Bullish Tony Elumelu – Africa is in Your Hands

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Loud Whispers with JOSEPH EDGAR (09095325791)

These words are the same words that he shouts at the end of CNN TV adverts which promotes his foundation. But today no be the foundation I want talk about abeg. Na my brother’s $1.1bn acquisition of 30 percent of OML 17 from Shell.

This I hear is the second-biggest transaction in this our Oga Buhari second term and it cannot be bigger than this. Mr. Elumelu has been doing things o but this just takes the cake as they say it. Let me now tell you guys why I am so excited about this transaction because it goes against the grain of thought that nothing can happen in this economy again. Nigerians are ever so pessimistic that they blame Buhari for everything. But with these kinds of moves under the same tough operating environment that is affecting everybody, then people can look up and attempt to be inspired.

The move is indeed lion-hearted if not for anything but for the mid- to long- term potential, loss of influence of oil as a major energy source but it goes to show very quickly Mr. Elumelu’s confidence in the markets, his desire to further deepen his job and wealth creation potential and more important, putting his money where his mouth is unlike the myriads of paper tigers that abound. Before I close, let me tell one small story.

I once wrote an article that was kinda critical of Mr. Elumelu and I got a call to come see him. I went oh. I like the man, normally when they call me, I will just tell them a story because I don’t want anybody to compromise me but he was different. He was my early oga at BGL so I still respect him. When I got there, I saw a team seated in the boardroom with my article on the screen. Even Mr. Nnorom was there.

He is my friend oh. My plan was that if they want to beat me, I go just hold Mr Nnorom shirt, say oya save me. But nothing oh. It was a session on my article. I was excited. This is how to deal with critics. I said in my mind, not those ones that will be calling you and be saying, ‘bro why you yab me like that na’. He said, ‘Edgar, I want to understand the thought process behind this article so that we can better understand ourselves going forward. I loved this. We engaged, I explained myself. He explained himself and his people explained themselves. At the end of the day, it was such a robust engagement that made me better understand his motives and his vision. So, my brother let me say well done once again and truly Africa is indeed in our hands. Thanks.