Nigerians must collaborate for nation-building says Elumelu

United Bank of Nigeria , UBA Plc, Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu has said Nigerians must work together for nation-building to deliver better future to youths.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, annual general conference in Abuja, Elumelu said:

“Let us approach the task of nation-building with unwavering determination, guided by the principles of unity, inclusivity, and progress.

“Let our pursuit of nation-building be characterized by unwavering determination, empathy, and the commitment to create a legacy of progress, unity, and hope for generations to come.”

The Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, noted that nation-building entails a fundamental renewal of the social and economic infrastructure of Nigeria.

He stressed that this requires investment in youths, women, the power sector, security, social infrastructure and in the brand Nigeria.

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According to him, “Nation-building, at its core, is the intricate process of forging a cohesive, harmonious, and united society, out of diverse individuals, culture, and ideologies.

“It is the art of constructing a shared identity, purpose, and vision that transcends all individual interests.

“Transforming Nigeria is a journey that demands our collective dedication, building across political affiliations, ethnic differences, and socioeconomic differences. One that is not the responsibility of our government alone.

“Great nations start with great people, not just great leaders. Our private sector, our philanthropies, our civil society, all citizens must be brought together and be empowered – as real, valued and executing partners for this national renewal, this nation building. It behoves us all to collaborate in unity to reset Nigeria.”

Further, he said: “Nation building is not a quick fix, it entails sacrifices.  We cannot keep doing the same things and expect different outcomes.”

He commended the political will and courage demonstrated by President Bola Tinubu in taking tough, long avoided economic decisions.

Thus, he charged participants at the conference, saying, “Let us lead our nation building, by laying those important foundations for our nation – let us renew our infrastructure.”

On the need to invest in the youths and encourage entrepreneurial culture, Elumelu said: “We need to renew our commitment to our youth, provide them with the means to succeed in Nigeria, not beyond Nigeria. This means not just investment in our education system, but in our entrepreneurial culture.

“Nigeria is a nation of entrepreneurs,  you know me as an investor and champion of entrepreneurs.  I know the social and economic returns entrepreneurship creates.

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“Let us create a joined-up government task force to champion at the highest level, our young and our entrepreneurs. When entrepreneurs succeed, we succeed as a nation.  If they don’t, we all fail.

“In my engagement with fellow private sector leaders, my message is simple: We must see ourselves as the engine of innovation, the source of investment, and the creators of jobs.  This is exactly what we have achieved at the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

“The nurturing of entrepreneurship is not merely an economic endeavour, but a social responsibility.

“By empowering our youth, supporting start-ups and SMEs, the private sector contributes to equitable wealth distribution, job creation, and social advancement.

“It paves the way for economic empowerment that uplifts communities and contributes to a more inclusive society.

“We all owe this to our people, even for our own enlightened self-interest,” he added.

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