Scavenging is one of the easiest things in the world to do. A scavenger waits for someone else to kill, and then it feeds off the remnants.
A scavenger is nowhere near the value chain. You don’t create anything or add any value. He just waits to scrounge the remains. A vulture
As a young banker, I used to get sacked a lot because I would not scavenge. Everybody will run to the NPA Superannuation fund, where my brother Henry Abebe was holding sway, to collect their 30-day money.
I would not do that, instead, I would try to develop markets. Try to bring together all the traders in Oshodi under one canopy to collect N1,000 from one million of them in a bid to build a huge retail base.
By the time I even get to the first meeting, MPR will come, and they will abuse the living daylights out of me.
I discovered that at BGL, for example, we had a huge portfolio running into billions, with only three people holding 80% of the funds. This was dangerous, and I screamed, but did they see? Not at all. They sacked me.
At Magnum, Investment One, and CSL, I continued to run against the headwinds, seeing what they could not see and was sacked at all of these institutions.
This is what I think is happening with my brother Abu at Sterling. So he has been appointed MD/CEO of a major financial institution and instead of scavenging the shortcuts of forex arbitraging, short call funds, and all those quick-fix things they do to record humongous profits while the underlying economy is suffocating, he has decided to thread only where Lions thread.
His figures are not looking good, and he is facing a barrage of torment from his critical stakeholder community.
Recently, he ran into turbulence with the Easter greeting, comparing our Jesus to Agege bread. He has apologized, but the wolves seem to have been strengthened.
This morning, I asked him how he was faring, and he said, “I shall make you proud. You will be able to say, I saw it when most were in doubt.”
That is the strength I needed. Abu Dhabi is at the forefront of the economic Renaissance we need. He is the first foot soldier who is pushing the frontiers of our economic rebellion.
To the old revolutionary, he is saying things that make sense. He is saying that the underlying economy needs to be revamped, jobs need to be created, and sustainable growth must be achieved in the real sector.
This cannot be accomplished by trading overnight funds, advocating for FPI, trading forex, and charging fees for collecting government bills, among other things.
This is why he is going to areas with very low margins, with no real growth prospects, and very terrible returns with a huge risk, but which come with a huge potential for the economy and our people in the long term.
Education, health, and infrastructure are his main targets. If you add technology and services, you will understand where he is going.
To drill it down, Abu is carrying our “shit” now so that we can have a better future.
Today, he is being stoned with rotten tomatoes. His corporate communications people are not helping matters with such a huge gaffe; he is being called all kinds of names, but he is standing. real firm.
The beauty of Abu’s vision is that it is borderless, that it transcends time and finite structures. It will outlive Abu in Sterling as it has already started taking roots.
People like Tosin Runsewe—I’m sorry, sir, but I have to mention you, Afolabi Adetola, are doing things in the health sector.
They are raising huge funds, buying up healthcare facilities, and turning them into great economic machines, upturning the sector.
Abu’s travails will never come to naught. He does not only see what we can’t see but has the mind to pursue it in the face of shallow consternation from those who think they know.
Like I have told him, he would have to sift through his shareholder base, push for more huge investors with a long-term view, and encourage the short-term investors to cash out or sell down and go take positions in other banks where trillions are made in days so that we can concentrate on building a sustainable platform in Sterling.
As the need to build a bulwark around Abu and his team become clear to us, we will begin to encourage people to buy Starling Bank shares.
We will push millions to take up shares in Sterling Bank, push them to enter strategic shareholder committees, and drive their media strategy independently as it is very clear that we can no longer sit on the fence.
Today, I pledge all my free earnings to the purchase of Sterling Bank shares, and I beg you all to join me if we are going to help Abu prove this point.
Let’s buy Sterling. Let’s take the bank. It is our bank.
The Duke of Shomolu