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Creating Great Organizations In Nigeria: Lessons From Jimoh Ibrahim

Nigeria is blessed with several outstanding capitalists and wealthy industrialists who own multi-billion dollar conglomerates with assets in excess of trillions of naira and who collectively employ thousands of Nigerians across their numerous company operations thereby contributing remarkably for the size, scope and path of our nation’s economy.

Notable among these lot are Aliko Dangote, founder and chairman on the Dangote Group, which holds large-scale interests within the commodities, agriculture, genuine estate and petroleum sub-sectors of our economy, and is 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 across the West African hub and who’s worth US$4.three Billion, as of March 2013, along with the youthful Femi Otedola, founder and CEO of Forte Oil Plc, who was ranked by Forbes in 2009 with a net-worth of US$1.2Billion.

On the other hand, amongst these enviable lot, none is as inspiring, for me, as Jimoh Ibrahim, the 46 year old lawyer turned oil baron from Ondo State, South-West, Nigeria, who himself is now said to become worth some numerous millions of dollars, and may be the founder of a big conglomerate in Nigeria, which has interests inside the insurance coverage, hospitality, oil and gas and media sectors on the Nigerian economy.

In contrast to Dangote or Otedola, Ibrahim is really a man who had a humble starting as he was born with no a silver spoon and came from a really rough background with a lot of deprivation in his increasing up days. Reportedly from a polygamous loved ones, Ibrahim managed to, against all odds, obtain admission into the University and ultimately graduated as a barrister at law in the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University in 1991.

So when the Dangotes and Otedolas of this planet had the privileges of becoming born with silver spoons (Dangote, becoming from a wealthy Northern industrial loved ones and Otedola, the son of a former civilian governor of Lagos state), Ibrahim had no such luxuries but had an intense desire and a sturdy conviction to turn into successful in life, concluding in his mind that getting a University degree held the only promise to a better life in addition to a rewarding future.

The story of this wonderful entrepreneur is one particular that I think that each and every young Nigerian and aspiring entrepreneur must pay close consideration to as it could serve because the substantially necessary inspiration to giant strides in enterprise in addition to terrific accomplishments in life. Just after obtaining his Bachelor’s degree in law from OAU, Ibrahim saw that waiting to acquire operating encounter as an lawyer by interning at an established law firm, as is widespread practice amongst numerous young lawyers in Nigeria currently, could take several years so he decided to specialize on taxation, which was an location of interest to him for the duration of his undergraduate days and in some cases the topic of some of his dissertation papers.

With this wealth of info around the practice of taxation in Nigeria, Ibrahim, as opposed to lots of fresh University graduates in Nigeria some of whom believe securing a paid employment 1st soon after graduating from college could be the only approach to charting a thriving future, set out by conducting trainings and workshops on taxation for neighborhood and state governments and later the federal government of Nigeria, becoming inside the course of action a nationally acclaimed tax consultant.

Honing his experience within the places of tax administration, reform and economic management and later getting his Masters degrees in Public Administration and international taxation from OAU and Harvard University in America respectively, Ibrahim was at one particular time chief executive consultant to the federal government of Nigeria on petroleum tax payment, collection and monitoring, member, Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, consultant to the IMF on tax reform in Croatia and Lithuania and also a crucial member from the team that designed tax reform for the state of Bangladesh.

Needles to say that by the time he turned 30, while a number of his peers could still have already been searching for jobs, Jimoh Ibrahim was already a multi-millionaire! So when he decided to set up his conglomerate in 2003, just after failing woefully in an attempt to become Executive Governor of Ondo State around the platform from the old All People’s Celebration (APP), he was effectively armed having a wealthy knowledge of how business operates in Nigeria, how government policy is formulated and implemented and ways to raise enough capital to start a business enterprise.

For a lot of budding entrepreneurs, what are the lessons to discover on building excellent enterprises from the journey and tactic of Barrister Ibrahim? For me, among such is that when organizing to begin a small business, going out to raise all of the capital expected may not be probably the most paramount point and may possibly even amount to placing the cart prior to the horse, at times.

This really is due to the fact, within a country like Nigeria, dreaming of raising capital to begin a company applying bank loans or debt equity, with out having grown the small business to a substantial state where sound monetary management and ambitious development plans is usually adequately demonstrated towards the economic institutions or angel investors, may look like a mirage!

Looking in the phenomenal development of a number of Mr. Ibrahim’s business enterprise ventures, a single is keen to note a number of the principles which he has imbibed, which have contributed in no smaller measure towards the growth of those companies now. Some of these incorporate sound economic management, persistence, quick, medium and long-term organizing, powerful utilization of credit and also prompt repayment of such credit when taken.

On the other hand, even though Barrister Ibrahim’s passion for constructing and expanding huge business organizations that would offer gainful employment for a huge number of teeming Nigerian youths although positively impacting our economy have to be commended, it remains to become seen what’s the clear corporate social responsibility (CSR) thrust of a few of these firms and how they seek to superior lives and influence men and women and communities, other than by just developing employment.

It is exciting to note that even though lots of significant corporations and giant-sized corporations in Nigeria like those of Ibrahim, Dangote or Otedola, make numerous income through the patronage of your generality of Nigerians and even repatriate such earnings house at small or no expense, within the case of multi-nationals, only couple of of them do incredibly small to offer back to society via scholarships, schemes and life-changing programmes which can benefit the whole with the populace. Incredibly handful of Nigerian wealthy capitalists or industrialists personal notable foundations like the ones set up by Bill Gates, the world’s richest man and founder of Microsoft and his wife, and those established by exceptional American businessmen like Henry Ford or John D Rockefeller.

A different vital point worthy of note amongst Nigeria’s most effective businessmen is really a lack of a program or structure where adequate mentoring is usually offered to develop an ecosystem of terrific entrepreneurs and exceptional young businessmen in Nigeria. To this end, lots of budding entrepreneurs are frequently left confused about tips on how to go about setting their companies, what tools to use and what to discard and ways to tap in to the brains of lots of of those good entrepreneurs that have gone ahead. It can be through efforts like this that great Nigerian entrepreneurs like Ibrahim, Dangote, Otedola or Adenuga can leave a worthy legacy since as far as lots of Nigerians are concerned, the legacies of some these males nevertheless remain largely unclear if not outrightly unknown or undefined!

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