Elumelu Harps on Entrepreneurial Skills to Fight Poverty


Obinna Chima

The Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu has advocated entrepreneurship as a veritable solution to achieving poverty reduction in the country.

Elumelu, who is also the Founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation said this in a paper titled: “Entrepreneurship, Corporate Social Responsibility and Africapitalism: The Role of The Private Sector in Fighting Poverty in Nigeria,” he delivered at the nation’s think-tank, the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies in Kuru, Plateau State recently.

There, he addressed a distinguished guest list of 67 participants from top government constituencies including the police, the military, national planning, works, and the presidency, debating ways to move the country forward in light of the present economic challenges.

In his lecture, Elumelu expressed optimism that with the right policy reforms, Nigeria could be well on its way to rising above its present challenges.
He reiterated his long-term conviction on entrepreneurship as a solution to arresting the economic challenges facing the country.

He stated that past governments had not been successful in eradicating poverty in Nigeria in spite of the various entrepreneurship schemes that have been introduced over the past 30 years.
“Governments 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 added.
An advocate of Africapitalism, Elumelu expressed that entrepreneurship and not philanthropy, is key to achieving poverty reduction and empowering Nigerians as we strive to solve our challenges without dependence on aid from outside the country.

“No one but us will save ourselves,” he said.
“The development of Africa is up to Africans. Donors and partners can help, but the work of developing our nations is ours. Nigeria’s poverty and development challenges are great. But they do not exceed the capacity of our people to solve them. We welcome every initiative that helps in reducing poverty. More effort is required’ said Elumelu.
The acting Director General of the Institute, Ibrahim Lamorde, urged the participants in their respective workplaces to commit to creating a conducive environment for entrepreneurs to thrive.