The Ayedero of Yorubaland and former member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Shina Abiola Peller, has emphasized the need for Turkish enterpreneurs and investors to engage with Nigeria’s growing market for a remarkable Return on Investment (RoI).
Honourable Peller stated this while delivering his speech as a keynote speaker at the 2023 Mindshift Empowerment and Employment Initiative (MEEI)’s Turkey-Africa Entrepreneurship Conference held in Istanbul, Turkey.
Speaking on the topic, *The Power of Entrepreneurship, the Opportunities it holds and the remarkable potential that lies in the heart of Africa*, Ayedero of Yorubaland noted that Africa is a continent of boundless potential and home to some of the world’s most creative minds both within the continent and in the diaspora.
In the same vein, Honourable Peller explained that Nigeria, with over 250 diverse ethnic groups and local languages, represents the economic and cultural potential that exist across the African continent. He added that Nigeria is the gateway to Africa’s world of creativity, describing Nigerian entrepreneurs as vibrant, innovative and problem-solvers.
Highlighting some of the benefits Turkish investors stand to gain from trading and doing business with Nigeria, Honourable Peller stressed that Nigeria’s youthful population and growing middle class present a substantial consumer base for businesses to thrive. He added that the country boasts of abundant natural resources, from oil and gas to agriculture, offering immense investment potential.
Also, the Oke-Ogun born businessman cum politician explained that Nigeria’s diversity isn’t limited to its rich cultural heritage alone, but that it includes its economic and great entrepreneurial attributes. “Nigeria’s entrepreneurs have continuously demonstrated incredible resilience and innovation, contributing to the country’s status as one of the Africa’s largest economies,” he said.
High Chief Ayedero also disclosed to the Turkish entrepreneurs that their Nigeria’s counterparts do not only foster job creation and wealth distribution but also actively contribute to solutions for the continent’s most pressing issues, which he said include healthcare, education, agriculture and technology.
Moreover, Honourable Peller stressed that it is very important that Turkish and Nigerian entrepreneurs come together to harness and explore the vibrancy and creativity, potential of the power of entrepreneurship in taking responsibility for problem-solving.
In addition, the former federal legislator explained that Oke Ogun region in Oyo State, where he indigenously hails from, is blessed with diverse landscape, natural resources and fertile land, which offer immense opportunities to investors particularly in agriculture and mineral resources.
He said, “Oke Ogun, a vast area within Oyo State, offers distinctive advantages for entrepreneurs. Its strategic location, vast land and resources and untapped agricultural potential make it fertile ground for agribusiness ventures.” Honourable Peller used the platform to acknowledge effective leadership role of the State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, in transforming the state’s landscape and fostering an environment conducive to enhance its appeal as a business destination.
Some of the prominent personalities at the conference are His Excellency, Ambassador Ismail Yusuf Abba, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Türkiye, H.E. Summy Smart Francis, President, Africa’s Young Entrepreneurs and Special Adviser, (Entrepreneurship), Ondo State, Nigeria, Dr. Yavuz Altun, CEO Happy Center and Istanbul Chamber of Commerce and President of Retail Committee.
Others are Bülent Akarcall Economist and Former Minister of Health Tourism of the Republic of Türkiye, Gökhan Kurtar, Ministry of Agriculture, Republic of Türkiye, Mr. Ismail Aktas, General Coordinator, Europe-Asia Businessmen International Association, Dr. Daniel Deji Ayodele, founder, MEEI Programme, Mr. Martin Arebun, President, MEEI Program, and many others.
Part of Honourable Peller’s keynote speech made available to journalists read:
“I am truly honored to stand before you today to discuss a topic of great significance – the power of entrepreneurship, the opportunities it holds, and the remarkable potential that lies in the heart of Africa, particularly in the vibrant and diverse nation of Nigeria.
“Before I delve into these matters, allow me to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the visionary individuals who have orchestrated this extraordinary event, bringing together aspiring entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and innovators from around the world. Your dedication to fostering ambitious spirit and collaboration is commendable, and I thank you for providing us with this invaluable platform.
“Now, let us delve into a topic that embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship, but also transcends borders and cultures. Turkey and Africa share a rich and complex history that dates back centuries, highlighting the enduring value of cultural exchange. Today, I want to focus on Nigeria, a remarkable country in Africa, as it represents the economic and cultural potential that exists across this dynamic continent.
