Prince Nicholas Okoye is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Anabel Group. The man fondly referred to as the pride of Nigerian youths is an expert in Technology, Training and Executive Coaching. In this interview with GEORGE OKOJIE, he bares his mind on how the country can build more leaders.
You are into so many sectors of the Nigeria economy, but in Anabel Leadership Academy you seem to be impacting more on the lives of the people. What informed your setting up of the academy?
The Anabel Leadership Academy represents a bold effort to tackle the leadership problem in Nigeria with a very practical approach to solving the problems. I realised that it was high time we identified ways in which our leaders can do better to increase our competitiveness as a nation and expand opportunities available to all Nigeria people.
Is Anabel Group only about the academy?
No it is not only the academy. We have Anabel Capital where we work with quite a number of regulators. We are involved in developing regulations for the finance industry working closely with the central bank. We are also involved in capacity building, training of officers of the central bank, NDIC, SEC, FIRS and many others. But in the leadership academy a lot of efforts are dispensed in this direction because I am so passionate about quality leadership and I know that is one of Nigeria's problem. Leadership in my opinion is not a talent, it is not something you are born with you should be trained, and that is where we are getting it wrong in this country. Leadership is one of the most accomplishments an individual can attain. So there is no way it will not require training and capacity building, rather than see something and complain one should help in educating the new generation of leaders.
Why do you think Anabel can achieve these objectives, given the failed attempts in the past?
Anabel Leadership Academy, I can assure you, has the capacity to assist in this effort. Some local and many international, but all our resources have one target and one goal, that is to develop the skills of leader or would-be leaders in our political and corporate institutions. We are providing technological platforms that enable 21st century communication between a political leader, a consumer product marketing Executive or an Investor Relations Executive for a corporation listed on a stock or securities exchange.
What would be the Impact of the 2-Day summit in Lagos?
What we intend to achieve is a coalition of Nigerians who had decided that they want to build the country into a great nation. And we want to build Nigeria together. Nigeria belongs to all of us. The fact that one has title does not make you a leader. In order to be a leader you have to get people to follow you on the right direction. Having the title is not the issue. Let us build a Nigeria that all of us can benefit from. I want people to have equal opportunities. The government needs to work with entrepreneurs to expand the opportunities for people to build their businesses. That is what we need to do . That is where we are going . That is what I support
The tools of Consumers, Community Connect you talked about what does it entail and how effective is it?
It is platform that truly redefines the leader as these tools provide unlimited power for the leader or Executive to communicate directly with the community or the consumers. Our support and training will truly elevate the leader from the realm of success up to the world of significance
As a technocrat what is your assessment of Nigeria's Budget?
I think those at the helm of affairs must look at the budget closely and make the necessary amendment to put the country on the part of growth. To me what we have is ridiculous. I mean we are spending over 70 per cent of our budget on recurrent expenditure. That is, 70 per cent of what the government makes is spent on running the government. As far as I am concerned the country's recurrent expenditure should not be more than 25 per cent.
What should Nigerians and the International community expect from the group?
They should expect something really great. We have a 30 years growth plan, they should expect to see quite a number of our involvement in many markets in Nigeria and in the African sub-region not primarily with one particular product but with two or three other services like our technology platform or our training and capacity building business. So we will grow at our pace, we will strive to get to a stage where Anabel will be a household name in virtually every viable market in Nigeria and Africa sub-region.
Given this passion for using your executive platform to empower people, are you looking beyond doing so in a private capacity?
I have always been interested in contributing to the society, I do not believe in taking from the society but to add, and like any other entrepreneur while you are adding you are also making money and earning a living. But at the same time you are affecting people's lives and creating opportunity. If not for the corrupt political system we have here I would have run for office, in order to go into the government and affect lives. But I am not interested in doing that, I think I can affect life from the private sector by empowering and giving people the opportunity to create jobs for themselves, and by linking people up with job opportunities and by making a kind of seamless approach. With the technology platform that we are planning, people in Sokoto state will be able to identify opportunity in Port Harcourt using our platform and we are going to link them together. So we are trying to use technology to solve problems and to help people advance their lives in whatever way they can deploy the technology.