UBA Chairman and billionaire businessman, Anthony Onyemaechi Elumelu, popularly known as Tony Elumelu, has just bagged a doctorate.
The honourary doctorate came from the Bayero University, in Kano. Below, and unedited, is how he broke the good news on his FB: “I am pleased to share with all of you, my dear Facebook friends, that today I received an Honourary Doctor of Business (Honoris Causa) from the esteemed Bayero University, Kano, at the University’s
35th Convocation Ceremony.
“In particular, I feel privileged to be recognised alongside eminent Nigerians – Dr. Folake Solanke, the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria who was conferred with a Doctor of Laws (LLD) Honoris Causa, for her immense contributions to human development and the advancement of the legal practice in the country; Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo, accomplished politician and philanthropist was conferred with a Doctor of Laws (LLD) Honoris Causa; and renowned Professor, Abdulkadir Dangambo, who retired from the services of the University (after serving meritoriously for 37 years), but who has continued to serve the University through teaching, research and supervision of postgraduate students, was given an emeritus professorship.
“In my acceptance speech on behalf of the other honorees and myself, I emphasised to the audience of policymakers, traditional rulers and business leaders, that today as we unleashed these nearly 10,000 graduates to the world we must be careful not to kill their hopes and optimism. These are young men and women filled with hopes, ambitions, and dreams for their futures, who can either leave school and become full of despair and demystified by the lack of economic opportunity, OR, who can be positively and meaningfully engaged with suitable employment or access to economic opportunities to contribute to the development of our nation.
“To these leaders in the audience, I told plainly and pointedly that these two options stare us in the face and the choice is up to us to chart the direction and economic destinies of these young lives.
“Three days ago, our President declared during his Democracy Day delivery at the Eagle Square, that his administration in this second term is committed to lifting 100 million lives out of poverty. This is laudable, ambitious but indeed very possible with the right resolve accompanied by concrete actions which I have mentioned before but will reiterate.
“The Federal Government must play its leadership role by creating the enabling environment and conducive infrastructure that enables the creation of jobs and economic opportunities in the country for our huge youth bulge.
“Our young people need jobs that governments and big corporates alone cannot provide. By promoting entrepreneurship, creating favourable policies and building infrastructure to help these entrepreneurs, we enable them to create jobs, and become employers of labour.
“The State and local governments must also play their own role: develop your local economies beyond reliance on the centre, build industrial parks that leverage on your state’s comparative advantage, attract investors and businesses to your state by creating conducive climates for investments, etc.
“For the private sector, we must empower our young ones. Across your business value chains, identify young entrepreneurs who can play a role and add value. Identify local talent and give them opportunity.
“For wealthy Nigerians, development institutions and friends of Africa, you can, should and must directly invest in our young ones as these are the future of our continent. I offer our approach at the Tony Elumelu Foundation as a transparent, effective and impactful model for this urgent intervention in the lives of our young ones.
“In five years, we at the Tony Elumelu Foundation have empowered 7250 entrepreneurs instead of the 5000 we would have done on our own, through the help of development partners including the International Committee of the Red Cross, German Development Agency, GIZ, and the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP). I call on other likeminded partners to join us so that we work together to transform more young lives.
“The power of economic empowerment is such that we provide economic hope and people who have hope are less likely to engage in reckless, violent or extremist behaviour. They have something to live for. As concerned stakeholders, we must join hands to lift our young ones from poverty to prosperity.
“National prosperity can only come from widespread economic empowerment. This empowerment will come from inclusion, education, healthcare, and entrepreneurship. We must support our young African brothers and sisters by investing in their health, education and entrepreneurship capacity.
“It is not only the right thing to do; its’ an economic imperative. In particular our young women, are the key to full economic prosperity in their communities.
#TOEWAY #Africapitalism #Bayero #DrTOE”.