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(Session 10)

Based on feedback from readers, we shall be featuring a Q&A session where readers get to ask my Billionaire Friends questions. All questions should be titled QUESTIONS FOR MY BILLIONAIRE FRIEND, which should be sent to You can also text your questions to 08086447494. They will be treated the same way as the ones sent via email.
We are, therefore, happy to present to you the first set of questions from readers and my Billionaire Friend’s responses to them. Kindly read to the end.
“The best scientists and explorers have the attributes of kids! They ask questions and have a sense of wonder. They have curiosity. ‘Who, what, where, why, when and how!’ They never stop asking questions, and I never stop asking questions, just like a five year old.” – Sylvia Earle
“I think that probably the most important thing about our education was that it taught us to question even those things we thought we knew.” – Thabo Mbeki
“A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.” – Francis Bacon
“Question everything. Every stripe, every star, every word spoken. Everything.” – Ernest Gaines
My investment of time, as an educator, in my judgment, is best served teaching people how to think about the world around them. Teach them how to pose a question. How to judge whether one thing is true versus the other.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson


In one of your sessions, you suggested that we could successfully build wealth while working for others. This looks exciting to me, but my challenge is time. Most employers load you with so much work that there will be no space to breathe, leaving no time for moonlight. How then would it be possible for one to create time to create one’s other sources of income?

I have been asked this question often, and it amuses me how people complain that they do not have the time to build their own future. My reaction to such people is that they have not properly structured their lives to focus on important issues. I will back this up with practical examples.

One of my junior associates, who worked closely with me in 1984 while I was on a board in an executive capacity, was fascinated by how good I was with multitasking – pursued my academic and professional goals while in active work. He had been silently observing and wondering about how I was such a success in multi-tasking. One morning, he walked up to me, requesting me to assist in mentoring him. He stated very clearly what he wanted to achieve in life. I gladly accepted to mentor him because I saw in him some strong determination, commitment and focus to succeed through academics. He started by obtaining a university diploma from the Lagos State University on a part-time basis. He thereafter proceeded to study on the same part-time basis at the same university and graduated with an honours degree in Law. He resigned, using his accumulated savings to study for one year at the law school, only in Lagos at that time. Thereafter, he went ahead to obtain his master’s degree in Law while sustaining himself and his newly acquired nuclear family with some short-time legal practice. Currently, he has built a house in Lagos and his village, sponsored his three kids to graduation from the university and is busy pursuing his PhD and legal practice. He was thus successfully mentored to pursue and fulfill his dreams.

The second example that I would cite has to do with my upgrading the quality of personnel which I inherited as chairman of a board, overseeing two major organisations. At resumption as chairman, I had to introduce the policy that workers seeking to attain management positions must, of necessity, be in possession of university first degrees. The policy was greeted with massive protests by workers of the two organisations. After consultation with all stakeholders, I got my board to introduce the policy of study leave with pay for all personnel who seek to obtain university degrees. Many have, over the years, since benefited from this revolutionary policy. It benefited the personnel of the two organisations, their states and Nigeria in general. One in particular, who originally strongly led the protest by the workers, later took up the challenge. He thereafter proceeded to obtain his first degree, two master’s degrees and a PhD while utilising that policy. As of today, he is the executive director-general of a national parastatal after retiring as a permanent secretary in his state government service.

As a third example, I gainfully used my evening/night times to obtain a post-graduate degree and pass professional examinations in the pursuit of my knowledge-seeking and wealth-building commitment and goals. Most times, in the evenings and at weekends, even as an executive director, member and chairman of some boards, I had to be reading lying on the floor of my offices, to read with some of my colleagues who shared common goals with me. Today, many of them have also successfully achieved their different goals. The question then is: Did God create additional time for them? The answer is capital NO. Indeed, while their colleagues were watching football, drinking and partying away their time and lives, these individuals were investing their time effectively to acquire the knowledge and literacy for building wealth.

