Chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited and founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr Tony Elumelu, has charged students to embrace entrepreneurship to become self-reliant after their studies. Engaging in free enterprise, he said, would make graduates escape the pain of unemployment.
Elumelu spoke at the National Dialogue Series held penultimate Saturday by the Students’ Union Government (SUG) of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS).
He described entrepreneurship as the engine room of the 21st-century global economy, pointing out that entrepreneurs had helped many countries achieving prosperities through the power of their ideas and innovations. He said his foundation had committed resources to empowering start-ups in businesses and technology to drive their innovation.
He said: “Of all the offices I have held, the one that gladdens my heart most is the Tony Elumelu Foundation, which is committed to empowering young Africans using their innovative to change the story of the continent. We have committed resources to empower these startups as our contribution towards the development of our continent. This is borne out of my deep-rooted belief that entrepreneurship is the single most critical ingredient for economic empowerment and job creation.”
Elumelu praised the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof Abdullahi Abdu Zuru, for supporting the event, which, he said, could change the lives of the participant positively. He also praised a former student of the school, Dr Shadi Sabeh, at whose instance the event was organised.
He said: “Dr Shadi Sabeh’s role in organising this event is commendable. He is an entrepreneur and alumnus of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), who is also a winner of the Tony and Awele Elumelu prize for academic excellence. Shadi is a fine example of the great force and impacts our young ones can achieve if we support and empower them.”
Chairman of the event, Alhaji Muhammad Zangaria, praised Elumelu for the impact his foundation had been making in Africa, adding that education and business empowerment was the best legacy to bequeath for the youth.
Prof Zuru described Elumelu as “African icon”, praising him for nurturing students and young people in business across the continent. The VC made a request of partnership with the TEF in building a School of Business to promote entrepreneurship in the North.
The SUG president, Idris Mubarak Maibasira, hailed the management for supporting the union’s initiative. He said Elumelu’s presence at the event would continue to inspire UDUS students to innovate and create businesses.