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[MUST READ] My Rise To The Top And Why Everyone Needs A Little Help —- Tony Elumelu

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In business the role luck plays in success and personal achievement is rarely discussed. If luck is mentioned, it is done with slight condescension, and usually dismissed as a product of hard work, not deserving significant attention. While hard work is paramount – and I have written extensively about the importance of working hard – history and my own experiences show that there is often a large element of success that hard work alone cannot explain. It is simply not true that “you make your own luck.”

I started my career as a salesman, a copier salesman to be specific, young, hungry, and hardworking, but the reality was that I was just one of thousands of young Nigerian graduates, all eager to succeed. How did I get from there to where I am now? Of course, hard work, resilience, a long-term vision – but also luck.

A year later after earning my Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Lagos, I applied to join a new generation bank, Allstates Trust Bank. The bank’s one-page newspaper advertisement demanded a minimum 2:1-degree, but I applied regardless, submitting a cover letter and filled out application with my 2:2-Economics degree.

By a stroke of luck, my application was reviewed by the Chairman/CEO, a painstaking man who carefully read my cover letter and was drawn to the confidence in my words. “I know I may not have met the qualifying criteria for the advertised roles, but I am intelligent, driven, ambitious and I will make the bank proud. My 2:2 degree does not demonstrate the full extent of my intelligence and ability, and I know I can do so much more.” He read those words and took a chance on me. Though “unqualified”, he decided to throw me a lifeline, an opportunity.

I was invited to join the shortlist, followed by a long series of interviews and even more tests. At the end of a very rigorous process, I received good news – I had a place as an entry level analyst. Even now, I wonder: What if the Founder had not personally gone through my application? What if my application was rejected at the very beginning? What if I never got the opportunity to work at Allstates Trust Bank?

The story continues: within 12 months at the bank, aged 27, I went from analyst to branch manager – the youngest ever bank branch manager at the time. I was hard working, energetic, creative and prioritised getting things done, but it was also good fortune that my bosses Toyin Akin-Johnson and Ebitimi Banigo took notice, and then, believed in me. They took a chance on me by appointing me as branch manager after an incredibly short time in the bank. They recognised in me the raw materials needed to make a good leader and were prepared to invest in me and my ability. My rise to Branch Manager within a short period is a great story but I know in my heart, I was lucky, as well as deserving.

This position of branch manager was a solid platform which launched me into several top leadership roles. When we, a small group of hungry, determined, young outsiders, took over struggling Crystal Bank, it was as a direct result of the preparedness and exposure that we received early from our superiors and mentors. Without the intervention and goodwill of these people in my career, I would not have been prepared as I was to take on far greater roles. These learning opportunities laid the pathway to future achievements. Put simply, I was lucky enough to be identified and trusted so early on in my career, and this put me on a unique road to success. I keep this in mind – it is humbling and also drives much of what I do today.

When I left UBA as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 2010 to pursue other interests, I made a vow that through the Tony Elumelu Foundation, I would “institutionalise” luck and democratise access to opportunities for young Africans.  I promised to leverage the success I have enjoyed, to spread luck and hope, provide opportunities and to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs to succeed. Without luck in my early career, I would not be the man that I am today. I am a leader and philanthropist today because I encountered people who gave me a chance early in my career. It has been a lifetime goal to pay this forward in a transformative and impactful way.

Over the past three decades I have spent as a banker, investor, and turnaround expert, I have had the opportunity to meet thousands of entrepreneurs, like me.  Many of them young people, with incredible dreams and business ideas but without the experience or the access to mentoring and support required in order to build successful businesses. But most importantly, they have not yet been exposed to the right opportunity.

Our entrepreneurs are hard at work across the continent, identifying gaps in the market for specific products and services, and bridging these gaps with their innovation and ingenuity. Yet, many of these budding entrepreneurs often lack the capital, the networks, the training, the support to take their small business to national or regional scale. All they need is a helping hand, some luck, someone to believe in them and take a chance on them.

This is what the Tony Elumelu Foundation offers: a platform that empowers African entrepreneurs – from business management training, to mentoring, to funding to networking – championing their cause and giving them a global voice to actualise their ambitions. This is precisely why I launched the USD$100 million Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs. Indeed, these may be the next UBAs (United Bank for Africa).

So, when I am asked, “Tony, why are you and your family doing this? What is in it for you?” I smile and recount my own story of luck. Luck is real, it is powerful, and I am committed to spreading it as far as I can. I am a beneficiary of luck, and I am passionate about sharing it across the continent, to all 54 countries.

I want our young aspiring entrepreneurs to apply. I want you to be a part of this global movement for good. I encourage you to be bold enough to let luck find you. There will be 1260 places open from January 1, 2019. Will you be among the lucky ones this year? Take a chance on yourself. Your future may begin today. Apply now at TEFCONNECT.COM

BIG STORY

Kano Drama! Court Restrains Ganduje, Anti Corruption Commission From Taking Action Against Emir Sanusi

Peter Okunoren

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A Federal High Court sitting in Kano on Tuesday granted an order restraining Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje and the State Public Complaints and Anti Corruption Commission from acting on the preliminary report on alleged misappropriation of N3.4 billion by the Kano Emirate Council.

The order followed a suit filed on June 7, by Muhammad Mannir-Sanusi, Dan Buran Kano, seeking an order to restrain Ganduje, the Commission and the state Attorney General or their agents from acting on the preliminary report of the investigation.

Justice Obiara A. Egwuatu, issued the restraining order and directed that the respondents be served through a publication in the Daily Trust newspaper and the Attorney General of the state.

He adjourned the case to June 28, for hearing of the motion on notice.

The anti-corruption commission had on June 14, forwarded the preliminary report of the investigation in which it indicated the Kano Emirate Council, to the Secretary to the State Government for appropriate action by the state government.

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BREAKING: Thugs Beat Up Oshiomhole, 14 Other Edo Lawmakers-Elect

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Suspected thugs have beaten up Seidu Oshiomhole, the younger brother of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress and lawmaker-elect (Etsako West 11) of the Edo State House of Assembly.

The attack on Oshiomhole and 14 other lawmakers of the Edo State House of Assembly is the latest in the crisis between the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and the National Chairman of the APC.

According to Tribune Online, the 15 lawmakers, who were absent at midnight on Monday when the other nine members of the Assembly were inaugurated, were attacked at a hotel in downtown Benin, the Edo State capital, where they were having a meeting.

Some of them were said to have sustained serious injuries.

A former Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Victor Tiger Edoror, was said to have led his colleagues to the police headquarters in Benin to report the assault.

The nine members who met to inaugurate the Assembly elected Frank Okiye (Esan North East 1) as the Speaker.

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Best Alcohol Unveils New Premium Drink, Best Honey Cream

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A new flavour from the stables of Nigerbev Limited, makers of Best alcoholic beverage, has been unveiled in Nigeria to the delight of their teeming alcoholic beverage lovers.

Best alcohol premium beverage aims to satisfy the taste buds of our esteemed customers and consistent with our pledge to provide Best products and exciting choices at all times, we have recently introduced a new variant called Best Honey cream made from soothing and comforting honey flavor which can be served chilled or with ice.

The product is now available in trade channels (open markets, supermarkets, neighborhood stores, bars, and restaurants)

Best Honey cream is Thick… Rich… Creamy…

Available in 750ml and 200ml #simplythebest

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