Move Back To Nigeria: With ‘Plan A-Z’ & a Thick Skin, Michael Adeyemi Moved Back Home! Read His Interesting Story

Posted on Friday, September 13th, 2013 at 9:32 AM

By Titi Adanne Owoyemi

 Move Back to Nigeria is a new series on BellaNaija. The aim is to encourage young and not-so-young professionals in the diaspora who are trying to make the decision of whether to move back to Nigeria. In collaboration with the brilliant team at MoveBackToNigeria.com, we hope to bring you a weekly interview with individuals who have successfully made the leap, considering the leap, as well as those who have tried it and realized it is not for them. The idea is to share their successes and their challenges as they made the decisions they did. A lot of Nigerians in the diaspora have questions about making a change at home in Nigeria. Many suggest really good ideas on how to make things better; others would like to contribute to making a difference back home but are just not sure where to begin.

Movebacktonigeria.com is the fastest growing online community of Nigerian professionals living, studying and working in diaspora.

This week’s interview features Micheal Adeyemi, a Business and IT Consultant who moved back home during particularly challenging times and now has a positive and interesting story to tell. He discusses his experiences so far and shares a few tips he’s learned along the way. We hope you enjoy his story.

Thanks for your time: Let’s begin with a brief introduction of who you are. My name is Michael Adeyemi. I’m a business and IT Consultant who advocates for the strategic use of Information technology in driving business processes. I consider myself a very positive person who always tries to see the best in every situation.

Can you tell us about your background?
I was born and bred in Nigeria. I started my higher education at the University of Lagos studying Mechanical Engineering but I eventually left Nigeria for the UK to attend the University of Portsmouth for a degree in Business Information Technology. My initial choice of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Lagos was because of my love for physics and also because I felt I already knew a lot about computers at the time and wanted to study something different. However, IT is my true passion and I can say it was definitely a sound career choice.

The ever-present IT bug at play. So how did your professional career begin?
I returned to Nigeria in 2008 and began a 4-month internship/ pre-graduate program with KPMG in Lagos where I was immediately put to work in an IT audit team for about 3 months which was a really amazing experience. I worked with fantastic and brilliant minds and at the time I was really amazed with the quality of people at KPMG. This made me recognize the need to further develop myself and prepare fully for the Nigerian Market, so I then went ahead to pursue my master’s degree even though whilst there I was offered an opportunity for a full time position. I decided to pursue my education first and in so doing, moved to the University of Nottingham for a year to study Management and IT.

How did you find your Nottingham experience?
Nottingham City is a great place with lots of history. I loved the town and loved the University experience all through. I was involved in almost everything during my time there and I have developed lifelong friendships and valuable networks.

So you returned home to Nigeria right upon completion of your Masters degree?
Yes, I returned home immediately but even before concluding the program, I had been applying for jobs and gotten a few offers, from UK and Nigerian companies. Although I was in the UK, I really and truly did not want to stay on there as I was a Lagos boy at heart.

‘A Lagos boy at heart’, how so?
Unlike the majority of my friends who were ‘Nigerian-London boys’, I always had a pull to Nigeria where I had my base and my networks. I knew how things worked in Nigeria. Also, before leaving for the UK I was already involved in some level of politics and was really involved in the youth movement for the 2003 elections. So being abroad made me feel away from home and I knew that I had to get back to where I could make things happen. One can argue that opportunities were also available in the UK but for jobs and career progression, I felt I would always be swimming against the tide. The UK is a developed economy and there’s obviously a lot of experience to gain there, but Nigeria will always be ours to fix and whilst it’s not the perfect place right now, it is home. It has been five years and I haven’t regretted the move.

That must be a worthwhile feeling. Let’s begin to retrace your steps, what did you do when you got back to Nigeria?
It’s pertinent to note that I moved back around the onset of the global credit crunch, which was a tough time for the job market as companies were cutting down on their employment quotas. So I joined the family consultancy business, applying my skills in IT training and Advisory. I set up my own unit, training secondary and university students on core IT skills in programming, networking, and IT certification courses. Interestingly, entrepreneurship and starting my own business never crossed my mind at the time and in hindsight, thinking about attending numerous interviews and being turned down, all I can say is that it was the hand of God all along. I eventually moved on to take up a role at a company called IBST Media (an independent media production house) as a business development executive and grew to become the business/project manager. The company produced TV shows such as Big Brother Nigeria, Dragons Den, Peak Talent show and many others. I learnt a whole lot there from my boss and mentor, Remi Ogunpitan. He instilled the entrepreneurial spirit in me and taught me that ‘work’ is not work when you do what you love. I subsequently moved on from there to start my own company called Fidelize Global.

This is quite inspiring. Tell us about your company. Fidelize Global is a technology resource company that offers tailored IT services and solutions to small, medium and large scale businesses. We are keenly interested in supporting other small businesses as we understand the challenges small businesses encounter in carrying out their operations and processes and the ever growing need to stay competitive. For this reason I attended a course at the Entrepreneurship Development Center of the Pan- Atlantic University which qualifies me to be an SME ambassador and exposed me to the family of SME businesses in Nigeria.

