One of Nigeria’s richest men and best known business moguls, Muhammadu Indimi, who was recently criticized for donating a lecture hall for an American university, has talked on how he didn’t go to school but now controls PhD and Master degree holders.
While speaking in an exclusive interview with Premium Times, billionaire business mogul and Borno-born magnate, Muhammadu Indimi, opened up on controversies trailing him for donating a lecture hall for an American university when same institutions in his home country Nigeria are begging for such gesture.
In the interview, the money bag, who is an in-law to President Muhammadu Buhari, spoke elaborately on his foundation’s philanthropy, why he built a hostel for a U.S.-based university and how he was able to rise as an accomplished business man without any background of formal western education.
Here are excerpt from the chat:
Could you kindly shed light on the controversy that trailed your building and donation of a lecture hall for an American University?
You see, about 10 of my children studied in America and in that particular university where I made the donation. And each time I go there to visit them or to attend their graduation ceremony I meet with other students especially Americans who knew me as an accomplished international businessman. And somehow, some of them came to find out that I have no advance certificate of education and yet I was able to accomplish all that God has blessed me with. So being very inquisitive as they are by nature, the students approached me and asked if I could be available to give them an insight as to how I was able to accomplish such business successes without any form of formal education.
What they wanted was some kind of talk or lecture. And when I went to share my experience with them, I found out that the venue was too small for the crowd that attended the programme, and it was from there I pledged to help them build a better and befitting lecture for the faculty.
I did that in my kind gesture as a father to many children that graduated from that school; and also in appreciation of the recognition and regard they gave me. But what will I hear back home, all kinds of insinuation. Sadly, some persons, especially those from a south south of the country, felt it is their money I took to go build a lecture hall for an American university.
But little did such persons know that all my active life as a businessman I have never shied away from my basic social responsibility in every place I do my business. It was even in the recognition of such kind of efforts that the University of Uyo sent me a nomination letter awarding me an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration. That is because in that state I am fully committed to my corporate social responsibilities as a businessman. I have an ongoing 100 housing units that is going on in that state. Besides that, I have contributed immensely in seeing that the University attains all the requirements that enabled them get their Department of Petrochemical Engineering get accredited and certified as an affiliate of the University of Texas. I have offered more than a 100 scholarship in that university; I have also given about 500 women in the business community there in Uyo soft loans to start their own businesses.
Though some people were blind to all these efforts we have been making in the areas of our corporate social responsibilities, the University community has appreciated us; that is why on the 4th of November, they will be conferring me with an honour of doctorate degree in Business Administration.
It may interest you to know that I have never been to any formal school all my life. No teacher of western education can say he or she had taught me how to pronounce the alphabet ‘A’ in my life. But here I am helping people to get educated in the Western baccalaureate because I know how important it is.
So, how were you able to master the art of reading and speaking in English.
As I told you I have never been to any kind of school. I simply learnt by listening and association with people. I am a very committed person when it comes to learning and adapting. And thank God today, as an unlettered person by Western standard I still supervise people with masters and Phds who are working in my organisation.
As a matter of fact, if any of my employees want to approach me with any project proposal or some kind of memo or presentation, they have to be well prepared and make sure they did their home work well because they know I will definitely point out any error therein. So Alhamdullillahi, I thank God for his kindness upon me; and I do all that I do for the sake of God. I hate mentioning or celebrating our acts of kindness in the past, but the times have come that people will want to drag your name in the mud with lies. So we have to beat our drum for our selves even though with all humility and comportment. Thank you.