Leading Nigerian businessman and philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman, Heirs Holdings, has encouraged Nigerian youths to secure their future by cultivating an attitude of learning, collaboration and entrepreneurship. The Chairman made this assertion while delivering the commencement address on the topic “Employee, Employer, and Empowerer: Pathways to Success and Impact in an Uncertain World”, during the postgraduate graduation ceremony of Babcock University in Ilishan Remo, Ogun State on June 4, 2015.
Elumelu presented advice based on his own experience needed to achieve success during the ceremony. He also spoke on how to create opportunities through entrepreneurship. “Entrepreneurship is how we become masters of our destiny and tackle the serious challenge or ill that poverty and mass unemployment pose to the stability of our societies and economies.”
He shared some learning that shaped him for future leadership. His mentor Ebitimi Banigo helped him to develop his strategic thinking and to channel his ideas into concrete actions.
Tony Elumelu told the graduates to always look beyond religion and ethnicity in whatever they do. “Do not allow your religion, ethnicity or nationality to become the chains that limit your vision, your network and your ambition. Rather, use them as bridges to expand your world by embracing their common principles of humanity, solidarity, charity, honesty and the search for the common good.”
Elumelu’s address at Babcock University follows a series of international speaking engagements which saw him speak on the transformative power of entrepreneurship at the Oxford Africa Conference, Oxford University, the White House and Georgetown University, Washington DC.
The President and Vice Chancellor of Babcock University, Prof. J. A. Kayode Makinde commended the graduating students. He said: “To my dear graduating students, I say congratulations. You are the reason why we are here today having endured and pushed through to the end. Now you see the silver lining behind the clouds. It surely was not an easy road but I am sure that eventually, you are seeing the reward of your hard work.”
The University also conferred honourary doctorate degrees on two former state governors – Babatunde Fashola (Lagos) and Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano). The immediate past Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, was also present at the ceremony.