President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Groupe Nduom (GN), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, has asserted that there is more delight in creating wealth in private sector than in the public sector.
In his opinion, politics should not be an avenue for people to become wealthy.
Instead, the celebrated entrepreneur said the sole purpose of politicians should be to serve people, including entrepreneurs so that they could create jobs and help increase government revenue.
According to the GN president, he feels more comfortable when he is recognised as a business professional, management consultant or entrepreneur.
“Until recently, I put the letters CMC behind my name, announcing myself as a Certified Management Consultant,” Dr. Nduom said.
“I appreciate it when I am recognised as a business professional, management consultant or entrepreneur. I don’t like being called a politician. I practise politics, yes. But that is not what I do for a living. I engage in politics as public service, to advance the national interest,” Dr. Nduom stressed.
Dr. Nduom made these assertions when he addressed the 13th Prestigious Lecture of the Telecom University on “Entrepreneurship after School” in Accra on Wednesday, May 20, 2015.
Speaking on the theme: “A Journey Through Time On Entrepreneurship in Ghana,” the GN president appreciated the opportunity offered him by the university to share his experience and others in the world of entrepreneurship, particularly in Ghana.
He indicated that a lot could be achieved from hard work and perseverance and that Ghanaians should not rest on their oars and expect manna to fall on their tables.
According to him, that is what has kept him in business, professional life and even in politics.
“It is what has sustained me in my adult life in business, professional life and in politics. …I am grateful to my wife for pointing out to me Proverbs 24:33,34 “… a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a thief and scarcity like an armed man,” he pointed out.
Dr. Nduom stressed that sharing credit and staying wide awake were necessary ingredients for any successful entrepreneur who wanted to have a lifetime, self-reliance, discipline, patience and slow to take profit as well as declare success.
And while he acknowledged the successes of some of the world acclaimed successful entrepreneurs and business men like William Henry ‘Bill’ Gates, John Pierpont ‘J.P’ Morgan and Warren Buffet, he was also equally appreciative of some entrepreneurs this country had had in the past including the current ones.
For instance, he mentioned people like Dr. (Mrs.) Esther Ocloo, George Alfred Grant (Paa Grant), Benjamin Mensah, Yaw Boakye, Joshua Kwabena Siaw among others who, he said, successfully created employment for many Ghanaians during their time.
Though Dr. Nduom admitted entrepreneurship did not just happen for most people like the Bill Gates and the rest, he was full of praise for the current generation of entrepreneurs in Ghana despite the economic difficulties facing the country.
The likes of Ishmael Yamson, Asuma Bandah, Kwame Pianim, Kobina Richardson Apenten Appaih Menkah, Kofi Owusu, he observed, contributed immensely to the country’s economy by offering jobs to majority of Ghanaians.
Whilst he was reluctant to trumpet his own contributions to the Ghanaian economy, he noted that GN, a conglomerate of companies, has directly provided jobs to about 3000 people.
Nevertheless, the business mogul bemoaned how entrepreneurs and business men were being treated in the country.
That, he explained, was due to the nature of politics in the country where businesses belonging to perceived opponents of the ruling government were witch-hunted.
According to him, that has largely contributed to the failure of many businesses in the country for the past 50 years.
“How many private Ghanaian-owned businesses that has been around for 50 years or more and is considered successful? Can you name ten successful Ghanaian entrepreneurs who have succeeded in building, expanding and sustaining profitable businesses for at least 50 years?
…Or more than 30 years? Do you know a Ghanaian business person who has built a successful business and passed it on from one generation to another? Where is the history of Ghanaian entrepreneurship written,” Dr. Nduom asked?
“…and can we have a great and strong country without successful indigenous entrepreneurs,” the GN president further asked?
Being an entrepreneur or a private business person in Ghana, he pointed out, had not been an “easy path to be on.”
“We have seen successes and failures just as we have seen attempts to encourage on the one hand and other times discourage such persons. It is as if over time, we do not know whether we like them or not. Ghanaian entrepreneurs have lived in what sometimes can be called a rough and tough neighbourhood. They have been called thieves, cocaine sellers, etc. Some have had their companies confiscated, closed down and a few have lost their lives due to the suspicion that they had cheated the consumers and the state. A number of them have been forced to join political parties as insurance against witch-hunting,” Dr. Nduom indicated.
He said Ghanaians were no more interested in manufacturing because of the bitter experience some of the above-mentioned entrepreneurs went through in the hands of the Rawlings’ both Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) / Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).
“The hard truth is that Jerry John Rawlings and his other adventure seekers have dealt such a decisive blow to the local manufacturing industry that it would take more than mere admonition to get men and women to commit their resource and know-how into manufacturing goods for local consumption”, Dr. Nduom said.
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