Tony Elumelu


Billionaire businessman and philanthropist, Mr. Tony Elumelu, has identified addressing electricity and other infrastructural deficits as a way of triggering the recovery of the nation’s ailing economy.

Elumelu, who is the Chairman of UBA Group, Heirs Holdings and Transcorp Energy , was delivering a keynote address on Sunday, at the annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) held at Velodrome, MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja.

He urged the government of President Bola Tinubu, to address insecurity, gas shortage, empower entrepreneurs, and respect the rule of law for a better nation.

Elumelu commended President Tinubu, for what he described as the bold decisions made so far to change Nigeria’s fortunes, urging him to invest not only in roads, rails, bridges, ports, and education but also in the nation’s entrepreneurial spirit.

He said, “For context, 240 megawatts of electricity can power about one million homes in Nigeria.

“Yet GE has threatened to pull out of the project, because our nation – with some of the largest gas reserves globally, could not provide 65mm scuffs of gas needed for the comprehensive testing of the installed fast power plant.

“We have idle gas fields and there is so much private capital to make the needed investments for gas production. Yet, we cannot produce gas to power our economy and 21st Century industrialization, no thanks to a short-sighted regulatory regime and self-serving policies that keep our people permanently in the dark. This has to change.

“And let us invest in our social infrastructure, in our civil society, our courts of law and our administrators of justice. No country – and no entrepreneur, can truly thrive without the rule of law, without peace, without certainty and fairness – for all – for our young, our old, our women and our men, our future generations.”

Continuing, Elumelu said, “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 taskforce 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.

“In my engagement with fellow private sector leaders, my message is simple: We must see ourselves as the engine of innovation, the source of investment, and the creators of jobs. This is exactly what we have achieved at the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

“The nurturing of entrepreneurship is not merely an economic endeavour, but a social responsibility. By empowering our youth, supporting start-ups and SMEs, the private sector contributes to equitable wealth distribution, job creation, and social advancement. It paves the way for economic empowerment that uplifts communities and contributes to a more inclusive society. We all owe this to our people, even for our own enlightened self-interest,” he said.


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