By Vera Samuel Anyagafu and Njoku Jerry
The venue was the Landmark Hotel Convention Center, Chaoyang, in Beijing, China and the event was a grand award-giving ceremony in honor of one of Nigeria’s best China-based entrepreneurs and philanthropists, Mr. Uzoma Festus Mbisiogu, for his remarkable achievements in both home and abroad business merchandise, in addition to his unalloyed commitment in Diaspora Nigerian community development.
Mbisiogu, emerged winner out of the five nominees and was bestowed with the Prestigious Asia-Pacific Award by Appreciate Africa Network in collaboration with African Achievers International, a group of Non-Governmental Institutions registered in both the UK and China.
In this chat, Mbisiogu, who is also the CEO of Blue Diamond Logistics, China, and Advocate of Good Governance Initiative, speaks on the award and Diaspora African investors’ progression in China, in addition to energy situation in the country.
The prestigious Asia-Pacific Award is an award that is reserved for outstanding entrepreneurs’, who have displayed unquantifiable efforts towards business progression in both their home countries and counties of abode abroad.
I emerged winner out of the 5 Nominees, in the category of Entrepreneurs’, and individuals who have established remarkable impact among Diaspora Africans in China, especially in the area of trade, investments and Diasporas community services.
You have always been Concerned about the wellbeing of Diaspora Nigerians, especially in the area of trade and investment. What are your recommendations?
I have often advised Diaspora Africans to start thinking of repatriating their businesses and wealth home, for fact that investments bought home, expectedly, would produce multiple effects to both the youth and the society as a whole.
Interestingly also, investment brought down home would reduce the number of unemployment youths and also reduce the rate of poverty in the society.
And for us to witness this growth, we must seek for peace and unity.
There must be stability. It is not the responsibility of the entire African rulers and men in authority, but the responsibility of each and every African citizen as well.
We must all fight within our capacities to shun every form of corruption by concentrating more on nation building, and I am optimistic that Africa would one day rule the world.
It may not be in our time but it will certainly take place.
Could you translate one of your many ideas of business progressions?
I am a living example of one of a few success stories of Diaspora Africans who have explored China’s vast business empire and excelled virtually in all areas.
From a humble beginning in the city of Guangzhou as a trade agent, I had this keen interest to excel in business.
Through committed efforts and perseverance, I became one of Africa’s prominent business owners and employers of labor in both Africa and China.
I am passionate towards every efforts directed to achieving industrious spirited young Nigerians.
Industrialists’, who are willing and ready to make remarkable business achievements in all levels of business interests and locations.
Prior to coming to China as a humble small scale trader, I had always believed I was going to succeed.
My determination encouraged me further and through painstaking and honest endeavors, I was able to establish companies like, Shanghai Engineering Construction & Industrial works, Blue Diamond Logistics, China, Uzotex Holdings and many others.
Also, my perseverance rewarded me with a company that is most outstanding in Freight Forwarding, under the Shipping name ‘Maranatha’ Logistics, in addition to ‘Super Diamond Products’, a company that manufactures household items.
You are passionate about growth of Small and Medium Scale industries in Nigeria. How involved are you in this?
As a frequent representative of China -Africa Small Scale Industrialists in Nigeria, with undiluted interest to growing Small & Medium Enterprise activities among African immigrants in both China and other countries, I never relented in efforts towards achieving a more conducive business environment and policies for all Small and Medium Scale operators.
With the advantages posed by China, as ‘World Factory’, I have always charged business minded Nigerians in the Diaspora, to diversify into Construction Services and Large Scale manufacturing of construction and building materials.
I have often advised that diversifying into industrialization would enable reduction of the pressure of importation, which is responsible for the failure of many home country industries.
In the year 2011, I floated a consortium, known as Shanghai Engineering Construction & Industrial Works and decided to move the entire manufacturing base back home in Nigeria.
Through that action, I was able to pull a lot of Diaspora Nigerian investors’ interests back home and we have successfully contributed meaningfully to the country’s economy.
You have always been concerned abut the energy situation in Nigeria. Would you say there is improvement?
Poor energy supply is dampening the progression of industrialization in the country and the sooner it is considered an urgent discussion the better for industries and the county’s economy.
Energy supply is too essential in any country’s development and experiencing consistent power failure has resulted in crippled industries in the country.
When I established Uzotex Foundation, an organization aimed at granting scholarship to emerging young scholars, entrepreneurs, in addition to providing pipe borne water to my entire community, I was challenged with having to provide transformers to service those areas.
It is so sad. The Federal government should intensify efforts on improving power generation in the country.