From personal experience, I can say that true financial freedom is found in entrepreneurship and I am striving to grow and perfect my own business, whilst also willing to help others in their quest for entrepreneurship.

What has been your experience with running your own company in Nigeria?
I give all glory and thanks to God for keeping me on and strengthening me. I have had immense support from the people around me. As daunting as it may seem to start a business in Nigeria and do it properly, it is very possible. And as many challenges exist in Nigeria, so do the opportunities, although you certainly require a gut of steel to do business in Nigeria. Personally, I feel the start-up capital is never really the impediment to start ups in Nigeria, as about 70% of the factors involved in starting a business do not require money. The whole process requires a clear purpose, dedication and knowledge acquisition. So while I can say it has not always been smooth sailing, as we are all very aware of all the challenges that a business can possibly face particularly with regards to infrastructure, Fidelize Global is growing. We have recorded hard earned successes and are constantly increasing our client base, receiving positive feedback from clients and even quite recently got recognized by an international Oil company and the Lagos State Government for our work.

Certainly sounds commendable. So bearing all this in mind, where do you see Fidelize Global in the near future?
In the next 3-5 years, we intend to become a household name within my niche, which is supporting small businesses and also with the increased capacity to deliver solutions to large organizations as well as government organizations. I also want Fidelize Global to be the nesting ground for young IT professionals, and the one stop shop for IT Managed services for small businesses who want to outsource their IT department. We want to be able to service up to 200 to 300 small businesses, and have an in- house software development team to start working on our own proudly Nigerian solutions.

Goodluck with that and moving on to a different topic, how have you found the lifestyle differences since moving back?
When planning my move back to Nigeria, I had a purpose. I had pretty much retired from my social activities before leaving, so coming back was not to be play time for me. However, I have adapted to my environment, set my own personal standards and since most of my friends have now returned, Lagos has become a lovely place to be in. I personally think our penchant for constantly socializing is a way of blowing off the steam which arises from the hustle and bustle of life here.

Right! So on a final note, and seeing as your story will be particularly instructive for some out there, what advice would you give to other Nigerians who are considering making the move back home? Permit me to say that I am not an advocate for moving back to Nigeria if you don’t have a plan. If you are not ready to fail, accept failure, and learn from failure, then do not try it. Also, do not move back for sentimental reasons. You need a good plan, preferably not just plan A but plans A-Z and a thick skin to move back. Take your time to find your path and hopefully, success will come.

Thanks for speaking with us and best wishes moving forward. _____________________________________________________________________________________________
The primary objective of MoveBackToNigeria.com is to connect Nigerian professionals with various opportunities in Nigeria, ranging from recruitment drives to information & support regarding relocation processes, financial & tax advice and much more. Move Back To Nigeria also features social interest topics such as what’s on, where to live, how-to survival tips and so on. Consistently engaging with and featuring Nigerian professionals in weekly  interviews, Move Back To Nigeria regularly publishes social interest articles relevant to the general public. Everyone is welcome to their online discussions & fora and you are invited to air your views & suggestions on the topical and trending matters section.

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  • 39 Comments on “Move Back To Nigeria: With ‘Plan A-Z’ & a Thick Skin, Michael Adeyemi Moved Back Home! Read His Interesting Story”

    Comments
    • That african chic September 13, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      Wow….very inspiring but it looks like he wasn’t abroad for very long. All the same congrats on your success

    • Lagos is my Home September 13, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      Staying only one year for masters in the UK isnt “moving back” ……..One year Bella naija Bella naija Bella naija Bella naija , how many times did i call u …be careful .
      It is not by force to post moving back stories.

      • Vee September 13, 2013 at 3:34 PM

        He did a Bsc – 3 years, and an Msc for a year. Thats 4 years.
        Did you even read the article??

        • Juba September 14, 2013 at 2:45 AM

          4 yrs is not moving back. He went there to study…and visa….oops study was over and the ly way was home

    • truee September 13, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      I think he was away for a while if you add Bsc and Msc together.
      our Naija oo, it really takes courage to go back..
      Insightful interview! I’m motivated

      • Mariaah September 13, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        He did Bsc. in Unilag (Mechanical Engineering)

        • slice September 13, 2013 at 2:39 PM

          no, he started uni in Unilag and finished it in the u.k.then did a masters.

    • YungFab September 13, 2013 at 10:57 AM

      Bella naija I have been outside naija for 3 years now and I’m planning to move back home finally this January, re you guys gonna interview me? I guess not, so why interview a dude that left naija yesterday?

      • Vee September 13, 2013 at 3:37 PM

        He was abroad much longer than you have been….so whats your point?

      • Kate September 13, 2013 at 8:14 PM

        @YungFab yes we would be more than happy to interview you at movebacktonigeria.com

    • anonymous babe September 13, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Oh shut up!I’m sure you guys whining didn’t see where he said he got job offers abroad but decided to come back?Do you think its easy?If he where your brother would you advice him to come back?Its a pity all you could take away from his story is the number of years he was abroad,mtchew

      • banimo September 13, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        I tire for bella naijarian..always nitpicking at irrelevant things and trying to pull people down!It is tiring and it just shows how bitter, jealous and insecure most of you are.

