BRIEF SPEECH DELIVERED BY AUSBETH AJAGU, PhD, MFR, NPOM, F.AES, AT THE 5TH AES EXCELLENCE CLUB CEOs DINNER/AWARDS NITE HELD ON FRIDAY, 12TH DECEMBER, 2014 AT THE EKO HOTEL & SUITES, VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS.
It is my most profound honour and privilege to address you tonight as we celebrate another milestone in the annals of our great club. I am particularly grateful to the Almighty God for His sustaining grace that has enabled each of us to be gathered here tonight. I also thank our fellow compatriots and partners in our collective and indefatigable quest for the creation of the Nigeria of our dream for honouring our kind invitation to be here. Please be rest assured that we hold everyone here present in very high esteem.
As you may be aware, the AES Excellence club, a non-political intellectual organization meant strictly for CEOs, was established in 2010 as an initiative of the Academy for Entrepreneurial Studies, Nigeria (AES) by men and women of proven integrity, determination and sincerity of purpose who are passionate about the Nigerian project to provide a veritable platform for major players in both the public and private sectors of the Nigeria economy to contribute to the drive to chart a new Nigeria of our collective dream, thereby fast-tracking our national development endeavours which will rightly position Nigeria in good stead as one of the top twenty (20) most developed economies in the world by the year 2020.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, permit me to report with every sense of humility that our club has within the short span of her existence measured up creditability to the expectations of both the elites and masses of the Nigerian Society. Our various incisive Business Luncheons and dinners anchored by men and women who have distinguished themselves in their various callings and garnished with didactic themes have remained a rallying point for business owners and entrepreneurs alike to brainstorm, network and ultimately grow their businesses. Our divergent mentorship sessions have continued to afford our mentees who desire to venture into the uncertain and slippery world of business the much desired quantum leap.
Furthermore, due to popular demand, by a wide spectrum of the Nigerian Society, the Governing Council of this great club graciously approved the establishment of the Abuja Chapter. I am pleased to inform you that the new chapter took off at a well attended dinner held on Thursday, 20th March 2014 at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers Abuja.
We have indeed made giant stride towards eradicating poverty and creating wealth having turned several thousands of people to be wealth creators within our short span of existence. However, a lot still has to be done. We are not resting on our oars. The urgent and patriotic call to nation building and transformation has become louder and must be heeded and sustained by well meaning Nigerians irrespective of creed, tribe, tongue or political persuasions.
As a matter of urgency, we have mapped out Our vision/blue print for wealth creation and poverty eradication in our clime in 2015. They include inter-alia:
Your Excellencies, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, May I use this medium to once again, renew my clarion and persistent call for a better Nigeria. As we are aware, the price per barrelof crude oil which is the mainstay of our economy has crashed at the international market. More so, the precarious security situation in the country caused by the activities of monstrous insurgents have raised serious concern among the citizenry as to the destination of our beloved nation. Whilst we commend the Federal government for the various austerity and security measures taken so far to avert this ugly situation, we believe that time has come for government to diversify the economy and invest heavily in Agriculture. Government should help farmer’s cooperative societies acquire medium size tractors (interest fee). This truly is the real empowerment because a well fed man is essentially a happy man. A mono-economy in a 21st century is to say the least, an aberration. It is our candid opinion that this country and her teeming populace should not lack in the midst of the plenty provided for us by mother nature.
The state has the sacred mandate to maintain order, provide essential socio-economic infrastructure, uphold people’s rights, protect the physical environment and manage the macro-economic environment.
Government should first and foremost ensure harmony and be in full charge of security and law and provide a comprehensive security umbrella under which all the people have full security of life and property, freedom from threats, diseases or displacement from their places of abode. It is only when there is peace that there can be meaningful development.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me at this juncture call on all here present to develop a positive mindset. The situation in our country today calls for positive sober reflection. We must develop the “I can mentality” our dear nation requires the dedication, commitment and contributions of all and sundry. The challenge before all of us – the leadership and the led – is to unite in the search for a way out which should begin with rebuilding of our collective national identity, instituting good governance in the polity and establishing peaceful co-existence among various communities.
On this note, let me on behalf of the Governing Council of our great club extend my heartycongratulation to all award recipients and conferees. We humbly urge you to remain steadfast in our collective resolve to usher our dear nation to the desired path of true greatness. I look forward to the day when:
I thank you for listening
Ausbeth Ajagu, PhD, MFR, NPOM, F.AES
President, AES Excellence Club, Governing Council