When Nigeria teaches America (2), By Sunday Adelaja

… I so much believe in Nigeria. My reasons are not just because of emotions and sentiments. I mean, my belief is not because I come from Nigeria. Believe me, I have traveled the world and I can tell you for a fact that there are no people like Nigerians. This is not about pride or arrogance, this is raw facts out of my interactions with people from almost every nation on earth. That is why nobody would make me keep quiet until we address and fix our vices as a nation.

 

Another reason why I believe Nigeria is the rising star of the future is in what the rest of the world would refuse to believe. WHO WOULD HAVE BELIEVED THAT A NIGERIAN OWNS THE SECOND LARGEST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IN ALL OF GREAT BRITAIN? Here is the story:

 

Up until February 2010, very few people had heard about Adebayo Ogunlesi. The Nigerian-born investment banker and money manager made international headlines when he led the acquisition of London’s Gatwick Airport from the British Airports Authority in a recorded £1.51 billion deal. The acquisition instantly propelled Ogunlesi, 58, into the global spotlight and earned him a place in history as the man who acquired London’s second largest international airport.

 

Adebayo Ogunlesi is the chairman and managing partner of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), a New York-based independent private equity fund focused primarily on infrastructural investments, with over $5.6 billion under his management. The purchase of Gatwick Airport may have grabbed all the headlines, but GIP has some other noteworthy assets in its portfolio including a 75% stake in London City Airport, and Biffa Limited, a UK based waste management company.

 

Can you notice a repeating tendency that most of this outstanding Nigerians are based outside the country? This explains the reason why I am so passionate about making Nigeria work. The amount of Nigerians outside the country is less than 1% of those in the country, yet we are having such a global impact on the world. What would happen if we fix Nigeria’s problems? What will happen if we give similar opportunities to the other 99% of Nigerians living in the country? What kind of result would we then be producing?

 

Nigeria, indeed, can teach the rest of the world!

 

A further reason is when a Nigerian made doll outsells barbie; now that is a revolution! As barbie sales continue to plummet, another doll is aiming to slide in and take its place. The Queens of Africa and Naija Princess dolls are outselling Mattel’s original. The dolls’ mastermind, 43-year-old Taofick Okoya, told Reuters that he sells between 6,000 and 9,000 dolls per month, claiming 10 to 15% of the small, but growing toy market in Nigeria.

 

That reminds me of the analogy we gave above about the SUN SET and the SUN RISE. For anybody that cares to listen, Nigeria is going to be known as the rising star of the future world!

 

The next reason why Nigeria is going to be the rising star of the future world is because THE SMARTEST FAMILY IN THE WORLD is Nigerian.

 

The BBC called the Imafidon family Britain’s brainiest family, and members of that family feature in most of the major media in Britain. And, most recently in the premier business magazine in the world, Forbes. All five children, now aged between 12 and 24, have demonstrated incredible mental abilities in all domains. From music, to mathematics, to athletics. The youngest, the twins Peter and Paula, passed the British high school mathematics examination at six and the Cambridge University advance mathematics examination, which most Harvard and Stanford seniors will have trouble with at age eight.

 

The two immediate children, Christina and Samantha, also passed the most difficult mathematical examinations in Britain before the age of 10. If one were to ask a statistician what the odds are that one family will produce five extraordinary geniuses, the answer would have to be about one out of eight billion, since it has never happened before.

 

The oldest child, Anne-Maria, was the youngest ever to graduate from Oxford with a Master’s degree in both Mathematics and Computer Science, and is now the youngest vice president of a Fortune 500 company, Deutche Bank. Another member of the family is in the leadership of the most powerful bank in the world, Goldman Sachs. The two immediate children, Christina and Samantha, also passed the most difficult mathematical examinations in Britain before the age of 10. If one were to ask a statistician what the odds are that one family will produce five extraordinary geniuses, the answer would have to be about one out of eight billion, since it has never happened before.

 

Dear readers, now I hope you are beginning to agree with me that Nigeria is on its way to teach the rest of the world?

 

Most people know the name Aliko Dangote, but not too many people know that the best has not yet been heard about him. This man is a visionary extraordinaire. He plans to glorify Nigeria and put her on the world stage in grand style. Dangote is poised to make his Nigerian based company the number one producer of cement in the world.

 

Dangote Cement is a fully integrated cement company and has projects and operations in Nigeria and 14 other African countries. Dangote Cement’s current total production capacity in Nigeria from its three existing plants (Obajana – 10.25MMTPA; Ibese – 6.0MMTPA; and Gboko – 4.0MMTPA) is 20.25MMTPA.

 

The Obajana Cement Plant (OCP) located in Kogi State is reputed to be one of the single largest cement plants in the world, with a combined capacity of 10.25MMTPA.

 

A fourth line, which will add 3.0 MMTPA to the existing capacity, would bring the total capacity of Obajana to 13.25 MMTPA by 2015. Dangote Cement is also the biggest quoted company in West Africa and the only Nigerian company on the Forbes Global 2000 companies.

 

 

Dear friends, I so much believe in Nigeria. My reasons are not just because of emotions and sentiments. I mean, my belief is not because I come from Nigeria. Believe me, I have traveled the world and I can tell you for a fact that there are no people like Nigerians. This is not about pride or arrogance, this is raw facts out of my interactions with people from almost every nation on earth. That is why nobody would make me keep quiet until we address and fix our vices as a nation. Because I want to see the full potentials of Nigeria realised in my generation.

 

Another reason why Nigeria is the rising star of the future world is THE PHENOMENAL GROWTH OF NIGERIAN BANKS.

 

 

I don’t have any doubt in my heart that with an increase in stability of our economic and political life, our banks could only rank higher and higher. The sky is the limit for the future of Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

 

Thirteen Nigerian banks have been listed among the Leading 1000 Global Banks, as published by The Banker magazine of the Financial Times Group in its 2014 edition.

 

The Nigerian banks that made the ranking based on Tier-1 capital were Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank, First Bank, Access Bank, United Bank for Africa, Fidelity Bank and Ecobank Nigeria.

 

Others were Skye Bank, First City Monument Bank, Diamond Bank, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria and Union Bank of Nigeria.

 

The report, which listed 13 Nigerian banks that made the ranking, underlines Nigeria’s financial sector’s leading position in Africa, as no other African country has up to 13 banks in the Top 1000 World Listing of banks.

 

According to the report, Zenith Bank ranked top in Nigeria at 293 in the world. Guaranty Trust is number 415 in the world. First Bank is number 424 in the world. Access Bank is number 532. United Bank for Africa ranked 539. And Fidelity Bank took the 622nd position.

 

I don’t have any doubt in my heart that with an increase in stability of our economic and political life, our banks could only rank higher and higher. The sky is the limit for the future of Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

 

Nigeria indeed can teach the rest of the world!

 

Sunday Adelaja is a Nigeria born leader, transformation strategist, pastor and innovator. He was based in Kiev, Ukraine.

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