BY YEMIE ADEOYE
TWO prominent Nigerians and Heads of two of the nation’s fastest growing conglomerates Mr. Wale Tinubu of the Oando group and Alhaji Aliko Dangote of Dangote group, will fly Nigeria’s flag high in the comity of global movers of big businesses as they co-chair the 2011 edition of the prestigious World Economic Forum.
Specifically, Mr. Tinubu who is the Group Chief Executive of indigenous energy group, Oando, will play the role of co-chair at the World Economic Forum (WEF) scheduled for Cape Town, South Africa.
Mr. Wale Tinubu, has been appointed by the WEF to co_chair its summit on Africa. As co_chair, Mr. Tinubu is expected to serve as a discussion leader in various private roundtable discussions as well as participate in larger plenary sessions.
Dubbed the “Davos of Africa”, the WEF Summit on Africa continues to command premium attendance by Africa’s leaders in the business, political and civil society circles, pulled by a singular objective of charting an agenda for the development of the continent.
The 2011 forum themed “From Vision to Action, Africa’s Next Chapter” is expected to explore ways the African continent can take on a leadership role in the new global reality and guard against emerging global and regional risks.
Mr. Tinubu, who is also a WEF Young Global Leader, co_hosted a CEO Brainstorming event with Alhaji Aliko Dongote in Lagos to forge Team Nigeria’s participation framework at WEF African Summit in Cape Town.
The gathering in Lagos was a convergence of selected leaders in the Nigerian private and public sectors expected to align the country’s objectives for prominent role at the Africa’s summit.
Mr. Tinubu’s Oando Plc runs full integrated business chain in the West African petroleum and power sectors, growing in a short period from petroleum commodity trading to cost intensive retail marketing, manufacturing of lubricants and other derivatives, integrated gas marketing, power production, oilfield services, rig operation, exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas.
Mr. Tinubu’s role at the forum would be the second time a Nigerian industry captain would chair the global economic summit which is billed to pool the biggest names in policy articulation, strategy formulation, multilateral partnerships, business bonds and civil society advocacy.
Dangote co-chaired the forum, bringing Nigeria to limelight for the first time in the world business community.
Alhaji Aliko Dangote, whose businesses bestride trading and industrial sectors of the economy, is working with Mr. Tinubu to forge a common front in projecting Nigeria as a prime destination for global investment capital.
Alhaji Dangote operates Africa’s biggest cement manufacturing factory, produces innumerable household consumables, and runs a chain of international commodity merchandise.
The two Nigerian business leaders who co_hosted a strategy session to pool a formidable team of credible Nigerian delegation to WEF said they were working with other committed upbeat businessmen to flaunt the nation’s huge economic potentials at the upcoming event.
Speaking at the WEF Lagos Dinner sponsored to sensitize Nigerians on the need to have wider representation at the forth coming summit in South Africa, Dangote who attended the WEF in Davos emphasized the need for strong representation in Cape Town.
Alhaji Dangote tasked the Nigerian business community to take the challenge of projecting the country’s investment potentials to attract global capital.
“The only thing that we need to do is to market Nigeria, because if Nigeria is progressing, our economy and businesses will progress”
In his address, Wale Tinubu, who is to co_ chair the forth coming South African conference applauded Dangote, whom he described as the president of the nation’s private sector, for his untiring effort at lifting the nation’s business environment.
He urged Nigerians to be confident and believe in the nation, saying “we don’t even have confidence in ourselves. Who says you cannot build something great and wonderful? If you cannot do it locally, you have to build it globally.” While calling on the nation’s business community to mobilize for the WEF summit in South Africa, Tinubu challenged young Nigerian businessmen to transform to change agents for the country.
In his contribution, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr Kingsley Moghalu said government has provided steady rise in capital flow in the country to support private sector initiatives to turn the economy around.
“What we need do is to create a policy space for the privet sector to thrive,” he said.
Other eminent world business leaders that are co-chairing the Cape Town WEF summit with Nigeria ‘s Wale Tinubu include Chairman of the board of Nestle Switzerland , Mr. Peter Brackbeck-Letmathe; Chairman KPMG International, Mr. Timothy Flyn; Chairman Eskom Holding South Africa, Mpho Makwana,; Governor of Bank of Botswana , Linah Mohohlo; and the Administrator USAID, Rajiv J. Shah.