Over the weekend, Awka, the Anambra state capital, beamed as academics, global business leaders, captains of industries and political leaders converged for the second edition of “Access More With Stanel” Master Class.
The Master Class, designed mainly for Anambra youths and co-sponsored by Access Bank and Anambra state government, was aimed at raising annually US dollar millionaires in the state.
Welcoming the participants, the chief host, Dr. Stanley Uzochukwu, primed the youths, who had come from the 21 local government areas of the state, on the theme of the class.
Prof Pat Utomi, making a case against the country’s overdependence on oil and its dying industrial sector, maintained that “a country that cannot produce” cannot be considered serious in the international arena.”
He journeyed his audience down the memory lane when Eastern Nigeria was the country’s fastest economy. He noted that Nigeria’s economic problems started when a “production-based economy” gave way to a “sharing economy.”
As a way out, he suggested what he dubbed ” a clear national strategy” and admonished the youths to embrace entrepreneurial skills.
Senators Orji Uzor Kalu and Ayim Pius Ayim roused the participants with what youthfulness entails. “It is about contributing positively to the society and not destroying public properties in the name of #EndSARS protest, ” Orji Kalu noted.
Taking the baton from there, Barr. Allen Onyema talked about what he dubbed the “G-factor” in the affairs of man on earth. He held that establishing a good relationship with God was a critical factor for a successful life.
“It is the fear of God and your love of God that will drive you to that altitude and destination that you desire, ” he noted.
He, thereafter, advised the audience to always place work and mastery behind money. “Money will come when the society starts to feel your impact,” Onyema concluded.
Correspondingly, Dr. Cosmas Maduka, after wowing the audience with his uncanny rag-to-riches story, expatiated the importance of self-discipline, focus, and a positive mindset in achieving success in life.
He furthered in urging the youths to challenge their present condition and always be prepared to seize opportunities.
“There is wealth, middle-class and poverty in every man, ” he said. ” It is your mindset that determines the level you operate.”
Taking the stage, former Central Bank governor, Prof Soludo, illuminated the role of accessible and quality education as a critical step in breaking out of the cycle of poverty.
“Youth empowerment and entrepreneurship of the future will happen in the contest of the fourth industrial and digital revolution where knowledge and skills are the critical drivers, ” he stated.
Concluding, Soludo made case for business incubation practice. He argued that this timeless system of raising entrepreneurs among Igbo people should be continued and enhanced.
After presentations by the keynote speakers, the class moved into panel of discussion where Nigerians making waves in and outside the country equipped the youths of the state with relevant skills and mental attitudes essential for successful outings in a country like Nigeria.
The highlights of the occasions were the surprise 60th birthday cake gifted to Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim who recently turned 60 years, by the host and the one-million-naira gift and mentorship programme granted to one of the participants by Mr. Linus Idahosa.
The event came to an end with a vote of thanks rendered by the father of day and chairman Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers, and Obi of Onitsha, Obi Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe. He thanked Stanel Group for the initiative.
“It is my prayer that the masterclass will move from the state to become a national, even continental, event,” Obi of Onitsha said.
Other dignitaries that graced the occasion include Dame Virgy Etiaba, Sen. Victor Umeh, Prof Charles Esimone, Hon. Obinna Chidioka, Hon. Sally Mbanefo, Hon. Tony Azubogu, Hon. Uchenna Okafor, Chief Valentine Ozigbo, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, among others.