I flew into Asaba for Awka for a University Lecture at UNIZIK. It was an amazing ecosystem of intellectual conversation. My big friend Mr. Val Ozigbo, President and Group CEO of Transcorp Plc chaired the event.
I will be in Awka in October. Yes, I have accepted the invitation of the Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Charles O. Esimone, to deliver a university-wide lecture in that institution named after the Zik of Africa, a Founding Father of modern Nigeria. The podium I will mount for this specific event has been graced by Prof Barth Nnaji, Senator David Mark, Dr Kalu Idika Kalu, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kuka, among others. To have my name is that league is simply amazing.
From Awka, I will touch base in Onitsha to challenge the OMATA members who continue to thrive, creating Africa’s largest market, despite institutional challenges across Nigeria. My message to them: band together, join efforts, push for scale to improve unit economics, and move upstream. We must create conglomerates and dominant category-king companies out of Onitsha. To do that, we must unleash entrepreneurial capitalism with the mindset of scaling capabilities over the rituals of “cultural trading”.
The orator teased me, proclaiming the lecture, as the “best in the history of the lecture series”. I thank the Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellors for hosting me in the beautiful UNIZIK.
Today, did some OMATA connections in Onitsha.
Mr. President, Onitsha traders need help – relying on info shared, they are losing businesses. Onisha is the largest market in Africa. Nigeria can close land borders for import, but we need to allow export.
People that come to Onisha buy from Onisha and then import into their nations. Government should allow that. Men and women are weeping here because they cannot export. Open the land borders for export, at least. Just Export.
Please do not accuse me of anything – I have to speak for these men and women. I have sent a note to the minister that Nigeria needs to consider opening land borders for EXPORT at least.