Do you know why past governments did not succeed in efforts to eradicate poverty in Nigeria? There is a man who has an answer to that question. He is no other person than Tony Elumelu, chairman, Heirs Holdings and Tony Elumelu Foundation. He said the reason all the entrepreneurship schemes fell short of the designed objectives is that successive governments decided to exclude the private sector. Elumelu who spoke at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Plateau State said, “Government alone do not have the capacity to provide the basic daily needs or employment for the millions of young Nigerians entering the job market every year. Therefore, the private sector must be an integral part of our national poverty eradication and development strategy.”
He is of the conviction that the success of Nigeria is tied to that of the entrepreneurs. Hear him; “If our entrepreneurs succeed, Nigeria succeeds.” Elumelu is on a familiar ground here. His foundation has empowered many youths across Africa.
Speaking on “Entrepreneurship , corporate Social Responsibility and Africapitalism: The Role of The Private Sector in Fighting Poverty in Nigeria ” told participants who include senior civil servants and security personnel that emphasis should be on entrepreneurship, rather than philanthropy, in efforts to reduce poverty and empower Nigerians. He also advised against dependency on foreign aid.
He said, “The development of Africa is up to Africans. Donors can help, but the work of developing our nations is ours.” While admitting that the poverty and development challenges are enormous , Elumelu insisted that such challenges “do not exceed the capacity of our people to solve them.”