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Economic hardship: Elumelu to partner MOFI to boost economy

The UBA Group chairman noted that the private sector takes a long-term approach to creating value from its assets, adding that it is important for MOFI to adopt a similar mindset when managing its assets.

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Nigerian philanthropist and Chairman of Heirs Holdings Group, Mr. Tony Elumelu, has expressed readiness to partner with and support the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) in combating the various economic challenges facing the country.

Elumelu, who is also the Chairman of Transcorp Group and United Bank for Africa (UBA) Group, affirmed that times are hard for Nigerians everywhere, hence the need for togetherness to salvage the situation.

Speaking as a keynote speaker at the MOFI Public Wealth Management Conference in Abuja, Elumelu commended the Ministry of Finance for bringing together the key players and stakeholders to chart a course to position MOFI as the strategic institution that will support the federal government’s efforts to address economic challenges and drive growth in the Nigerian economy.

He said: “Let me begin with a very important point. There is no rush to see immediate profits; we must have that mindset if we are to fully unlock the value contained within these state-owned assets.

“First set the strategic intent, prepare the milestones, know how you will be judged, and then execute, execute, execute, with discipline and always with that strategic intent in focus.”

The founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation called on the need for corporate organizations and the government to act in unison in order to catalyse significant social-economic development for Nigerians.

He assured that Heirs Holdings Group stands ready to partner with the MOFI to unlock wealth and value from national assets and enterprises.

On the milestones achieved by Heirs Holdings, Elumelu said: “We are known for how to turn around businesses. Our expertise is in unlocking the value in the assets we hold, and our track record speaks for itself.”

He reminisced that back in 2010, following his retirement as the CEO of UBA, the desire for new opportunities and ventures had birthed the Heirs Holdings Group.

“At the time, Transcorp was formed to lead the industrialization of Nigeria. The only asset Transcorp Group had back then was this hotel, in which we are all gathered today.

“Today, Transcorp plays in the hospitality, power (both in generation and distribution), and in the oil and gas sectors. In Power, we acquired the 972 MW gas-fired Ughelli Power Plant and ramped up its generation from 160 MW to 701 MW within four years of taking over the plant.

“Our Ughelli Power Plant is the first privatized power company to be discharged from post-privatisation monitoring, having surpassed all set targets by the BPE and the National Council on Privatisation.

“Transcorp Hotels has also been issued a Certificate of Discharge by the National Council on Privatisation. We are confident that once we fix the issues of gas supply in Nigeria, we will be able to generate enough electricity to significantly power our country’s industrialization,” Persecondnews quotes Elumelu as saying.

The UBA Group chairman noted that the private sector takes a long-term approach to creating value from its assets, adding that it is important for MOFI to adopt a
similar mindset when managing its assets.

He advised the ministry to be patient and allow value to be created over time, rather than focusing on short-term profits.

Elumelu cited the example of Temasek, a Singaporean investment company, to illustrate how MOFI can create value from its assets over time.

According to him,Temasek was founded in 1974 with state-owned assets worth $300 million, but the company’s assets are worth $300 billion, thanks to a long-term strategy and disciplined approach.

He revealed that the Singaporean government established Temasek to separate the business management of state-owned assets from government governance.

This, he explained, stemmed from the principle that it was not the business of the government to operate the businesses it owned,which allowed the government to focus on its core role of policymaking and regulations.

Elumelu said Temasek’s success has been driven by its investments in strategic sectors of the economy, such as transportation, industrial, financial services, technology, telecommunications, real estate, and consumer goods.

He said: “Temasek typically owns significant stakes in companies, often with a focus on strategic investments that align with Singapore’s economic development goals.

“Temasek also actively manages its investments, engaging with portfolio companies to drive growth and value creation.

“Meaning that they are not passive investors that sit back but more like a private equity firm that works closely with management to unlock value. We need this approach in Nigeria.”

He maintained that the group stands ready to support and partner with MOFI in whatever way it can to ensure that this initiative is a long-term success.

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