• Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Worsening poverty, unemployment: Multi-sector investor says Nigeria should focus on wealth creation now


Nigeria must adopt a national sense of emergency in wealth creation to avert crisis arising from what he called worsening poverty and unemployment.

Emi Membere-Otaji, who was elected into the presidency (2nd deputy national president) of the largest group in the nation’s organised private sector, the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), said in a presentation that figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) appear horrible and abysmal with gross domestic product (GDP) crawling at 2.31 per cent year-on-year in first quarter 2023, whereas February 2023 inflation of 21.9 per cent and foreign exchange of almost N800 to the dollar (before latest policy of single window).

The founder and chairman of Princess Medi Clinics in Port Harcourt and chairman/managing director of Elshcon Group showed worry that more Nigerians were getting poorer, unemployed, and underemployed.

The first health commissioner in Rivers State in present republic (1999-203) said: “There’s therefore no better time than now for us all, to understand and practise the process of wealth creation.”

In his presentation at the Rivers Prinvince 8 Redeemers’s Men Fellowship 2nd quarter breakfast meeting titled; ‘Multiple Wealth creation in Times Like this’ deposed that though wealth can grow in arithmetic and geometric proportions, it’s important to take cognizance of the fact that there are headwinds challenging wealth creation in times like this.

Revealing numerous secrets of wealth, the medical doctor turned leadership guru and renowned entrepreneur, said wealth creation and growth starts from the day we started earning income, either from paid employment or any form of self-employment.

He talked about setting a certain percentage of all incomes to create wealth. “Have a wealth creation mindset; acquire knowledge from appropriate books, films, presentations, etc.; plan and have a goal for wealth creation; write down your goals; always have a budget.”

He said during one’s financial journey, a budget is absolutely essential. “This will allow you to allocate the appropriate funds for expenses, saving, leisure, giving and more. The more you can save or put toward investments and income generation, the faster you can build wealth.”

Membere-Otaji, who is one of the youngest Rivers elites to twice chair the board of a multinational corporation (the West African Glass Industry, WAGI) urged young wealth seekers to know the difference between needs and wants.

He pointed to the wise saying of Helen Keller; “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

He said no matter how gloomy one’s financial situation may currently looks, it can be turned around. “Play the Long Game – No matter how you build your wealth, it doesn’t happen overnight. Whether most of your savings came from stocks, a large salary, real estate investments or something else, it takes time to grow. Wealth creation is a patient marathon, not a sprint.”

The maritime investor and onetime president of the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce (PHCCIMA) who is also a member of the Bonny Chamber of Commerce (BOCCIMA), said: “Connections are part of a key wealth-building strategy. Reach out to like-minded, motivated people. Go to networking events. Build a community of wealthy practitioners around you. The relationships you build now will propel you into a glorious future.

“Build multiple income streams to mitigate against different headwinds. Invest your incomes in different investment portfolios, and sectors of the economy. Possibly also in different climes and currencies. That is multiple wealth creation.”

On risk management, he told the youths that one of the most important strategies when building wealth is understanding risk. “Your ability to build wealth is only as good as your ability to keep it. Avoid risky investments that could jeopardise your financial freedom.

“Spend your time wisely because we all get 24 hours a day. It’s up to us what we do with those 24 hours,” he said, quoting Sam Huff.

He went on: “Celebrate to motivate, put most of your income toward building wealth but set aside a portion to enjoy now. This will motivate you to continually increase your income. It will also allow you to gradually ease into your wealth as you start to enjoy the fruits of your labor.”

He dropped a nugget: “In wealth creation, ‘Enough is not Enough.’”

He quoted Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, thus: “I’m not a person who just likes to throw away money. I spend more money on charitable things than myself. Luckily, myself and my children, have been very disciplined. That’s why if you look at it today, because of the way I run my lifestyle, I don’t have any home outside Nigeria. I stay in hotels. Quiet. Simple. My life is not very lavish, and I get very embarrassed if I try to show that I have money. I don’t.”

Showing the youth types of wealth creation, Membere-Otaji mentioned financial market instruments, money markets instruments that are used for short-term borrowing by companies and governments through savings, bonds, mutual funds, treasury bills, etc. which he termed fixed income investment instruments.

He mentioned capital markets which he said are used for long term securities; stocks, bonds, debentures. He said where risk is higher, returns maybe more and the instrument can be actively or passively traded. “Real Estate of economic value, trusts, pension plan, annuities plan, entrepreneurship, solid minerals like gold, equities in private companies, and physical assets like, art works, equipment etc. of economic value.

The Kalabari-born chief said wealth creation is a deliberate and conscious effort to ensure financial security from one’s active income earning years even unto retirement. “Its available and applicable to both high and low income earners, but in multiple streams; the difference is only in the capacity.”

Pointing at different types of wealth, be it, physical, mental, spiritual, knowledge, freedom, financial, etc. he said many focus on financial wealth.

He said: “Financial wealth is the value of assets one owns, that have economic utility. Just like a seed planted, which grows into a tree, that flowers and bears fruits, so does our money when applied appropriately becomes wealth that can also grow.

“Even our creator, God, has purpose for man’s wealth, which in summary, includes provision for our basic needs, to confirm direction, to give those in need and to illustrate God’s power and care in provision.”

He said Nigeria’s mono product and import dependent economy has been struggling for some years, due to many reasons, that include poor government’s economic management, policy flip-flops, corruption, improper rule of law and economic turbulence especially from insecurity, shocks and aftershocks of the COVID 19 pandemic, and global economic and supply chain challenges.”

He enjoined young persons to study the principles of wealth creation and how money works to enable them play big in the industrial and financial sectors.