    • ditto September 13, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      This is truly awesome!
      Spot on @ anonymous babe! People can be so petty! Of all the information given, it is the number of years they are focusing on. smh.
      Thumbs up Michael, Good job!

    • Inspired! September 13, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      So Proud of you Boss.

    • ify September 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      Thank you jare! Someone who has seen how naija works, travels abroad for further development and returns should be commended. I am saying this from experience. It takes a lot of guts to return.

    • http://africansweetheart.blogspot.co.uk/ September 13, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      This interview was really inspirational and I have actually learnt a lot from Michael story. Well done!

      africansweetheart.blogspot.co.uk

    • Zaynab September 13, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      It does take a lot to come back to Nigeria after spending a couple of years away. Big ups to Michael…and he is making huge waves with his business!

    • Hilda September 13, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Any chance his company has openings?

    • Tosin September 13, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      “advocates for the strategic use of Information technology in driving business processes.” – we neeed you o. Chai, I’m tired of poor processes.
      Lots of sound words in this interview, but here is the money quote:
      “The UK is a developed economy and there’s obviously a lot of experience to gain there, but Nigeria will always be ours to fix and whilst it’s not the perfect place right now, it is home. It has been five years and I haven’t regretted the move.”
      Bros, God bless you.

    • Dee September 13, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      Well done Michael! you are doing us proud. Watching your progress from the onset till date has been extremely motivational for me. BigUps!!! lets connect on some IT cloud business.

    • fiyin September 13, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      wow!

    • Gorgeous September 13, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      Handsome, successful and Yoruba. Nice. I like his broad shoulders. *stifles blush*

    • Smallie September 13, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      Michael “Olugbo” for President! Nice one fam

    • Punk September 13, 2013 at 4:47 PM

      I still wonder if anyone will ever admit to moving back bcos visa has expired or they have better connects innaija

      • Hilda September 13, 2013 at 5:04 PM

        I recall one or two who admitted to moving back due to visa constraints.

      • Priddyboy September 13, 2013 at 11:45 PM

        bellanaija.com/2013/05/24/move-back-to-nigeria-nigeria-taught-me-to-be-humble-read-the-story-of-how-the-serial-employee-in-the-uk-became-a-successful-entrepreneur/

        ” And then around this time, my visa expired and our hands were forced, we had to move. Let me state clearly that it was not a voluntary move. I loved being in the UK, I had started a charity, work was finally going well and I was quite happily settled but we had to move and so we did.”

      • Demola October 1, 2013 at 8:20 PM

        @ Punk – LOL good one – for most i think its the first one not the latter

    • Cynthia September 13, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      Bella, just because we have a president named Goodluck doesn’t mean it has become one word. It is still two words in the English language :)

    • Deedee September 13, 2013 at 8:44 PM

      Well done Micheal, i love your courage……

    • fiesty chic September 13, 2013 at 10:18 PM

      BN, pls how can i post a moving back to nigeria story

    • Tunmi September 14, 2013 at 4:12 AM

      The same courage it takes to come back, is the same to remain

      • slice September 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        Amen! thank you my dear. the people that remain abroad are also missing something from not moving. it takes courage too.

    • yourstruly September 14, 2013 at 7:09 AM

      Bellanaija, you’ll def love to hear my husband story. After 13 years in uk and working for credit gate as a finance director, he moved back home, set up his business.

      • Bisi October 19, 2013 at 3:07 AM

        That’s exactly the kind of story I thought ‘moving back’ would entail

    • Sbaby September 14, 2013 at 10:15 AM

      Bella pls try feature those that left Nigeria earlier and not only these that started university in Nigeria and now travelled to study, of course when they are done it will be easy for the likes of them to Readapt

    • MBTN September 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      To feature in a movebacktonigeria interview, email editor@movebacktonigeria.com and someone will be in touch. Thanks for your interest.

    • themanecaptain September 17, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      this is a nice series. I think it’s best to have a plan and also some networks back in Nigeria before moving back. nice interview Mr. Adeyemi.

    • Bisi October 19, 2013 at 3:01 AM

      I think your moving back stories will have more bite if you published stories of those who’ve lived a while (7-10 years) abroad, probably moving back with their families. At this rate , most Nigerians will qualify for your moving back story as it’s the norm for majority of people to travel out to further their education. This is not to take anything away from this inspirational man, but your question ‘ what’s been your experience setting up a business in Nigeria’ sounded as though he had set up one in the uk and was now doing same in another terrain. Have a criteria, a ceiling for selecting your stories in this category.

    • Miami October 30, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      theres someone you need to get in touch with. her name is Mrs. Chioma Udeh.
      she moved back to Nigeria with 4 kids and her husband and has suceeded in setting up a very good business. infact, shes the CEO of the company that launched AFRIFF- African Film Festival. She even employed some of her old friends from america who have been coming yearly for this event, ever since the start. This is someone with an American passport, too.
      Now thats and inspirational “Move back” story.
      I’m sure you can take it from here. Thank me later.