By Bunmi Oguns
The Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Mr. Tony Elumelu has called on the youths to begin to display entrepreneurial spirit and develop strategies that would make them to achieve success in life.
Elumelu who made this known, recently, at the first distinguished lecture on ‘Entrepreneurship: The challenges and Opportunities for Nigeria’s Future leaders,’ held at the Lagos state University (LASU) Ojo, said they have to think about the future and weigh the opportunities, adding that they should be resilient and think of a business plans on the long term.
According to him, “You can think of an idea for the long term such that, after you have made up your mind, you define what you want to do to achieve success at the long run. You can dream big and have a milestone. Tough times don’t last, but tough people do.”
He advised the students not to ever give up in their endeavors, as nothing is said to be impossible, while pointing out that he graduated from the university with a Second Class, Lower Division degree, but that did not deter him from succeeding in life.
“Whether you are leading a team of people, or just yourself, your responsibility is to generate, secure or deliver results. I believe you can be a leader at any stage in your life and career, and in any career path you choose.”
Emphasizing on what charity means to him, Elumelu expressed his profound thoughts saying: “What value is wealth or money in an individual’s bank account if we cannot use it to positively impact society? The seeds we plant today will help us move the needle as it relates to the development of Nigeria and Africa. Embrace entrepreneurship, develop yourselves as leaders. For your dreams to come true you need to be courageous, optimistic and bold. There are no shortcuts,” Elumelu who was Guest Speaker at the event said.
He called on the students to embrace entrepreneurship as a mindset, saying, “ If you pursue entrepreneurship, your options for advancement will not be limited to just finding a job. You can create your own employment opportunities and create jobs for others. You can help to transform your communities, and the country.”
He advised them to be disciplined, saying that in growing, they have to take opportunities and make sacrifices in order to grow well, adding that, “sacrifices are meant to give you experiences that will keep you going.
“Hunger to achieve drives us to achieve greater success. As an entrepreneur, you must be hungry to achieve more and expand, be disciplined to get things done, be prudent- because if you don’t save, make sure you invest and ensure a high level of integrity,” he stressed.
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode who was represented at the event by the Director of Creativity in the state, Miss Toyin Ademuiya, said the choice of the guest speaker and the topic he discussed, underscores the thinking of his own administration in strengthening the capacity of the institution and supporting its mission to mould leaders out of students, while commending Elumelu for sharing his knowledge and experience on entrepreneurship with the students.
He promised to continue supporting the university saying, ” education is the bedrock of Nigeria’s future.”
The Chairman of the occasion and the Chancellor of the institution, Hon. Justice Adesola Oguntade (rtd) in his remarks, said entrepreneurship is an essential topic of great essence, given the current wave of youth unemployment in the country.
Adding that, “ the choice of the guest speaker demonstrates the university’s passion and commitment to excellence. Tony Elumelu is indeed an icon of success.”
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Lanre Fagbohun, urged the students to follow Elumelu’s advice, and described him as a serial investor and quintessential philanthropist who has continuously impacted on the continent, through the creation of jobs and building young Africans in entrepreneurship.