By Vera Samuel Anyagafu&Prisca Sam-Duru
The Chairman Blue Diamond Group, Mr. Uzoma Festus Mbisiogu has said that Nigeria needs constant power supply to take over, as well as conquer the whole of Africa in economy, especially through the establishment of industries across the country.
Mbaisiogu who reiterated his commitment towards contributing to the efforts by the Nigerian government and other private sectors towards boosting the nation’s economy, also said that he bridges the gap between foreign investors and the Nigerian government, by wooing potential investors who are willing to invest in the country.
The Chairman said this during his courtesy visit to Vanguard Media Headquarters Lagos, while applauding Vanguard management for their authentic reporting which provide Nigerians with information on government policies as well as impact their lives positively.
He said that because of lack of steady power supply in the country, many Nigerians have lost interest in establishing industries, saying that the situation pushed him to setting up GGI, a Non-Governmental Organisation, not meant to criticise government, but purely to agitate for steady power supply to Nigerians.
“That attracted Professor Berth Nnaji who invited me and we discussed. I told him that from the research I conducted, every average person in Nigeria spends not less thanN1,000 naira to fuel his/her generator and how much do these people earn? Hardly is there power supply for 3 hours in this modern 21st century that everyone knows the importance of steady power supply. I am optimistic that with steady power, Nigeria will conquer Africa.”
He told Vanguard that in a bid to expand his business scope and attract more investors into the Nigerian economy, he got engaged in several other business across the globe, ensuring that he makes footprints and or gain recognition that would attract a willing investor interested in doing business in Nigeria and with Nigerians.
“When former Minister for trade and Investment, Samuel Ortom visited China, we discussed and he pleaded with me to repatriate some of my funds home to open an industry.
I responded to that call and decided to site a factory in my home state which is Imo. I built the factory, known as Uzotex International, and we went into building materials such as coil and iron doors and interlock blocks. The whole essence is that it is a one stop shop for building materials. Presently, we are expanding from the one acre of land we occupied and interestingly, another production line is arriving to join the ones already in existence.
In facilitating and organising trade and investment forums between Nigerians and foreign investors we welcome a large number of investors who have signed MOUs in various areas of interest with some state governments in the country.
The dream Consulate in Guangzhou
According the business mogul, when he moved to China, he realised that Nigerians went through hell for consular services, for fact that the Nigerian Consulate was built far away from the commercial city of China, Guangzhou, where a huge number of Nigerians reside.
“This posed a big problem for everyone, because over 80 per cent of Nigerians living in China reside in Guangzhou. I took a bold step of agitating and pleading with the Federal government to establish a Consulate in Guangzhou. I also appreciate the role Vanguard played in this regard, because through Vanguard online and print publications, our plea got to the Federal Government.
When former President Jonathan came to Guangzhou, he announced that the government had heard our plea and will build us a Consulate in Guangzhou. Vanguard played a huge role through its effective online reporting through which Diaspora Nigerians got to know what is going on also.”
Applauding the government of President Mohammadu Buhari in fighting corruption, while urging them to intensify efforts towards diversifying the economy as well as providing Nigerians with constant power supply, Mbisiogu, who is also the President Good Governance Initiative (GGI), expressed his dissatisfaction over non-presence of Nigerians in the industrial section of an important business exhibition that takes place in China every six months.
Giving back to the society
Giving back to the society Mbisiogu said, is very benefiting and for this fact, “Apart from just doing business in China, I have in many capacities given back to my society, by sourcing and linking foreign investors with both government and private enterprises in Nigeria. Recently, I brought over 15 Chinese investors, known as the One-Belt, One -Road Management Company, OBOR accompanied by Nigeria’s Ambassador to China.
OBOR is one of the companies the Chinese government uses to execute projects across China. During their visit, we met with Minister of Petroleum, Ibe Kachukwu, Governor Samuel Ortom, Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbe, Fashola and so many bank Heads.
The reason for not just doing his business alone in China but involved in wooing investors to Nigeria according to Mbisiogu was to “Ensure that some of the good things in China are brought home to Nigeria”. He added that “I also run Uzotex Foundation, through which I have been able to sink boreholes and provided overhead tanks, in addition to generators to several communities in Ideato South Local Government as part of my water for all initiative.
Also through this foundation, I am building a modern hospital in same area which will be commissioned by the Minister for Women Affairs, Aisha Al-hassan on 15th December, 2016”.