HOW THE NIGERIAN LONDON BUSINESS FORUM CAME ABOUT
It was a serious, timely and accurate observation. He (Prof Chris Onalo) does not reside in the United Kingdom, but he does own some businesses in London which makes him a regular visitor to the City. Anywhere he is privileged to go it is his nature to easily identify a vacuum that needs to be filled, either in the sense of business or social interactive opportunities.
In one of his regular business trips to London, Prof Chris Onalo, a distinguished entrepreneur, reputed for his high integrity, who is recommended by a wide network of entrepreneurs and professionals in various sectors of the economy, observed that London, the UK’s biggest commercial capital, was lacking in a dedicated business and trade enterprises platform for the London based Nigerians that own legally formed credible business organisations. Prof Onalo thought that there should be a credible forum in place which can influence policies and programmes of government, disseminate useful information and provide business advice, foster co-operation, consultation and collaboration in business, trade and investment, and make its opinion known on matters affecting the business environment generally in the city of London.
This is what led to the conception and eventual incorporation of the Nigerian London Business Forum, essentially to join the league of credible elite advocacy and lobbyist-organisations whose modus operandi is fashioned, structured and managed in the manner consistent with best practices. A seed as it were has therefore been planted, but the watering of the seed in order to grow is the responsibility of those whose interests the forum seeks to cater for.
To operate as an individual legally, and to have legal authority, the forum was incorporated as a private body under Companies Act 2006 of the Laws of the United Kingdom, and is limited by guarantee with registration number 8294525 dated 15th November, 2012.
Going by the popular saying that a tree cannot make a forest, Prof Chris Onalo, FICA (Director, CBS Credit, UK) shared his vision with the following distinguished personalities and asked them to come on board with their vast experiences: Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa MFR, MON (Former President, Nigerian Economic Summit), Professor Pat Utomi (Nigeria’s most respected Entrepreneurial Advocate and Former Nigerian Presidential Aspirant), John Momoh, OON (Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Channels Television), Dr. Adekola Ali (Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Union Bank UK Plc) and Engr. Emeka Unachukwu, (President, Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture) and Ray Ekpu, former Editor in Chief and Chief Executive Officer of Newswatch.
The Nigeria High Commission in London stirred up our patriotic efforts when it sent words of support and commitment to the initiator of NILOBF. The letter reads: “I am directed to refer to yours on the above, dated 23 January and 5 March 2013,as well as the meeting at the NHC on 6 March 2013, and to inform you that the High Commissioner appreciates your organisation’s laudable initiative, and is willing and ready to support your activities. Please, accept the warm regards of the High Commissioner.”
E. I. Nweke. (Trade and Investment Section)
FOR: High Commissioner.
The functions of NILOBF Honorary Board Members are non-administrative and non-executive, but fundamentally centered around bilateral policy advisory, advocacy, and other essentials that strengthen bilateral engagements.