Elumelu: If local players are burnt, foreign investors won’t come
Tony Elumelu, chairman of Heirs Holdings, says if local investors are burnt in business, foreign investors would not come in to invest.
Speaking on the second presidential panel at the just concluded Africa Investment Forum (AIF) on Thursday, Elumelu said no amount of roadshows will make foreign investors come if local ones are failing.
“If you look at the power sector, you see some countries who want to be serious about power, realising that access to electricity is important,” Elumelu said.
“But then, people going into the power sector are burnt. If they are burnt, other investors are watching, there is no amount of investors road show you would do that would encourage them to come in.
“When people see successes, others follow.”
Speaking about the conference, the billionaire said, “there is so much private global capital looking for destination, but they go to where they are welcome”.
“If there is one lesson we need to take away from this, in my viewpoint, is [that] we are going to sign deals, but beyond signing deals, we should make sure that those deals work,” Elumelu added.
“So one thing we need to take away is that we go back and reform our country and economies, because there is indeed so much capital looking for the right places to go to.
“In talking about plans and investments, I often ask myself, I’m not in the public sector but as a private sector person, there are two things we do and we do very well, first is ability to articulate great plans, but more importantly executing great plans.
“One of the presidents spoke earlier and said private sector and public sectors are not in competition, we should work together, we should develop policies consistently.
“Talk of unemployment, government on its own cannot create employment, government needs to facilitate economic agents that can create employment”.
Elumelu, who is also the chairman of the United Bank of Africa, says his businesses will be investing in Angola following policy change in the country.