Investors have been urged to seek for knowledge in their areas of business and show commitment to excellence if they want to succeed and make impact on the economy. Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; and the Chairman, Zenith Bank Plc, Jim Ovia, among other finance experts, gave the advice in Lagos on Monday during the presentation of a book written by Ovia, and entitled: ‘Africa Arise and Shine’.Osinbajo commended Ovia for writing the book to share knowledge with others on how he succeeded in his business.
He also urged individuals not only to focus on figures, but to be more concerned about character. The vice-president said that Zenith Bank story had been a story of vision and hard work. Emefiele said investors must be guided by certain principles in order to remain relevant, adding, “These principles are devotion to knowledge; commitment to excellence; and courage to dare where many feared.
“As you will find in the book, these factors were instrumental in enabling him to build a $16bn conglomerate from barely N20m at start-up of this empire. For those of us who know him and have worked under him, Mr Jim Ovia is a stickler for knowledge and is deeply committed to excellence.
“These are important principles that should guide local and foreign investors in their approach to the Nigerian and African market. Key success factors for investors would be a clear understanding of the potential of the market, leveraging technology and innovation in providing superior products and services to a market of about 200 million people, in the case of Nigeria.
“If these principles are followed like Mr Jim Ovia has done in Nigeria as well as in other parts of the world, you can expect to receive huge rewards for your efforts.” Ovia stated that he wrote the book with the objective of changing Africa’s narrative from the historical viewpoint of being a dark continent of coups, conflicts and corruption, to a truly dynamic investment destination.
He said he focused on the Nigerian dream and how the environment could provide tremendous opportunities for entrepreneurs to blossom. “If we digitise the economy, it will continue to grow. If we use technology to drive our manufacturing process, our agriculture and healthcare, we will know what that will do for us.”
Ovia noted that Africa had experienced tremendous development in recent years.He added, “So, for me, Africa is rising. Twenty years ago, only few African countries had mobile phones; but today, all the African countries not only have mobile phones, they also have broadband technology and Internet penetration is high. Africa is rising by embracing technology.