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Elumelu Speaks on Africapitalism to Youths at University of Ghana, Legon

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Tony Elumelu, chairman, United Bank for Africa (UBA) plc.

Tony Elumelu visited Ghana as the first stop of his UBA tour of Africa, propagating the ideal of Africapitalism. 

In continuation of his strategic vision of engineering a robust economic and business relationship across the continent through Africapitalism as a necessary tool for the socio economic development of Africa, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, group chairman UBA Plc, and Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, spoke at the prestigious University of Ghana, Legon, before hundreds of Ghanaian youths, academics and entrepreneurs.

The serial entrepreneur who at the young age of 34, became the Managing Director of one of Nigeria’s top banks (Standard Trust Bank), reiterated the usefulness of preparedness. He expanded on the qualities that make a successful entrepreneur.

‘The first is dedication, then vison, focus, ambition, and our ability to do things when we want to do them. We must always remain laser focused and aim to execute to perfection’ Elumelu said.

These are some of the qualities that enabled Elumelu lead one of the biggest mergers in Nigeria’s history to date. Today, UBA is amongst the top 3 banks in the country and rapidly growing in Africa. 

According to Elumelu, ‘I saw us grow a bank from 5 branches to 1000 branches with presence in 19 African countries and in Paris, London and New York. The lesson here is start small, have a purpose, be disciplined, think long term’

He went on further to stress  that entrepreneurship and not Aid, is key to achieving poverty reduction and empowering Africans to solve our challenges without dependence on aid from western countries.

In his words, “Knowledge has no currency or value. It is priceless, and there is no greater gift than the gift of knowledge” Speaking further, he said “Africans must come up with innovative, home grown solutions for challenges we continue to face.” He added that UBA embraces this innovation: “UBA was the 1st bank to encourage customers to come and bank with zero account balance.”

Earlier during the working visit, on Monday, Tony Elumelu met with His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana where they held fruitful discussions on matters of mutual benefit as well as deliberated on issues geared towards the growth and development of Finance and entrepreneurship in Ghana.

Of the meeting, Elumelu stated “I am delighted to be on this historic visit to Ghana which has been a shining light of UBA’s business across Africa. It was a great opportunity to meet with and congratulate the newly elected president of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo and to extend our readiness to partner with his administration in the rapid development of Ghana and Africa at large. It was also an honour to meet with young and vibrant Students and share my Vision of Africapitalism”.

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How and Why 95 Per Cent of SMEs Die- Elumelu

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Tony Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings

Tony Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings, has said multiple taxations and levies kill 95 percent of small and medium scale businesses in Nigeria.

 

Elumelu made this statement while speaking at the Lagos Business School Alumni Association 2017 Alumni Day in Lagos.

 

He said five percent of the small businesses that survived after one year was a big disincentive to the nation in terms of employment creation.

 

The entrepreneur said multiple business regulation, multiple taxation and inconsistent government policies affect SMEs competitiveness and their ability to attract capital in their investment climate.

 

He said despite the multiple taxation, Nigeria remains the lowest in the world with 10 percent tax contribution to gross domestic product (GDP).

 

“It seems we have a big problem, because, with high taxation and multiple levies, it is expected we should have very high tax revenue,’’ he said.

 

He said the government should find out the reason for the discrepancy between desired growth and development.

 

He urged the government to create a more conducive environment that would encourage survival of SMEs in order to reduce the unemployment rate.

 

“Government doesn’t create jobs, it is the right enabling environment for SMEs that create jobs.”

 

He urged the government to streamline all taxation and levies across the three tiers of government to avoid the collapse of SMEs.

 

Taiwo Oyedele, head of tax and corporate advisory services, PwC Nigeria, called for the amendment of the constitution to ensure coordination among the three tiers of government and their agencies.

 

Oyedele said the multiplicity of government agencies with the same work function was becoming worrisome.

 

“You don’t need tax incentives for people to do business, we just need to remove the disincentives,” he said.

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NDDC Chairman Seeks the Use of ICT to Re-position Niger Delta

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Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), Chairman, Governing Board of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has reiterated its commitment to re-position the region through the development of Information Communication Technology (ICT).

He stated this when Mr Bayo Onanuga, Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), and other management staff visited him on Friday in Abuja.

He said the commission had a programme whereby five optic cables were given to the region to increase internet access.

“You don’t need to be a university graduate to be an ICT guru.

“If we create ICT in the region, it will boost our economy, he said.

The chairman said the commission was also looking at the area of sport, young boys and girls could be engaged competitively.

“Today, sport is a huge industry. What one footballer earns is what a local government makes.

“It is an area that we must engage our young girls and boys competitively,” he added.

Ndoma-Egba commended the effort of the board in the development of the region so far.

“We are committed to doing things right, that is why we have the concept of the four Rs, Restructuring of the balance sheet, Reform of governance protocols, Restore the NDDC’s core mandate, and Reaffirm the Commission’s collective commitment to do what is right.’’

According to the chairman, the commission is being funded largely from proceeds from oil.

“Someday, we don’t know when but the oil will finish. If it thus finishes, Technology will make it less important.

“Today, people are talking of electric cars, while fuel pumps in some places in the world are being replaced by electric and gas pumps.

“So, we must begin to contemplate developing the region beyond oil, and to do so we have to envisage a frame work that can drive development beyond oil,” he said.

Ndoma-Egba said that the commission would set up a development bank that would guarantee development in the Niger Delta region.

According him, the advantage of the development bank is to drive big projects being embarked upon by the bank.

He said the board inherited more than 10,000 contracts, and cancelled more than N200 billion worth of contracts, because they lacked manpower.

“You see one person doing more than 50 projects, so we are trying to streamline to see that everything is balanced,” he said.

The chairman said the commission was a regional development agency that guarantees transparency, which calls for synergy to share responsibility with other stakeholders in the region.

Ndoma-Egba also pledged that the commission would continue its collaboration with NAN, adding that there was no doubt NAN was keeping up with technological trend in the world.

He urged NAN to continue to collaborate with the commission in its efforts to develop the region.

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Africa’s Renewable Energy set to Soar by 2022 – IEA

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Paolo Frankl, head of the renewable division at the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA), has said that strong demand is set to give a huge boost to renewable energy growth in Sub-Sahara Africa over the next five years, driving cumulative capacity up more than 70%.

From Ethiopia to SA, millions of people are getting access to electricity for the first time as the continent turns to solar, wind and hydropower projects to boost generation capacity.

“A big chunk of this growth is hydro because of Ethiopia, but then you have solar … in SA, Nigeria and Namibia, and wind in SA and Ethiopia as well,” said  Frankl.

He forecast installed capacity of renewable energy in the Sub-Sahara region almost doubling from around 35GW now to above 60GW given the right conditions.

Ethiopia has an array of hydropower projects under construction, including the $4.1 billion Grand Renaissance Dam along the Nile River that will churn out 6 000MW upon completion.

“Africa has one of the best potential resources of renewables anywhere in the world, but it depends very much on the enabling framework, on the governance and the right rules,” Frankl said at a wind energy conference.

The transition to a low-carbon trajectory to reduce harmful greenhouse gases is creating opposition from the coal industry and fuelling uncertainty in countries where job creation was linked to coal mining.

In Africa, this tension and its impact on new investment have been best illustrated by SA’s state-owned Eskom and its reluctance to sign new deals with independent power producers, according to analysts.

 

“The continent has a lot of potential, but the problem is financial and political issues, so all of our projects are being delayed for quite a long time, like with Eskom,” said Mason Qin, business development manager for southern and eastern Africa at China’s Goldwind.

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