Humans can achieve a lot if they can effectively and judiciously prioritise spending their scarce time acquiring knowledge and building wealth for themselves, family and nation. The key to this is multi-tasking. When and if we establish clear and compelling goals, we can successfully achieve numerous goals simultaneously while also excelling in them. That has been my experience. While I was studying for a second degree in one of our nation’s top universities, I had to combine being the chairman of the board of two giant entities with over 300 personnel and being an executive director of another company, travelling extensively as my job required, and was also supervising my property investment projects. Interestingly, I still ended up with the best result at the end of that degree program.

Looking back now, I remember how I would go for lectures immediately after office work and while using every available hour, on weekdays, weekends and nights times, to study. One thing that also helped me was that I encouraged others with the same degree and professional examination goals to read and study with me. Of importance is that I did not allow any of these personal developmental goals to affect my responsibilities to my employers. The point I am making here is that a lot depends on how effectively you multi-task, focus, and manage your time. I recommend reading “the tyranny of the urgent” – a short essay on prioritising and maximising time.


You stated in one of your previous conversations that to successfully build wealth, one must acquire basic financial knowledge and literacy. I am just wondering why this should be a pre-requisite. I have observed individuals with wealth but who did not acquire precedent knowledge. Could you please clarify this?

First, I need to get you to understand that there is a wide difference between being rich and being wealthy. If you have a lot of cash at your disposal, regardless of how you accumulated it, you would be tagged rich, especially in the African context. But in this series, we are focusing on those who build wealth with integrity, reputation and hard work and who are involved with the acquisition of financial literacy.

Secondly, I would like to suggest that when people pursue the acquisition of knowledge, they, in return, increase the options available to them to build wealth. With basic knowledge of the many investments that the uninformed may consider risky, the informed would usually find good investment options to fetch you good returns.

In my case, since I knew I would participate actively and heavily in investments in stocks, I found the time to acquire the necessary knowledge for good investments in the stock market. The precedent knowledge acquired became very handy in helping to upgrade my know-how for good selection of stocks in the market. At the initial stage of this investment, I had to rely on the available stocks from implementing the then federal government policy on indigenisation. At that time, such indigenisation policy was implemented by government fiat: shares held by foreigners in Nigeria were transferred to Nigerian indigenes.

I used to read newspapers a lot in my young undergraduate days, from there I was able to gather lots of useful information for analysing our economic situation. My perception, then, was that the stock market would grow and that the value of the shares would greatly increase. Hence, I started buying small volumes of shares. But as time passed on, things were not shaping up as expected. Many of the top Nigerian executives who took control of companies in Nigeria from foreigners ended up abusing their privileged positions. They jettisoned basic corporate governance rules strictly adhered to by the expatriates who handed them over to them.
With time as my investment in this area grew, I had to further upgrade my investment knowledge. I needed to apply the basic skills and investment understanding to my investment in shares. I began to use both trend and fundamental analysis for my investment decision in the stock market. Trend analysis allows you to look at market trends in any stock and their regression lines to determine their future growth potential and whether one should invest in them or not.

Fundamental analysis, on the other hand, enables one to analyse the audited financial accounts of companies, with a view to determining the real values of their shares, vis-a-vis their market values. Where some favourable net values are obtained, the stock market investors using fundamental analysis, take advantage to invest in such stocks for good future returns. Negative obtained net market to real value of stocks, as obtained from the fundamental analysis, does not usually attract a buy of such stocks by stock market investors. Without some basic knowledge such as this, it would not have been easy for me to strongly invest in the stock market the way that I did over many years. I would still have had to heavily rely on my stockbrokers to take decisions on my behalf.


I have read all your conversations from the start to the current one. I found them to be interesting. In them, you often assert that one can build wealth while working for others. I assume that it would take too much time and personal attention to be able to do that successfully. Could you, therefore, kindly throw more light on this?

