By Michael Effiong
Chairman, United Bank For Africa Plc and Hiers Holdings, Mr Tony Elumelu has revealed that Nigeria is the best investment destination in Africa because return on investment is high.
Speaking during an interview on Arise TV’s Morning Show, Elumelu who expressed sadness over the fact that some multinational corporations were relocating or taking their businesses elsewhere noted that Nigeria is still a good place to invest.
He stated that as a person who has investments in other countries on the continent, he can say categorically that investing, in Nigeria, despite the challenges willl not be a waste and will deliver the best ROI.
The media-shy Elumelu who revealed that his company, Transcorp will bid for one of the Generating Companies being offered for sale by the Federal Government through the Bureau of Public Enterprises ( BPE), stated that if Nigeria gets the power mix right, its economy will blossom.
On the Falomo Shopping Complex project, he stated that the project was cancelled by Governor Ambode but has now been revived by Governor Sanwo-Olu.
He said though the project will now be three times more expensive, the new project will be a residential property with a small mall and other facilities.
” Falomo is a hub and I assure you that everyone will be proud of what we are going to construct there”
He also revealed that there will be renewed action in the Transcorp Hotel project in Lagos.
On the Tony Elumelu Foundation, he said that it was his own way of democratizing luck. In his view, many people have great ideas but need the mentorship and finance to thrive.
He said as someone who has experienced both poverty and affluence, he knows full well what the youths are going through and was happy at the strides the Foundation has so far made.
On the wake of the issues at First Bank, Eleumelu declined to comment but applauded the operators and regulators of the Nigeria banking system for the great work they have done.
He stated that the corporate governance regime in Nigeria should be commended because it laid the foundation for UBA’s ability to scale through the tough rules in the US and UK.
Elumelu who stated that UBA was the only African bank that receives deposit in the United States stated that he was proud of the sterling achievements of the bank.
Speaking about gender equality, Elumelu noted that he has soft spot for women as he was influenced and inspired by the industry of his mother.
According to him, his wife, Awele has been a rock and his eldest daughter, Oge, who is currently at London School of Economics has continued to make him proud, he noted that it was not deliberate but many of the top Executives at his companies are women.
Asked about who among his children will be heir, without batting an eye, he said his eldest daughter, Oge is No. 1 and will always be the leader.
He however noted that what is important for children is to teach them the right values and principles. ” This, to me, is the most important aspect of bringing up children”