April 16 was a day for special recognition of two outstanding business persons who have distinguished themselves in adding impetus to the Nigerian economy.
Gregory University, Uturu (GUU) Abia State did the two, Chief Matthew Uwaekwe and Chief. Eric Ni, a Chinese businessman in Nigeria, the recognition with honorary doctorate degrees.
Uwaekwe is the National Coordinator/CEO of the Nigeria China Business Council. He also doubles as the country Chief Executive of Skyrun Electronics, the Chinese giant home appliances manufacturer.
Also, Chief Ni Chairman of China Industrial and Commercial Enterprises Association and the Huaxing Art and Troupe, Nigeria is an international businessman who has done business in Nigeria for many years.
Chancellor and founder of the university, Prof. Gregory Ibe at the ceremony noted that the two businessmen have been worthy examples in growing the economy of Nigeria and also in encouraging deeper understanding between Nigeria and China.
Ibe praised Uwaekwe for his wonderful contribution that attracted Chinese investors who set up the Skyrun factory in Nigeria with branches in some parts of the country.
He said the benefits of Skyrun manufacturing home appliances in Nigeria range from job creation for Nigerians, making the products such as fridges, refrigerators, television sets, water dispensers, washing machines and others more affordable to consumers.
He said GUU recognised and honoured the two for also helping to save Nigeria foreign exchange as consumers don’t need to import those appliances from overseas.
The Art and Troupe of Chief Ni has also been a unifying force between China and Nigeria as they get to know each other better through their cultural interactions.
The troupe recently also signed deal a with the GUU on cultural and educational exchanges that would benefit the two worlds in the university’s drive for international outreaches and collaborations.
Uwaekwe and Ni in their speeches at the event promised to play greater roles that would enhance the diplomatic, economic, education and people-to-people integration of China and Nigeria, the core objectives of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC)
They also called for better understanding between the two worlds, arguing that as no country is an island to itself, Nigeria especially should tap into the economic and other benefits of relating with China, a global economic giant that grew to its height by also tapping into integration with other countries.
Uwaekwe particularly challenged the Nigerian government to create better business environment that would help attract foreigners to do business in the country.
He singled out insecurity as major setback to doing business in Nigeria and said the economic downturn Nigeria is going through can only be reversed when doing business in Nigeria is friendly and profitable.
He also argued that major cause of insecurity in Nigeria is lack of jobs for the young people who would have been busy at work if they had opportunities.
“Any day the Nigerian business climate improves and creates jobs for the youths, insecurity will come to an end. Our economy will do better because people can afford livelihood. The young population will be busy at work and won’t have the time to commit crimes.
“And we can’t get to such level until we make our country safe for investment by foreigners and Nigerians, and since China is the most willing and bouyant of all economies of the world to invest in our world, we should not miss the opportunity of creating a conducive place for them and ourselves to operate businesses here in Nigeria.”