Again, this issue still boils down to acquiring a basic investment or financial knowledge. It is not in all cases where you have to be physically involved. I built up my real estate investment portfolio while still in active employment after acquiring relevant knowledge in that area. The knowledge acquired opened up some opportunities, which I may not have noticed but for my basic acquired knowledge in that area of investment. I also had to rely on the expertise of others to realise decent incomes without leaving my desk. All these happened within a short period.

A year later, a World Cup event of a particular game was announced to take place in Manchester City in the UK. As soon as the announcement was made, and before the games, I made a forecast about some significant increase in the value of properties in Manchester City. I then sought out and contacted a Nigerian real estate value company with business interests in Manchester to purchase five properties for me. The five properties purchased were between £12,500 to £15,000 each. I then spent £5,000 to refurbish all the properties and rented them out to tenants for income streams. I sold each of them for £100,000 net, without leaving Nigeria and without appropriating my employers’ time. I repeated this same experience in South Africa after the World Cup was announced to be hosted, thereby investing in Sandton City, Johannesburg. All in all, you can build wealth even while sleeping. A lot depends on your investment knowledge and know-how.



I read from you that it is necessary to have a mentor if one truly wants to build wealth and succeed in life. I am currently targeting a particular individual to be my mentor. Could you be kind enough to advise me about getting the best out of mentoring relationships? Again, of the various people that you have mentored what factors would you say separate those who made success of the relationship and those who could not?

Good question!

I also wondered why I would expose some group of individuals to the same set of success principles, with some of them going ahead to do great things while others would just bungle the entire mentoring process.

Here are my findings:

Top on the list is that we must recognise that each individual has their different personal ambitions. They know exactly what they want and only need someone to guide them. Some mentees do not need much motivation; they just go ahead to apply every bit of information shared with them.

Two, all my mentees who have succeeded have listening ears. They do not assume that they know it all already. They would grab as much of what you are sharing as possible.
Third, successful mentees have the inherent zeal to succeed. They are mostly self-motivated and ready to devise whatever it takes to succeed.

Fourth is what I call inner intelligence. They are mostly clever and have the drive to succeed. When you share one idea with them, they are already thinking of what to add together to make it work.

Fifth, they are loyal to their mentors. You can not believe that some of my mentees who have just walked away with no words of appreciation after gaining one or two things They do not know how to say THANK YOU. A few of them who have made my mentoring successful have been loyal. These always remember what happened and who gave them a helping hand.

The sixth and final one is determination, inner drive, and persistence. Those who have made the success of my mentoring relationship have exhibited these characteristics. They are on their feet in and out of season. When they fail, they consider it feedback and get right back on their feet and soldier on. Those are my observations. If you want to make the best of your relationships with your mentor, you must have most of these attributes mentioned above.



Sir, do you have a mentoring school where one can be guided on how to put into practice all these powerful nuggets you share weekly? Taking action is my greatest challenge, and I believe that getting someone to back me up could help. Please consider me if you have one.

You are already being mentored by the nuggets we share in the weekly sessions. One quick advice I would give is that you should look for an accountability partner, someone who is going in the same direction as you and work together to challenge yourself. I believe this would help a lot.

We resume our conversation next week.

See you next week!

Yours money wisely.

PS: Remember: all questions titled: QUESTIONS FOR MY BILLIONAIRE FRIEND should be sent to You can also test your questions to 08086447494. They will be treated the same way as the ones sent via email.

I have been asked this question severally, and it amuses me how people complain that they do not have the time to build their own future. My reaction to such people is that they have not properly structured their lives to focus on important issues.
I gainfully used my evening/night times to obtain a post-graduate degree and pass professional examinations in the pursuit of my knowledge seeking and wealth-building commitment and goals. Most times, in the evenings and at weekends, even as an executive director, member and chairman of some boards, I had to be reading lying on the floor of my offices, to read with some of my colleagues who shared common goals with me.

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