[/float] Michael Orobosa Ubogu is the Managing Director of Micura Services Limited. He is from Delta State. He is a great Philanthropist and an Achiever with distinction. In this interview with Godday Odidi, he briefly highlighted some of the challenges facing Entrepreneurs in Nigeria and other salient issues.
Excerpts:Can we meet you sir?
I am Michael Orobosa Ubogu. I am from from Delta State of Nigeria and the Managing Director of Micura Services Limited. I was born on November 16, 1970.
Tell us about your educational background.
I had my primary and post-primary education at Asaka Primary school and Ibrede Grammar School and I later proceeded to Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) where I studied Personnel Management and Industrial Relation and other professional courses both in Nigeria and Abroad.How did you start your own company?
It is a long story but I started my working career with Union Dicon Salt Plc. First I came to Lagos in 1987 without knowing anybody but started working with one of the companies as a casual worker. I left Union Dicon Salt Plc in 1996 and joined Dangote groups of company in 1997 when they started salt production. I was employed as a supervisor and rose to Assistant Manager and later Production Manager through hardworking and perseverance. In 2007, I left Dangote Company to start Micura Services Limited which I had passion for.Infact to get started with bottlenecks of license and others almost crumbled my vision but with God on my side, I was able to sail through without qualms. My first car I bought, my mother came to Lagos to pay me a visit without talking to me for three days. The reason was that I was brought up in a decent family and my mother wanted to know how much I earned to get me a car. It is not this era where nobody cares about your wealth anymore. I have to submit my bank statement to my mother. My mother inculcated moral discipline and culture in my life. Success is not bought but earned through honesty and diligence. My educational inputs also help me to grow faster in my line of business. Though education is not a barrier but it brings great innovations and critical decisions to make your company grows in all ramifications. I was the first person to build a modern house in my community because everybody thought if you build a house in your community, such person will die but which I told God if he permits it in my life but today everybody in my community now building their houses instead of major cities of Nigeria. In Asaka community today, a lot of youth empowerment programmes have taken place because I was able to break the long gremlin of young people not building houses in my community. In Dangote Company then, I was taught how to relate with customers when I was doing a leadership course.What is your major achievement in life?
I cannot blow my own trumpet but God has been faithful to my career. Anything you are doing today as an individual, you must be accountable and transparent. I was the first Stevedoring contractor to buy air-conditioned buses at the Terminal. Many people never believed when I penetrated into the business with determination and passion. Though getting five million bond and license to start this company was a great challenge but God saw us through. My achievements are uncountable and we have able to use our little God-given resources to put smiles on people who cannot afford three square meal per day. It does not take you a half million naira to put smiles on people faces if you have the spirit of humanity in life. We have so far empowered widows, Football competitions, and scholarships for poor students, sinking boreholes and others. I have the passion of given back to the society without regret. We have able to relate well with our dock workers over the years and we pay their salaries and wages before time. We try as possible to satisfy our clients and workers to avoid unnecessary industrial action. Today we have great recommendation from all quarters of our company.What is your relationship between your company and NIMASA?
The Nigerian Maritime Safety Administration (NIMASA) is meant to regulate shipping movements and others while our company is under its regulation.What is your major challenge as an Entrepreneur in Nigeria?
One of our great challenges is multiple taxation, spitefulness and backbiting. But to some large extent, we have able to overcome the hullabaloo. Honesty and prayers in business has helps us submerge enemies of progress.What is your advice for young business owners in Nigeria?
If you are doing business because of money, frustration will come and when it comes, inefficiency will set in but if you are doing business with passion, then success will be the watchdog of life. Every new business man or woman must know what works for him or her.