• Monday, July 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Fifty thousand millionaires by 2025!

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Can our societies exist in the kind of utopia that makes it possible for everyone to be millionaires? Leaders in African societies are good at making promises of better life using slogans like Housing for All, Education for All, Prosperity for All by a certain date that I thought I should coin my own – Developing fifty thousand millionaires by 2025.

It is practically impossible for everyone to become millionaires in a society. It is however possible for a country like Nigeria to be able to nurture and groom an additional 50,000 millionaires by 2025! Nurturing and grooming means the input and impetus of the government has to be felt  in making this goal possible.

Now government exists to provide it’s citizens with the enabling environment in order for them to grow wealth. Government is not an avenue to wealth, rather it is an enabler when it gives the people all the support, encouragement and tools that they need to be wealthy. This tends to benefit them in the long run because more jobs would be created, more taxes will be paid, there will be less crime amongst other things which leads to a better quality of life for Nigerians.

Fifty thousand new millionaires can be achieved if we do the following:

Firstly, each senatorial district should commit to sponsoring a five hundred people in the area on a six-month course to study financial literacy. Funds for constituency projects would be put into much better use if the locals are trained to understand how to control money than just building bore holes and renovating classrooms. We currently have over a hundred districts which means that within 6 months over  50,000 would have been trained.

Once these people have been thoroughly trained and completed the financial literacy curriculum the government should set aside a fund of N10bn to provide these financially empowered people with N200,000 to start small scale businesses or invest in ventures that yield returns to them.

A government agency can be set up under the supervision of the State Ministries of Finance to supervise the activities of the recipients. This can be staffed by around 20 people who will supervise 25 recipients each. The supervisors would get in touch with them weekly to ascertain their level of progress and provide support and encouragement and solve problems that would inevitably arise.

These funds can be paid back within a three-year time frame without interest in order to be used for another batch of people who will also be empowered to build their wealth. The combination of the training and the requisite funding solves the two major problems many people have when trying to grow wealth – Seed capital and knowledge of how to build wealth step by step.

Once these basic problems are solved trainees will eventually become more creative in looking for needs that their community or others have and thus seek ways to meet them. People can even pool resources together, partner and build medium scale organisations where they all have part ownership and work in teams to build wealth.

It is also key to identify those with the right mindset and drive to be part of this program. Not everyone has the entrepreneurial drive to become a millionaire. Government must commit to assessing the applicants to ensure those who are worthy are given the opportunity in order for the program to show gains as quickly as possible. Merit should therefore be the basis by which people are selected so that the best people are given the opportunity.

A healthy 150,000 people would have been trained by 2024 which makes it highly realistic to expect a third of them to be able to reach a million or more in income within a five to nine year period.

Giving training and affordable loans to thousands of people is not new. This approach was popularised by the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh who have given over 8 million Bangladeshis loans without collateral to start small businesses and improve their lives. This strategy can definitely be replicated here in Nigeria. The time has come to seek practical approaches to eradicate poverty in our land. Is anybody in government listening?