|The name Elizade (Nig) Limited, is synonymous with Toyota brand of vehicles in Nigeria. It is an important player in the importation of this brand of vehicles, from cars to lorries and trucks. The name behind it, Chief Michael Ade Ojo, OON, FNIMN, is also a household name in business and social circles in the country. In the business and financial sector, he is board room guru, while being deft and astute as a businessman . He is also involved with other organizations in the transportation sector as;|
Crown Motors (Nig) Limited and Classic Motors Ltd . Other business and corporate interests where he is either the founder Chairman / Chief Executive or Director are; Odua Creations Ltd, Baun Limited, Imperial Telecommunications Limited, Crown Drinks Limited , Moorhouse Sofitel Company Limited and Custodian & Allied Insurance Plc. Our man of the moment is also a decision maker at Meristem Securities Limited, Courteville Business Solutions Plc and Eterna Oil & Gas PLc . He is also a former Director and member, Governance Committee, Ecobank Nigeria Plc and founder, Stillwater House, Lagos.
This illustrous son of Ilara Mokin in Ondo State and graduate of business administration at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, began his sojourn in the motor business , when as a salary earner, he went on his annual leave but instead of resting from the rigours of the job, he approached the old RT Briscoe as a freelancer to sell their vehicles on commission basis. This request was granted and he began selling Toyota brand vehicles. Within his four weeks leave, he sold 40 cars and when he calcalculated his commission, which he found to be more than his annual salary, he quit paid employment.
On August 1, 1971, he floated Elizade Independent Agencies, from his name ( Ade) and his late wife ( Elizabeth), at No 71 Awolowo Way, Ikeja, with just two staff. He again approached RT Briscoe for dealership in motorcycle and was asked to deposit 600 pounds . He had 4000 pounds which he used to pay for rent of the building he was using and thus had no funds to pay for the motorcycles. He went to his bank for a loan which was turned down because he did not have a collateral. However, his late cousin, Chief Bakare, lent him 600 pounds and within three months, he repaid the money.
More funds for the business came through deft business management developed through his tough background which taught him to be prudent with available funds. “Just before I left my former employment, I had applied for a loan and I ordered for a Peugeot 404. The car came and I displayed it in our showroom because I did not have the ability to ride it. I sold it at a good price and this formed part of my capital. With that, I was able to buy one car until it increased to two and so on. Whenever I got my commission, I would put everything back into the business and we were not paying ourselves any salaries for the first five years. We were just drawing all our expenses from the earnings of the company.”
As the company began to grow, he decided in March 1972, to ask his wife, a teacher at Methodist Boys High School who he had met as a history undergraduate at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, to join him. This decision paid off, as it gave him the confidence to operate more freely on the field.
Well endowed Michael Ade-Ojo after recording tremendous success in the business world, forayed into the education sector with the establishment of Elizade University in his home town, Ilara-Mokin. The project has so far gulped over N7b. Asked what inspired him into the terrain of private University . “ I am determined to do it because I want to develop youths and make them productive. I won’t joke with morals. If you throw that away, then you have thrown away everything and that is the problem in Nigeria today. Having started this cause, I am appreciating the enormity of the problems we are facing in this country. My concern is how to change people from this general decadence. I am not going to force any child to attend the university but by the time our students begin to go out, we will not be able to satisfy the thirst for our kind of education.”
The institution has in place an enabling atmosphere with the state-of-the-art facilities, studying with quality staff, who play a dominant role in their areas of research, development of entrepreneur and innovative skills that promote resourcefulness, self -reliance and job creation, an inspiring learning environment that favours the development of internationally acceptable graduates that could compete favourably with their peers anywhere in the world and a standard, world class accommodation. It is equally being integrated with Industrial and commercial inputs through the involvement of captains of industries and commerce, learning without distinction of race, creed, sex, religion or political conviction, domestication of learning and research to the Nigerian context or country of origin.
74 year old Chief Ade Ojo , though not yet retired, has taken things easy. “ When I was younger, I did not play golf. Now, I am playing golf. I have built an 18-hole golf course, not for others to play, but I am going to play there. If I don’t engage my brain enough, it will die and I am not prepared to allow it to die. God has been so kind to me to give me the strength. Today, I am not involved at all in the everyday activity of Elizade, even the university, I am not involved in the day- to- day running of the place. I play golf, I eat well and I ask for God’s mercy all the time.”
WHY YOU SHOULD SEND YOUR CHILDREN TO ELIZADE UNIVERSITY
At Elizade University Students will enjoy:
- an enabling atmosphere, with the state-of-the-art facilities
- Studying with quality staff, who play a dominant role in their area of research
- The development of entrepreneur and innovative skills that promotes resourcefulness, self -reliance and job creation
- An inspiring learning environment that favours the development of internationally acceptable graduates that could compete favourably with their peers anywhere in the world
- A standard, world class accommodation
- Being integrated with Industrial and commercial inputs through the involvement of captains of industries and commerce
- Learning without distinction of race, creed, sex, religion or political conviction
- Domestication of learning and research to the Nigerian context or country of origin
Elizade University is a world-class institution dedicated to the pursuit of academic excellence in the context of the relevance of knowledge to the developmental aspirations of mankind