Building Great Businesses In Nigeria: Lessons From Jimoh Ibrahim

nigerianNigeria is blessed with lots of outstanding capitalists and wealthy industrialists who own multi-billion dollar conglomerates with assets well over trillions of naira and who collectively employ a large number of Nigerians across their various business operations thereby contributing remarkably on the size, scope and direction of our nation's economy.
Notable among these lot are Aliko Dangote, founder and chairman with the Dangote Group, which holds large-scale interests within the commodities, agriculture, real estate and petroleum sub-sectors of our own economy, and is also now ranked by Forbes magazine as Africa's richest man with a net-worth of US$20.8 Billion, as at November 2013, Otunba Mike Adenuga, the telecommunications magnate whose operations now span throughout the West African hub and that's worth US$4.3 Billion, at the time of March 2013, along with the youthful Femi Otedola, founder and CEO of Forte Oil Plc, who had previously been ranked by Forbes during 2009 having a net-worth of US$1.2Billion.
However, among these enviable lot, none can be as inspiring, personally, as Jimoh Ibrahim, the 46 year old lawyer turned oil baron from Ondo State, South-West, Nigeria, who himself has become considered to be worth some hundreds of millions of dollars, and is the founder of a big conglomerate in Nigeria, which has interests within the insurance, hospitality, coal and oil and media sectors in the Nigerian economy.
Unlike Dangote or Otedola, Ibrahim can be a man who a humble beginning while he was created with out a silver spoon and came from a really rough background which has a lot of deprivation as part of his growing up days. Reportedly from your polygamous family, Ibrahim managed to, against all odds, obtain admission to the University and in the end graduated as being a barrister at law from your University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University in 1991.
So even though the Dangotes and Otedolas of the world had the privileges to be born with silver spoons (Dangote, being from a wealthy Northern industrial family and Otedola, the son of the former civilian governor of Lagos state), Ibrahim had no such luxuries but had cardiovascular desire plus a strong conviction being successful in your life, concluding in their mind that obtaining a University degree held the only real promise to some better life as well as a rewarding future.
The story of this great entrepreneur is one that I think that every young Nigerian and aspiring entrepreneur should pay close care about as it could serve as the much needed inspiration to giant strides operational in addition to great accomplishments in daily life. After obtaining his Bachelor's degree in law from OAU, Ibrahim saw that waiting to accumulate working experience being an attorney by interning with an established law firm, as they are common practice amongst many young lawyers in Nigeria today, could take decades so he decided to specialize on taxation, which was an area of great interest to him during his undergraduate days and in many cases the subject of a few of his dissertation papers.
With this insightful info on the method of taxation in Nigeria, Ibrahim, unlike many fresh University graduates in Nigeria some of whom believe securing a paid employment first after graduating from school could be the one way to charting an effective future, lay out by conducting trainings and workshops on taxation for local assuring governments and later the government of Nigeria, becoming within the process a nationally acclaimed tax consultant.
Honing his expertise inside the areas of tax administration, reform and financial management and then obtaining his Masters degrees in Public Administration and international taxation from OAU and Harvard University in America respectively, Ibrahim was previously leader consultant for the federal government of Nigeria on petroleum tax payment, collection and monitoring, member, Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, consultant for the IMF on tax reform in Croatia and Lithuania in addition to a key member in the team that designed tax reform for your state of Bangladesh.
Needles to state that once he turned 30, while several of his peers may still are actually looking for jobs, Jimoh Ibrahim had been a multi-millionaire! So when he thought we would setup his conglomerate in 2003, after failing woefully in an attempt for being Executive Governor of Ondo State around the platform with the old All People's Party (APP), he was well armed which has a rich experience with how business works in Nigeria, how government policy is formulated and implemented and the way to raise sufficient capital to get started on a company.
For many budding entrepreneurs, what are the lessons to learn on building great businesses from the journey and technique of Barrister Ibrahim? For me, certainly one of such is that when planning to start a company, visiting raise all of the capital required may not be one of the most paramount thing and may also figure to putting the cart prior to horse, sometimes.
This is simply because, in a very country like Nigeria, having dreams about raising capital to begin an enterprise using loans from banks or debt equity, not having grown the company to a substantial state where sound financial management and ambitious growth plans might be adequately demonstrated to the finance institutions or private investors, may seem like a mirage!
Looking with the phenomenal growth of a few of Mr. Ibrahim's business ventures, an example may be keen to note some in the principles that they has imbibed, that have contributed in no small measure on the increase of those businesses today. Some of such include sound financial management, persistence, short, medium and long-term planning, effective utilization of credit as well as prompt repayment of which credit when taken.
However, while Barrister Ibrahim's desire for building and growing large business organizations that might provide gainful employment for a huge number of teeming Nigerian youths while positively impacting our economy have to be commended, it remains to be noticed what's the clear corporate social responsibility (CSR) thrust of some of these businesses and exactly how they look to better lives and impact people and communities, besides by only creating employment.
It is interesting to make note of that while many large corporations and giant-sized businesses in Nigeria like that relating to Ibrahim, Dangote or Otedola, make a lot of profits with the patronage from the generality of Nigerians and even repatriate such profits home at minimum cost, in the case of multi-nationals, only few of them do very little to present time for society through scholarships, schemes and life-changing programmes that will profit the whole in the populace. Very few Nigerian wealthy capitalists or industrialists own notable foundations such as the ones setup by Bill Gates, earth's richest man and founder of Microsoft and his awesome wife, and also those established by remarkable American businessmen like Henry Ford or John D Rockefeller.
Another important point worthy of note amongst Nigeria's most successful businessmen is often a lack of an system or structure where adequate mentoring may be presented to build an ecosystem of great entrepreneurs and remarkable young businessmen in Nigeria. To this end, many budding entrepreneurs will often be left unclear about how to go about setting their businesses, what tools to make use of and what you should discard and the way to tap in the brains of numerous of such great entrepreneurs which may have gone ahead. It is through efforts similar to this exceptional Nigerian entrepreneurs like Ibrahim, Dangote, Otedola or Adenuga can leave a worthy legacy because as far as numerous Nigerians are involved, the legacies of some these men still remain largely unclear otherwise outrightly unknown or undefined!
Email:, Twitter: @ ayomidepraiseng

0 комментариев

Автор топика запретил добавлять комментарии