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Former UBA Chairman advocates safer business entry for young entrepreneurs

From Chuks Collins, Awka

Former Chairman of the United Bank of Africa, (UBA) Plc, Hakeem Belo-Osagie has called on regulators to reduce barrier to entry into financial technology industry in Nigeria to grant more entrepreneurs opportunity to key in to the sector.

Bello-Osagie who made the call as one of the guest speakers at the Mekaria Mentorship Program Live Coffee chat Series 3, an online program held on the Osita Chidoka Facebook fan page, expressed joy at having the opportunity to address young people, which he admitted had always pleased him.

He noted that the nation has abundant budding talents but lamented that leaders' failure in providing a platform for young entrepreneurs to thrive and make the necessary changes has remained the bane.

Commenting on his achievements especially on acquiring the most shares in UBA at a young age, Belo-Osagie noted that the idea of young people coming together to own a bank and accomplish something remarkable showed that a team from different parts of Nigeria could come together, overcome their differences and achieve so much.

"Though due to systematic changes in the financial market, it may be difficult for young people in the 21st century to acquire a Bank and take it to a higher level, Belo-Osagie stated that they are other areas young people can key in to bring the necessary changes especially technology," he said.

Therefore, the business guru called on youths to utilize the opportunity in the tech space as a means of entry into the banking, insurance and other parts of the  finance, in the light of high barriers set up by regulators.

When asked if he will trust a young person and invest in a tech idea, Hakeem Belo-Osagie answered in affirmative, adding that every young person has potential and should be encouraged once they prove they are trustworthy and has the requisite knowledge.

In his message to young Nigerians, he defined youth as the time to dare to think different, to have setbacks but not be discouraged, to take risks, to educate oneself and be open to new experiences, shunning religious and ethnic bigotry, embracing humility, self reliance, and hard work.

He encouraged the youths to have a clear picture of a Nigeria binded by a common humanity and ambition, and at such embrace their differences and work together to achieve the common goal.

The mentorship series being sponsored by Chidoka in memory of his mentor, Chief Ojo Mmadụekwe, aims to create an online platform where personalities who have carved a niche in their industry share their experiences and help young people figure out their path in life.

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