Chairman of United Bank of Africa (UBA), Tony Elumelu on Wednesday stated that the time for leadership amongst Nigerian and African youth is now.
Elumelu, who addressed the students of the Lagos State University (LASU), faculty members and officials of the Lagos State Government, whilst delivering the institution’s 1st Distinguished Lecture Series in Ojo, Lagos, spoke on the topics of leadership and entrepreneurship.
According to Elumelu, leadership is demonstrated at all levels of an institution and he gave short thrift to the idea that not only presidents, governors and CEOs are leaders.
“A leader is simply someone who gets results,” he said, challenging the students to embrace leadership, even at this early stage in their lives.
“Whether you are leading a team of people, or just yourself, your responsibility is to generate, secure or deliver results. I believe you can be a leader at any stage in your life and career, and in any career path you choose”.
Subverting some of the often-held notions about leadership, the industrialist stated that leadership can be learned and it is important to keep learning and honing one’s leadership skills.
“Just as I seek to democratise luck, with the work of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, so equally I believe every soldier carries a general’s baton in his pack. The key is self-belief – and an environment that enables” he said.
The proponent of Africapitalism advised the over 1500 students in the auditorium to “embrace entrepreneurship, develop yourselves as leaders. For your dreams to come true you need to be courageous, optimistic and bold. There are no shortcuts.”
Chairman of the occasion and the Chancellor, of the University, Justice George Oguntade (Rtd), said the choice of guest speaker demonstrates the university’s passion and commitment to excellence.
LASU Vice Chancellor, Professor Lanre Fagbohun, urged the students to follow the advice of the guest speaker, who he described as a “serial investor and quintessential philanthropist who has continuously impacted on the continent through the creation of jobs and building young Africans in entrepreneurship.”