By Lawrence Nwimo
The Nnamdi Azikiwe University Business School has conferred award of honour to distinguished businessmen for their giant strides and outstanding contributions to the socio-economic development of the country, especially in business.
The award was part of the highlights of the second edition of the international conference organised by the business school with the theme, “Re-engineering Africa’s Economies Towards Sustainable Business Development.”
Four recipients of the award conferred at the university auditorium include Dr. Clem Nwogbo, CEO, MP Infrastructure; Dr. Obiora Nwankwo, CEO, The Dome; Chief J.J Ukeji, CEO, Ejison Group, and Chief Simeon Eyisi, CEO, Sims Electronics.
Nwogbo was conferred with the award as Entrepreneur of the Year; Nwankwo as Business Philanthropist of the Year; Ukeji as Business Developer of the Year; and Eyisi, as Prestigious Business Innovator of the Year.
Declaring the conference open, the vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Charles Esimone, lauded the leadership of the Unizik Business School for pushing academic discourse on economic issues of particular interest to Nigeria and Africa.
Esimone blamed Nigeria‘s dependence on the export of primary resources for the economic plight of the country, adding that attempts to re-engineer economies should be anchored on exploiting the value chains of the country’s primary resources.
His words, “The bane of Africa’s economic woes is traceable to its vulnerable dependence on the export of primary resources, whether of agriculture or minerals with a culpable neglect of value addition, compounded by the failure to use revenue gained from these exports, particularly during the boom period.
“The current economic plight of Nigeria is an irony of the economic theory of a comparative advantage that a leading exporter of a primary resource for over sixty years now, in the instant case, crude oil, has continued to import, to date, the finished products derived from crude oil”.
In a remark, the Director of UNIZIK Business School, Prof. A.U Nnonyelu, noted that the conference was both apt and timely, given the state of the economy in post-colonial Africa, adding that “Africa is still groaning under the weight of underdevelopment, bedeviled by myriads of problems facing the economies of most African countries”.
He, however, reiterated the commitment of the school to becoming the management of excellence, as well as become more relevant in exploring models and strategies to develop businesses and to sustain them.