“Nigeria, often referred to as the “Giant of Africa,” stands as a beacon of diversity, with over 250 ethnic groups and languages spoken. This diversity is not just cultural; it is economic and entrepreneurial. Nigeria’s entrepreneurs have demonstrated incredible resilience and innovation, contributing to its status as one of Africa’s largest economies. It is this vibrancy and creativity that we must harness and celebrate as we explore the power of entrepreneurship in taking responsibility for problem-solving.
“Within Nigeria, Oyo State stands out as a unique gem. Its diverse landscape and rich cultural heritage offer immense opportunities, particularly in agriculture and mineral resources. The fertile soil and favorable climate make Oyo State a potential agricultural hub, while its abundant mineral deposits are yet to be fully explored. This presents a promising prospect for entrepreneurs looking to invest in these sectors.
“But let us zoom in a bit further. Oke Ogun, a vast area within Oyo State, offers distinctive advantages for entrepreneurs. Its strategic location, vast land resources, and untapped agricultural potential make it fertile ground for agribusiness ventures. The commitment of the Oyo State government to infrastructure development further enhances its appeal as a business destination.
“In the spirit of recognizing leadership, I must mention and celebrate the Governor of Oyo State, Governor Oluwaseyi Makinde for his remarkable efforts in transforming the state’s landscape and fostering an environment conducive for business growth and development. His dedication to improving education, healthcare, Agriculture and infrastructure is truly commendable and sets a powerful example for other states in Nigeria and beyond.
“Today, I want to continue by celebrating the profound cultural connections between Turkey and Africa. These ties have evolved over centuries, reflecting a rich tapestry of shared traditions, values, and aspirations. Nigeria, often referred to as the “Giant of Africa,” stands as a testament to this cultural bridge. It is a nation that embodies resilience, diversity, and boundless potential. With a population of over 200 million people, Nigeria represents not just a market, but a vibrant ecosystem ripe for innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Entrepreneurship is not merely about creating businesses; it is about taking responsibility for problem-solving, innovation, and societal progress. Entrepreneurs, like all of you gathered here, are the change-makers who drive economic growth, create jobs, and address the challenges of our times.
“Entrepreneurs, by their very nature, are change-makers. They are driven by a vision, a passion, and a commitment to addressing the challenges our world faces. In a country like Nigeria, where access to basic services, education, and healthcare remains a concern, entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to create sustainable solutions that can transform lives. But this responsibility extends beyond Nigeria’s borders.
“Entrepreneurship is not confined by geographic boundaries. It is about identifying opportunities and building bridges. In this regard, Nigeria stands as a gateway to a world of possibilities in trade, export, and investment. The Mindshift Empowerment and Employment Initiative (MEEI) has opened up new avenues for collaboration and growth. For Turkish entrepreneurs, this is a chance to engage with Nigeria’s growing market and, in turn, benefit from the vast resources and talent it offers.
“However, like any venture, foreign trade with Nigeria comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, Nigeria’s youthful population and growing middle class present a substantial consumer base. The country boasts abundant natural resources, from oil and gas to agriculture, offering immense investment potential. But on the other hand, bureaucratic hurdles and infrastructure challenges can pose significant barriers to success.
“So, what are the solutions to the disadvantages of trading with Nigeria? Collaboration, innovation, and adaptability is key. Building strong partnerships with local businesses, leveraging technology to overcome logistical challenges, conducting thorough market research are essential steps to succeed in this dynamic market, getting the necessary licenses to ensure smooth trade and investment in Nigeria which would be provided by me and my team of foreign trade expert to help all foreign investors.
“In closing, let us remember that entrepreneurship is not just about seizing opportunities, but also about creating them. It is about turning challenges into steppingstones for growth and progress. As we embark on this entrepreneurial journey together, let us be inspired by the cultural ties between our nations, the potential of places like Oke Ogun, and the transformative power of entrepreneurship. Let us embrace the opportunities in trade, export, and investment, and let us work collectively to overcome the challenges and make a lasting impact on Nigeria and beyond.
“Thank you for your attention, and may this conference be a catalyst for innovative ideas, partnerships, and innovations that will shape the future of entrepreneurship in Nigeria, Africa, Turkey and the world.”