreneurship, Elumelu began his speech by thanking France for the cordial business relationship between France and Africa. “When we as Africans look at France, we see a long standing friend of Africa. Looking forward, France and Africa must continue to partner in a manner that brings about positive change.”

Mr. Elumelu is known as the proponent of Africapitalism, the philosophy that Africa’s private sector can and should drive economic change on the continent. Fundamental to this is the role of entrepreneurship, which creates wealth and jobs on the scale needed in Africa. Mr. Elumelu pursued this theme, stating that the solutions to issues of social exclusion are enterprise and entrepreneurship.

He urged France to look beyond its traditional relationships with Francophone countries, important as they are, and to embrace Anglophone and Lusophone Africa. He called on small and large businesses in France and in Africa to seek ways of collaborating in order to deepen economic ties. “France has very strong links with Francophone Africa, and we would like to see you engage more commercially with the Anglophone countries; creating a new form of economic and commercial partnership between France and the whole of Africa,” he said.

Mr. Elumelu has long been an advocate of Africa on the rise and seized the opportunity to encourage businesses to invest on the continent, which has so much to offer in returns. He highlighted the role of Africans themselves investing on the continent, while making a call to the French public and private sector to do the same, stating that there is nowhere else that can give as much return on investment as in Africa.

“There is a reason MEDEF has a new economic interest in Africa. Africa is home to the largest and fastest growing consumer population globally. It is a huge opportunity for both international and domestic businesses – and African businesses are increasingly competing successfully. What we all want to see is Africa growing its own value adding industries; the days of commodity extraction are over.”

Elumelu advised governments to support the private sector, in order to create more value in the society. “What is good for the private sector is also good for society. The private sector is best placed to assist government achieve its mandate. If the private sector succeeds, it creates more jobs, enhances security, and improves living standards”.

Pierre Gattaz added to this statement saying: “Full employment should be on the agenda of any political programme that is worth any value or worth its name. This should take up 70% of any political agenda moving forward. We must encourage and trust those who bring enterprise and create jobs”.

Elumelu himself has an extraordinary track record of job creation, including creating the UBA Group, which now employs over 20,000 people in 19 African countries. And he is giving back, through the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s $100m commitment to support 10,000 entrepreneurs over a period of 10 years. Mr Elumelu concluded the session by encouraging the entrepreneurs present to reach for their dreams. “Entrepreneurs are able to bring their ideas to fruition through the support we give them. This is helping them not just to dream, but to turn their ideas into successful ventures – and create the foundation for broad based and meaningful change in Africa”.

The event was closed by the moderator, Frederic Ferrer, who applied the tag line of the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s entrepreneurship programme to France, “Your ideas can transform France too and not just Africa!”.

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Lagos Lawyer Gboyega Adetunji Delves Into Agriculture, Floats Abundish; A Revolutionary Farm-To-Table Outfit

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Barrister Gboyega Adetunji, a Lagos-based renowned legal practitioner, has ventured into agriculture with the launch of Abundish, a revolutionary farm-to-table service aimed at transforming how Nigerians access fresh, high-quality, and healthy farm produce.

 

Abundish is committed to offtake directly from farmers and supply to consumers promoting sustainable agricultural practices, and ensuring fair market value for produce.

 

The innovative platform offers a subscription-based model, allowing customers to customize their experience and receive curated selections of fresh, seasonal produce delivered conveniently to their homes.

 

“I’m thrilled to embark on this new journey, combining my passion for sustainable living and community development,” said Barrister Adetunji, Founder and CEO of Abundish.

 

“Our goal is to empower farmers, support local economies, and provide healthy, fresh produce to consumers while reducing food wastage and promoting sustainable practices.”

 

“Abundish is more than just a bridge,” says Barr. Gboyega Adetunji.

 

“We are a movement bringing fresh, high-quality produce whether cash or food crops directly from the farm to the end consumer, cutting out unhygienic produce, reducing landing costs of produce, and the convenience of doorstep delivery it affords our customers. This does not only benefits our customers, but also supports sustainable agricultural practices, grows the naira and local economies, and also empowers the farmers who nourish our communities.

 

Reacting to what inspires his diversification, Barr. Gboyega said “I’d always wanted to have my little farm that can cater for at least 80% of my consumption, but then I realized how impactful it would be if this practice could be extended to others, hence the creation of the Abundish brand”

 

When asked what sets Abundish apart from its counterparts, Barr. Gboyega said, “Abundish offers a unique subscription model, allowing customers to customize their experience and receive a curated selection of the freshest seasonal produce delivered conveniently to their homes. By bypassing traditional distribution channels, Abundish reduces food waste, ensures peak freshness for consumers and the amount of time doing tedious work of purchase and clean up”.

