Great ideas generate good capital
Prince Muoghalu Okaro, Nigeria’s foremost Immigration and Visa Consultant, and the CEO of Expressor International Group has made his mark as a reliable and competent professional offering Visa support services for clients wishing to travel abroad for business, study, tourist or work programmes. He spoke on the Focus of a CEO in this interview with NNAMDI NWOKOLO.
What sustainable product/service do you offer to beat the competition?
THE importance and sustainability of any business is to keep itself abreast of trending issues in the industry. As far as our trade is concerned, we have remained credible as most of our clients now serve as referrals for us. This is so because we have a track record of delivery, integrity and credibility. For example, the new Canadian express entry visa is a new programme introduced by the Canadian government to give opportunity to migrants from Africa and other places to live and work in Canada. It comes in three classes; the Canadian experience is meant for people living in Canada but not documented. The federal skilled worker (white collar) is for graduates with cognate experience who had sat for IELTS and obtained a particular point, while the federal trade class (blue collar) is for non-graduates who have a particular vocation that suits occupational programme of the (CIC) Citizens Immigration Canada.
What does it take to get a study permit abroad?
What is important in getting a study permit, be it undergraduate or postgraduate studies is first to apply to the university of your choice. If you qualify, they’ll offer you admission but the challenge most people have is that they are not genuinely interested in studying. If the high commission after the interview finds out that the intention is genuine, Visa will be issued immediately. It is also important to enlighten people that there are many universities that offer tuition free academic programmes in the Scandinavian countries, but there are conditions that must be met before you qualify for tuition free academic programme.
How has the business climate in Nigeria been in the last couple of months?
The Nigerian business climate has been very rough like it is for other business concerns. It is quite unfortunate, as we don’t know what to ascribe it substantially. So many things are in the negative realm but I think this prompted the CBN at its last Monetary Policy guidelines to reduce the minimum discount rate to 11% and the CRR to 20%. The equity market is equally on the negative realm and liquidity has gone to the CBN putting the banks in terrible conditions. Look at the issues the government is having with petroleum products marketers, all these are not helping the economy to say the least. What is happening now is not good for the economy but, it is a transitional situation and things will stabilize over time. I believe the government cannot perform magic as the economy was in dire situation before the transition.
What can the government do differently to revive the economy?
Enterprise development is the way to go. The interest rate must be reduced to a single digit to encourage young graduates to go into entrepreneurship. It may interest you to know that it is cottage industries that made the Asian tigers what they are today. Above all, government must be consistent in its policies to boost enterprise development. The five thousand naira government intends to pay unemployed graduates is a welcome development and I assume safely that my friend Dr. Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment will handle it. I believe that the minister will create a sustainable framework that will make these young graduates employers of labour rather than giving them handouts. There is a proverb that says “give a man a fish and you feed him for one day, but if you teach him how to fish, you feed him forever”. We can create an investment scheme that they can pool resources together to build cottage industries like the Asian tigers did. I believe in the ability of the minister to deliver having been tested and trusted as the man that laid the foundation of a new Anambra state.
What are the critical factors for business success in Nigeria?
The problem most Nigerians encounter is that we don’t like doing the right things, we like cutting corners. But unfortunately, any enterprise that cut corners will not be sustainable. You need to do a feasibility study to have an in-depth knowledge of the business you are stepping into. You also need a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis that will help you build to last. A good business plan starts with a great idea as great ideas generate great capital.
Do you act as Visa Collection Centre?
Not really, but talks are ongoing with about two or three countries that have no representation to make Expressor International Group their Visa collection centre in Nigeria. A lot of people don’t know that when you get certain Visa, you are entitled to travel to 120 destinations Visa free. For example, in Antigua and Barbadua, if you make an investment of 500 thousand dollars, they will give you a resident permit. Even in America, there’s a kind of investment you’ll make and you’ll be entitled to resident permit (green card). In Canada for instance, if you invest and have staff strength of ten, your staff and your family will be entitled to permanent residency, so also is applicable to many countries that operate investment and entrepreneurship visa programme.
We are building a global brand with Expressor International Group. We intend to move into a more befitting corporate headquarters in Lagos with an annex in Abuja. We have strong plans to open outfits in Ghana, Cameroun and Liberia over time and some West African sub regions at the instance of some of our overseas principals, in order to beef up their students’ intake from the West African sub regions in view of the fact that we represent them as Corporate Referral Students’ Agencies. An environmental business feasibility project on this programme has been completed and we are structuring the requisite variables to enable a successful takeoff in scheduled phases.
Credible people lead by example. If you watch what is happening in our body polity, you’ll find out that we are yet to get the change we craved for. I’ve always told people that president Buhari is a man of impeccable character in all spheres of human endeavour. I know him personally and I believe he’ll sanitize the system and put Nigeria on the right track to economic development. Would you believe that President Muhammadu Buhari as an Ex Head of state will make his net worth available for public scrutiny; can that be said of the people that are chanting change. For example, the whole Senate chamber was locked up at a time because the Senate President was on trial, which is balderdash. We can only experience and feel change when our leaders decide to lead by example.
How do you relax?
I play tennis at the Ikeja Tennis Club and I make out time to make my stay outside the office worthwhile.