Speaking at the 63rd Annual General Conference of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) on Sunday, August 27th, Tony Elumelu, Chairman of United Bank for Africa Plc, echoed a resounding call for the empowerment of the private sector to drive the transformation of Nigeria.
Elumelu’s passionate plea underscored the significance of a collective effort that transcends political, ethnic, and socioeconomic boundaries.
“Transforming Nigeria is a journey that demands our collective dedication, building across political affiliations, ethnic differences, and socioeconomic differences. One that is not the responsibility of our government alone. Great nations start with great people, not just great leaders.
“Our private sector, our philanthropies, our civil society, all citizens must be brought together and be empowered – as real, valued and executing partners for this national renewal, this nation-building,” Elumelu stated emphatically.
Stressing the importance of nurturing the nation’s youth in the realm of entrepreneurship, the billionaire entrepreneur highlighted the instrumental role of the Tony Elumelu Foundation in championing this cause.
“Investment in our youth – we need to renew our commitment to our youth, provide them with the means to succeed in Nigeria – not beyond Nigeria. This means not just investment in our education system but in our entrepreneurial culture.
“Nigeria is a nation of entrepreneurs – you know me as an investor and champion of entrepreneurs – I know the social and economic returns entrepreneurship creates. Let us create a joined-up government task force to champion at the highest level, our young and our entrepreneurs. When entrepreneurs succeed, we succeed as a nation. If they don’t, we all fail,” he explained.
He further offered insights on revitalizing the power sector through private sector investment and strategic government involvement. He pointed to the TransAfam Power Plant, owned by Transcorp Group, with its impressive 1000MW capacity, as a beacon of what can be achieved.
“Let us invest in our power sector – let us create regulatory structures that reward success, that deliver to our people, our schools, our hospitals, and our industries, the sustainable, robust power supply that our country so urgently needs.
“Is it not ironic that a country with abundant gas resources cannot optimally operate its power plants due to a lack of gas? I have seen, the beginnings of what we can do. Let me give you an example: The TransAfam Power Plant that belongs to Transcorp Group has an installed capacity of 1000 megawatts.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria made a significant investment to acquire 240 megawatts of fast power turbines from General Electric (GE). For context, 240 megawatts of electricity can power about one million homes in Nigeria,” Elumelu asserted.
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