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Nigeria @ 63: Collective Actions to foster Nation-Building



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By Tony Elumelu

As we celebrate another year of independence, it is time to reflect, to look in the mirror, for our nation and ourselves.

Tony Elumelu


We know Nigeria, we love Nigeria, Nigeria is one of Africa’s most diverse and dynamic countries. We are a nation that excites, beguiles, and dreams. Yet, amidst our diversity and that potential that we all feel, we have faced so many challenges. These challenges ask us to answer a fundamental question: What is our collective responsibility in nation-building?

The destiny of Nigeria lies firmly in the hands of its people – you and me. I am an optimist and I believe strongly in the potential of our nation. We must work together to create the progress we so desire through innovation, and with unity in diversity.

In August, I spoke to the Nigerian Bar Association Annual General Conference in Abuja. At the time of a new administration – and without doubt some of our toughest times economically, I spoke about our collective responsibility as Nigerians, and what we must do to foster nation-building.

My prescription, my advice, my philosophy is simple:

1. Unity.
We must set our differences aside and be united with one ambition, and one duty – nation-building. Whatever our backgrounds, geographies, religions, and experiences let us ensure that our country experiences a true renaissance.

2. Celebrate our Global Success.
We know the potential of Nigeria.

We know the resources, human and natural, that Nigeria has at her disposal. We must learn to champion the successes of Nigerians globally – in international leadership positions at the WTO, at the UN, at the African Development Bank, at the Afreximbank, in technology, in music and entertainment, in business, in arts and in media, in film, in sports.

We see these replicated at home – what we need to do is unleash our potential, create that enabling environment in Nigeria.

3. Business Excellence.
The Nigerian private sector is showing globally our capability, our ingenuity, our institutionalisation. We have global businesses with Nigerian origins. For instance – UBA, the United Bank for Africa, the only African Bank that operates in the USA, as a deposit-taking bank. We are now in Dubai, Paris, and London – and just as importantly 20 other countries in Africa. Who would have thought 20 years ago, that Nigeria would be home to Africa’s global bank!

The private sector must continue to surpass its own achievements and continue to put Nigeria on the map.

4. Shared Responsibility
Nation-building is a call to arms – a vital task – a necessity.

At its core, nation-building is the intricate process of forging a cohesive, harmonious, and united society, out of diverse individuals, cultures, and ideologies. It is the art of constructing a shared identity.

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.

5. A Shared Ambition Across Our Society.
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.

6. Love For Country.
Let Nigeria be at the centre of our hearts. Let us invest in the brand Nigeria.

We have no other place, no other motherland than Nigeria. We must begin to show and share a sense of pride in Nigeria. We must begin to rekindle our hope and have confidence in Nigeria and in our leaders. Let us be proud of Nigeria.

The responsibility of nation-building falls upon each and every one of us. To truly build a strong and prosperous nation, we must be more conscious and dedicated in our efforts.

Let us be inspired by the lessons of history, motivated by the sacrifices of our forefathers, guided by the wisdom of our elders, and energised by the aspirations of our youth.

Together, we can build a nation we can all be proud of.

Celebrate 63!


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd


Startups Seek More Access to Capital to Upscale Businesses



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Some emerging Nigerian entrepreneurs have stressed the need for the country to provide more access to capital for them to upscale their businesses in view of the rising economic challenges facing the country.

Speaking at the 2023 Founders Mixers and Award event in Lagos, Publisher and CEO, Business Africa Online (BAO), Ayinuola Alaba said the government should begin to create a mechanism that would provide the needed funds for emerging businesses.

The event tagged, “Celebrating Grit in A Challenging Economy,” was organised according to Alaba to bring founders together to share their experiences while encouraging one another.

He harped that notable startups in the country have continued to pursue growth through grit, hence the government should support them by removing every hurdle confronting them.

According to him, “One way the government can do this is to deliberately remove tax hurdles and give entrepreneurs more access to elusive capitals. We can see how young technological startups are emerging in the country making impacts and at the same solving some of our indigenous problems.

However, the CEO, GAIA Africa, Olatowun Candide-Johnson, said they need investors and are looking for equity because that is what makes it easier for them.

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Bank Empowers over 100 Entrepreneurs with Business Financing Masterclass



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Over 100 young entrepreneurs and traders have benefited from the business financing masterclass programme organised by Pecan Bank and powered by Pecan Trust Microfinance Bank.

The training, which was hosted by the bank’s finance academy in Lagos, saw participants learn about the various funding instruments through an interactive workshop session and expert-led discussions.

The masterclass comes at a time when market conditions are stringent due to economic uncertainty and rising interest rates, making it more difficult for entrepreneurs to raise much needed capital, especially those in the early stages.

Kunle Karounwi, head of Credit at Pecan, said the bank is committed to partnering with entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams, and the business financing master class is a testament to this.

“As a bank, we have always contributed meaningfully to the lives of not only our customers, but also members in our broader community. The moment you walk into our premises or reach out to us, you can be sure of a supportive atmosphere that enables you to achieve your financial and business goals, because above all, we are rooting for you first.

“We believe that this masterclass has provided entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools they need to secure a more assured path for their businesses”, Karounwi, said.

Karounwi further stated that the Business Financing Master class is one of the many ways Pecan Bank is supporting young entrepreneurs and small businesses in Nigeria. “The bank also offers a variety of financial products and services including business loans, working capital and asset financing products designed to meet the needs of business owners”.

According to him, the success of the Business Financing Master class further establishes Pecan Bank as a key player in driving entrepreneurship and economic growth in Nigeria.


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NCAA Lifts Suspension on United Nigeria Airline Aircraft



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The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has lifted the suspension placed on the Part G operations specifications of a wet leased Airbus aircraft operated by United Nigeria Airlines.

The agency had last Sunday suspended the airline’s Airbus following after it temporarily diverted its flight NUA 0504 headed for Abuja to Asaba.

In a letter signed by the NCAA’s Director of Licensing and training, Captain I.B Danbazzau and addressed to the Managing Director of the airline, the agency outlined the outcome of its investigation and made recommendations.

It then stated that the suspension has been lifted and the airline is required to comply with the Nigeria Civil Aviation All Operators letter (DG 15/2023) referenced NCAA/DGCA/AIR/11/16/347.

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