Undergraduates of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, on Wednesday, had the unique opportunity to interact with one of Nigeria’s most impactful business executives, politician and philanthropist, Hon. Valentine Ozigbo, garnering knowledge on proven success strategies. The event was the 2023 UNIZIK Students’ Entrepreneurship Development Programme held at the Chike Okoli Centre for Entrepreneurship Studies at the University main campus in Awka.
Put together by the office of the Vice President of the Student Union Government (SUG) with the theme “Pathway to Possibilities: Nurturing Dreams Through Knowledge,” the event aimed to inculcate in the students, entrepreneurship skills and offer growth opportunities, while also helping them enhance existing competencies. Ozigbo, who was the keynote speaker, in his presentation, gave the students the opportunity to ask specific questions about what they needed to know in line with the theme of the programme.
One of the participants, Ezechukwu Casmir said he found following Hon. Ozigbo on social media very inspiring and asked, “How can I be like you?” Asking to know his approach to effective time management, Mr. Innocent Okafor who alluded to the keynote speaker’s impressive profile stated, “You will be doing us evil if you don’t contest in the next election”.
Others in their separate questions asked to hear the Valentine Ozigbo story, how he manages failure and scales hurdles in the tough Nigerian business environment, his motivation, starting from nothing, maintaining active social media presence among others. Responding, Ozigbo, who is also the CEO of VCO Foundation and the Immediate past President and Chief Executive Officer of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria plc. (Transcorp), stressed the importance of hardwork while acknowledging the place of God’s grace in his progressive and fulfilling career achievements.
“If you don’t apply yourself to the fullest, trust me, you are wasting your potentials.
“You must understand your strengths and weaknesses, then play to your strength,” he advised.
Differing from the widely held impression that intellectual intelligence is superior, Hon. Ozigbo, who was recently appointed Non-Executive Director and leader for Africa on the Board of the World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA), Hon. Ozigbo, warned that really bright people usually run the risk of lacking emotional intelligence, a rare attribute which can propel one to greater levels of success.
“Being in control of yourself is a major strength that you can have. Maintain your cool and be calm even in times of crisis.
“To achieve emotional intelligence you must first of all be authentic to yourself.
“Learn adaptability and sociability. Build quality Networks and relationships. Do your utmost best to leave anyone you meet with a positive impression, every day,” he added.
The event was graced by the first female Professor of Mass Communication in Nigeria, Prof. Chinyere Stella Okunna among other distinguished guests and top student leaders in the institution.
Highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of a distinguished humanitarian award to the keynote speaker, Hon. Valentine Ozigbo for his unrelenting support for youth capacity building, meaningful and gainful engagement in Anambra State and beyond.