As he sat there peering unto my excited eyes “Onwa”, The GUO emperor was waiting patiently, as I stressed the operative word “Want”.
“Consider the tittle mouse, How sagacious an animal
It is which never entrusts its life To one hole only”
– Plautus (254-184BC)
Africa’s richest entrepreneur has many businesses, projects and factories all over the continent. The Dangote group actually is the premier enterprise in the north and one of the leaders in the west and the central state of Edo State of Nigeria. But Dangote is not visible in the South East and the volatile region of the South South states of the country.
Dangote Cement, Oil Refineries, Beverage companies dot the northern stretches down to Lagos and Ogun states, but they are missing in the East and the Riverine swamps. Interestingly, some other businessmen invested in the two regions.
On his visit to the ANAMMCO industrial site some few months ago, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo declared that ANAMMCO would receive encouraging Federal assessment, following the company’s strenuous throughputs and proven capacities in the meeting of all in its set technical objectives.
It was on that official visit to the Emene industrial layout that the Chairman of that giant industry disclosed, that ANAMMCO is now assembling the Dangote Trucks and would be doing more to aid Nigeria realize its industrial dreams if the government would do exactly what the visiting Vice President had promised. “Give the company more dollars to enable the ANAMMCO pay for more industrial parts and materials to sustain its wheeling belt.”
So polished and confident before the camera, the Chairman and the owner of the commanding shares of that industry further stated that “ANAMMCO is producing new proficient middle level cadres of electronic/ technical engineers who on graduation, have been trained to contribute to the economy working on their own”.
A few days after he said goodbye to the Vice President at Enugu, the Chairman arrived Onitsha his headquarters, from where he had built his Empire. I was profoundly attracted when he explained to the Press the impact on the economy, the technical capacity of the trainees would weigh on the country’s development. ‘’As ANAMMCO continues to graduate those proficient middle technical cadres, Nigeria would take its place very soon after China, India and the Koreans etc.”
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At Onitsha, I was flabbergasted when he allowed me to go toe to toe, sparring and picking our points as we stood on different pivots, advancing arguments on how best to plan, procure requirements in order to successfully achieve the mission and project objectives of new businesses.
I was thrilled that the great GUO gave me his patience and he was equally thrilled by my strident references to all the gurus of the business school as we moved from introducing business, planning for projects and to the provisos of the Standard Organization Chart. I poured out Peter Drucker and his iconic Business Theories… how we cannot proceed without taking note of him. On Leadership, I brought out The Pyramid Climbers… which defined “Leadership as the art of getting others to want to do something that you believe should be done.” As he sat there peering unto my excited eyes “Onwa”, The GUO emperor was waiting patiently, as I stressed the operative word “Want”.
He was quiet as the sermon continued… in his “Fundamentals of Project Management, Joseph Heagney postulated that “Managers must understand the mission and vision of the organization first, then they must see how the project they are managing meshes with the organization mission and they must steer the project to ensure that the interest of the organization are met. Sir, I said to him “our managers must be accountable, uphold the interests of the GUO and would not be seen operating on independent status away from the legal authority of the GUO group. There and then he got it and with a wave of his left hand he stopped me. “Emma Okocha I know where you are coming from… Government civil servants are different from us. “we are practical business people.” Understand where you are coming from… you may be surprised that I got into business after the war, applying enough discipline, dedication and fairness to my workers. I was able to hit my first millions as a young bachelor! All of you are government workers and you have government orientation in business management. I have built my empire employing the business necessities of dedication, discipline and fair-play…
My encounter with this mandarin on the Niger is therefore beyond money, beyond businesses and beyond the continental borders. Chief Onwa Godwin Ubaka Okeke beyond his businesses, his empire is as I said last week, a JEFFERSONIAN.
Next week, Emma Okocha encounter with Guo in far away Dubai, Fujairah