 

“Abundish offer fresh farm produce at fair market value, championing food security with sustainable practices” he added.

 

At Abundish, we are not just passionate about delivering farm-fresh produce, we are committed to creating a positive impact on our world. That is why we operate with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in mind, striving for a more sustainable, equitable, and food-secure future.

 

Join The Abundish Movement, visit www.abundish.info to learn more about Abundish, and subscribe to receive the freshest produce delivered at your convenience.

 

Follow Abundish on social media platforms for behind-the-scene farm footage, exclusive offers, recipes, and our social impact initiatives.

 

X (Twitter) – @abundish

 

Instagram – _@abundish

 

Facebook – Abundish

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US-based Nigerian Jailed 41 Months For Operating Illegal Money Transmitting Business; Funds Wired To Lagos Bank

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A Nigerian man based in the United States Oluwafemi Osinowo has been sentenced to 41 months in a federal prison after he was convicted of operating an illegal money transmitting business.

 

U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Gathe, Jr. in a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Louisiana on Monday, announced that Chief Judge Shelly D. Dick also sentenced Osinowo, 35, of Miami, Florida, to three years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment.

 

According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, from December 2016 to January 2019, Osinowo operated an unlicensed money transmitting business.

 

He confessed that he conducted foreign currency exchange business without complying with required federal registration requirements.

During the course of operating the business, money was transmitted from third parties from the Middle District of Louisiana and elsewhere to bank accounts located in Miami, Florida.

 

Once the money was in the bank accounts in Miami, Florida, an individual acting as an agent of Osinowo’s business wired the money to a bank in Lagos, Nigeria. Those wire transfers included approximately 51 separate transmissions in the aggregate total of approximately $722,177.

 

 

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‘Stolen’ $6.2m: What Emefiele Told Us In Kuje Prison – Investigators

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One of the investigators handling the case of $6,230,000 allegedly stolen from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on February 8, 2023, has revealed what Godwin Emefiele, immediate past governor of the apex bank, told them at Kuje prison.

The former CBN governor, who is standing trial on an alleged 20-count amended charge, preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was once remanded at Kuje prison.

He was alleged to have engaged in criminal breach of trust, forgery, conspiracy to obtain by false pretence and obtaining money by false pretence when he served as central bank chief.

In an affidavit filed before a Federal High Court in Abuja, one of the investigators, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, gave details of investigators’ findings and progress made so far.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police was quoted to have said: “We visited Kuje Correctional Centre, where we interviewed Godwin Emefiele, who purportedly approved the memos authorising the payment, as then CBN gov and he denied seeing, talk less of approving such memos.

“We also arrested some concerned staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who denied any involvement in the crime, before we finally arrested Bashirudeen Maishanu, who corroborated the account of Abdulmajeed Muhammad and further confessed to have been involved in the crime which, according to him was perpetrated by himself and the first to third defendants/respondents – Adamu Abubakar, Imam Abubakar and Odoh Eric Ocheme.

“Bashiru Maishanu further confessed that himself, the first and second defendants/respondents (Adamu Abubakar and Imam Abubakar) shared the sum of $2,500,000.00 from the stolen money, while the third defendant/respondent (Odoh Eric Ocheme), being a fellow staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria, kept the balance of $3,730,000.00 claiming that he had other interests to settle in the CBN.

“Bashirudeen Maishanu further confessed that both himself, and the first and second defendants/respondents jointly invested the United States dollars equivalent of the sum of N1, 440,000,000.00 into real estate business of Afrolyk Global Ltd.

“The Managing Director of the said Afrolyk Ltd, Aminu Lawal has been arrested and he confirmed the investment by Bashirudeen Maishanu, Adamu Abubakar and Imam Abubakar, and already refunded the sum of $200 000 00 to the Special Investigator’s team as part of the money he (Aminu Lawal) received as part of the purported investment.

“Cash of about $400,000 00 has also been voluntarily returned by Bashiru Maishanu from part of his remaining share of the money in question. The money (the $6,230,000) was received in cash from the Central Bank at Nigeria and also shared in the same cash by the defendants/respondents and others, making it difficult to trace the monies without arresting the defendants/respondents.

“It was later revealed that the third defendant – Odoh Eric Ocheme – was the Personal Assistant to Godwin Emefiele as the CBN governor while the first and second defendants (Adamu Abubakar and Imam Abubakar) are businessmen and associates of Bashirudeen Maishanu.”

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