Ibrahim MahamaTells Youth
Business mogul and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of mining firm,Engineers and Planners (E&P), Ibrahim Mahama, has advised the youth to work hard for success, instead of relying on politicians for survival.
He made these observations while addressing graduate students of the University of Ghana, Legon, on how to become successful entrepreneurs at the 2018 GRASSAG Entrepreneurship Seminar in Accra, where he also announced a cash support of US$40,000 for some 20 students, as start-up capital for any entrepreneurial initiative of their choice.
He indicated that, he became a wealthy man long before his senior brother, John Mahama, first contested an election to become a Member of Parliament (MP) in 1996.
Speaking from a point of view of a business man who has suffered extreme victimization and unending harassments from politicians, Mr. Mahama, who owns several businesses, said politicians are only good at distracting people with good ideas from achieving their goals, indicting both governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“I have an experience with politicians, both NDC and NPP. If you follow them, they will distract you, any of them who come to power, you will be their enemy.If NDC comes to power they will say they don’t want you, if NPP comes to power they will also not want you, so please, stay away from them and you will be successful”, he said.
Upon assumption of power by the Akufo-Addo government in 2017, Mr. Mahama, who is younger brother of former President John DramaniMahama, had one of his firms Exton Cubic Group Limited, equipment seized over claims that he acquired a mining concession in the Ashanti Region unlawfully.
The issue which was dragged to court by lawyers of Mr. Mahama, was ruled in his favour by an Accra High Court, but the administration is yet to release the equipment to the company.
He debunked erroneous impression created over the period that he suddenly became successful under the watch of his elder brother.
According to Mr. Mahama, who also owns the Asutsuare Poultry Farm, MBG limited, and a real estate company, said his brother’s political career, rather jeopardized his businesses, adding he did not become successful during his tenure, but during an NPP government led by President Kufuor.
“During former president Kufuor’s era, nobody knew me. I was going about my business and doing very well. In fact when I started my business in 1996, my brother wasn’t even a politician. Later, when he became a president, everything started going down for me. That is why I will always advice people to stay away from politics and politicians”.
Mr. Mahama, said “Politicians will say some things behind my back and in the media that I wish they can say directly to me. When later they meet you, they will tell you it is just politics, but it is not. It is destroying people and we must learn to stop that.
I want to set the record straight that I was who I was; I was successful. That’s why I can chop my money without looking back and thinking that Amidu is coming to call me. And that is the confidence I do have.
I don’t go anyplace fearing my shadow, running away from my shadow. When I started business John Mahama hadn’t even picked up his forms to become MP,” the mining magnate reiterated.
The business mogul also decried how banks set up to support indigenous firms have shirked their responsibilities adding to the unemployment situation in the country.
“My brother was president and I couldn’t build a cement plant, I borrowed money from local banks, government banks which were built for development are not interested in development that is why I get so passionate when I talk like this. Nkrumah built that bank as a development bank and yet they will never help you, that is why most of the international companies will do better than the Ghanaian companies,” he said.
Narrating how he started after he returned from the United States of America (USA), Mr. Mahama recalled with fond memories how he set off with nothing except his white friend who was then based in the country.
“I remember when I came back from the state and wanted to start something here in Ghana, it was very difficult. I couldn’t even get the banks to help me. It was a friend who supported me with ten thousand Ghana cedis. It is that money that has helped me to get to where I am.
My company has done a lot to support people and we still continue to employ people. Even last week, we employed over three thousand people. Ghanaians do not like helping their own, we are very wicked. Once we learn to support our own we can achieve more”, he lamented.
He encouraged the students not to finish their studies and add to the employed graduates’ association list because there are a lot of opportunities out there which do not need big moneys to start with.
Mr. Mahama, urged the students to disabuse their minds of white collar jobs, because “office jobs don’t pay like field jobs”.
Unlike many Ghanaians who would like to follow others so they follow, he is more of a “problem solver” adding often times what one studies in school does not really matter but what he or she is able to do after school. To be successful, Mr. Mahama tasked the students to be honest, consult and share ideas and take the entrepreneurial initiative serious.
The $40,000, will serve as a revolving fund which will be made available to graduate students yearly with viable business plans or well thought out business ideas that can grow, generate income and employ others. Each beneficiary with good business idea,who will be graduating this year, will be entitled to $2,000.
The initiative serves as a corporate social responsibility gesture aimed at helping reduce the alarming 11.9percent unemployment situation perLabour Force Survey Report.
Mr. Ibrahim who announced the package at the 2018 GRASSAG Entrepreneurship Seminar themed “The role of entrepreneurs in reducing unemployment and achieving the sustainable development goals” at the University of Ghana Legon in Accra, advised the students to plan their future well by concentrating on self-employment rather than shifting their attention on politics or relying primarily on successive governments for jobs and support.
A retired army officer and CEO of CAGL oilfields, Isaac Nana Amoako, challenged the students to take their lives into their own hands. He said it would be most unfortunate to complete their studies and end up joining the unemployed graduates association.