Give us electricity and Nigeria’s GDP will grow fast, says Chief Ade Ojo (Chairman, Elizade Group of Companies) - SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE MAGAZINE


Sunday, June 7, 2020

Give us electricity and Nigeria’s GDP will grow fast, says Chief Ade Ojo (Chairman, Elizade Group of Companies)

Give us electricity and Nigeria’s GDP will grow fast, says Chief Ade Ojo (Chairman, Elizade Group of Companies)

By Charles Segun Adegbite
(Updated Interview)

How did you come about the name Elizade?
It is simple. In my last year in Nsukka (UNN) I decided that I must be in business because I read Business Administration. We were the first set of Business Administration in Nigeria. Okay?! My late wife was Elizabeth and I’m Ade. So it was just a combination of the two: Elizabeth and Ade.
How many hours do you work daily?
I don’t know. I’ve told you I don’t know how to be lazy around. My working hours is work. Even when I’m not at work my brain is working. And I think that is between God and my mother. Because my mother, as you finish this work she will give you another thing to do. So I grew up to see work as a way of life.
What would you say is the real thing that keep you going till this time looking at how you started selling kerosine in your early life?
    I know the son of whom I am. I am a very truthful person. I will not lie. You see in business you have to use your head. You must allow some profit otherwise you will not last in business.
     But whatever you are able to get from the business know what to do with it. Make sure you don’t waste it. You must ensure continuity for the business. You must make sure that you know what can hot the business and always avoid that.
      You must know what you need. I do all I do with God in mind. I must know that even though some people may not see me but God is seeing me, whether I’m naked, whether I’m sleeping or whatever. And therefore that man sitting up there I want to please him, because by the grace of God I want to make heaven. Okay.
     I try as much as possible, I do not waste money because it is not easy to come by. So you must know what you are doing and face it squally, provided it is a clean business.
We want you to access the auto policy of the FG , 
     Well the auto policy as I have always said, my problem had been the fact that before success can be achieved in that business we must be able to produce the parts in reasonable quantities. We must have steady electricity because if you are running it on generator it is hard.
    The biggest challenge we have I told Obasanjo in 2007 at a breakfast he called some of us to. I said “Sir, God has made you the President of this country. You are talking of 2020. Let’s forget about 2020. Just give us electricity the GDP of this country will grow between 10% and 15%.

   If we can solve our problem of electricity alone, so that I don’t need this generator and nobody needs the generator. All we need is just to press the switch on the wall and the light is on. That’s all.
     So, I pressed on the need for infrastructure development. If our infrastructural development problem is addressed, we have gotten so many sharp and clever people in this country.
    Give us electricity, give us roads… Apart from these. I was telling Obasanjo to his face. I said do that and you would have addressed all our problems. That was in February 2007 in Abuja. Later people were saying you are bold o. How can you be speaking to him like this. And I said well I was saying the truth. 
How do we address the auto policy problem?
They (FG) are addressing it the wrong way. What is the point? I mean, you don’t put the cart before the horse. My own trouble with this is that, because I’ve witnessed two which did not succeed. And I can tell you, do you think it will succeed? Answer it yourself.
 South Africa has a lot of big motor manufacturing companies in the country, what are you doing to ensure that the companies bring their plants here in Nigeria?
I have told you that there is no business man who sees a very good opportunity to make money that will be afraid of investment. So the thing is that if these basic infrastructures are not in place, it will be disincentive to investment? We are here because this is our country. If the country is like this and you want me to go and start an auto business there I won’t.
     Because of what we saw, I later, because we saw it as a way to take our business over without labouring to do it. I’ve fulfilled all righteousness. I have an assembly. Nobody can say I don’t have an assembly. But it is not a matter of just having an assembly, sustainability is the key. You know, how many have had assemblies and they have failed. Didn’t you hear of the one in Anambra? Did you not hear of the one in Kano? Didn’t you hear of Lina? Do you know how much was put into Lina in Ibadan? What have we gotten out of it?
     I was even mentioning Ibadan what of Volkswagen in Lagos here? Look, I don’t lie. That is my policy. I what I can do I will say I can do it. That is why I put my assembly in place. It was to fulfill all righteousness. My assembly is here in Lagos.
Smokin Hills is one of the best golf course in Africa. What prompted you into that business? 
It is about the development of that area. I was establishing a university in a bush, so to say and I wanted something that can be like a place where people can relax. And to bring more people to that town. And I love golf. I was playing golf until I had some back problem

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