Frontline African business man and philanthropist Mr. Tony Elumelu Saturday outlined ambitious solutions that seek to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity.
“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, he said while receiving an Honorary Doctor of Business (Hon D.B) degree by one of Nigeria’s foremost universities, Bayero University, Kano.
The Founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation, Chairman UBA Group and Heirs Holdings struck an optimistic tone, asserting that job creation and entrepreneurship will help to achieve this goal.
Elumelu charged everyone to join hands to lift Nigeria’s youth from poverty to prosperity.
“There are a variety of ways to lift 100 million citizens from poverty, but two stand out. We can increase the number of jobs in the economy or we can create more opportunities for our young entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into small businesses that employ labour.”
“By promoting entrepreneurship, creating favourable policies and building infrastructure to help these entrepreneurs, we enable them to create jobs, and become employers of labour”.
According to the Vice Chancellor, Bayero University, Prof. Muhammad Yahuza Bello, Elumelu’s conferment was in honour of his immense contribution to human capital development across Africa and especially in Northern Nigeria. Through the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Africa’s leading philanthropy empowering entrepreneurship which he founded in 2010, he has empowered 7520 entrepreneurs across Africa; almost 1000 of the entrepreneurs are from Northern Nigeria. In addition to the current beneficiaries, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recently partnered with Tony Elumelu Foundation to empower an additional 1,000 African entrepreneurs from the seven countries in Africa’s Sahel and Lake Chad regions, including the Northern Nigerian region. By the end of 2019, total beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu Foundation will be 8,520.
During the conferment, the Dean, School of Postgraduate studies, Bayero University, Professor Umar Pate commended Elumelu’s commitment to lifting young Africans out of poverty. In his citation he spoke of Elumelu as “an illustrious son of Africa that has excelled at home and abroad, an economist that has empowered countless people through job creation and philanthropy, and a symbol of the African spirit of hope.”
Other awardees were Senator Bello Hayatu-Gwarzo, LLD, Dr. Folake Solanke, the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria, LLD and Prof. Abdulkadir Dangambo. Guests at the ceremony included HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Emir of Kano; H.E. General Yakubu Gowon, Former Head of State; Chief Alfred Papapreye Diete-Spiff, Chancellor Bayero University Kano; H.E. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje OFR, Governor of Kano State; and the visiting Vice Chancellors from over 25 Nigerian universities.