Can we meet you?
I am Ambassador Ken Odeh (JJ Barry). From Ovia South West Local Goverment Area of Edo State, Nigeria. With a dual citizenship – (African/British). First son of a family of nine. Happily married and blessed with children. Based in the United Kingdom.
How was your growing up like?
Just like the everyday child, growing up in ancient city of Benin was fun. I grew up with my family intact so the exciting family moments were first class, sharing all the moments together in excitements and joy and when it is the other way round we also share the moment together as a family. I attended the prestigious Oliha Primary School, Benin City; Command Day Secondary School, Abuja. Studied Sociology & Anthropology, University of Benin; Event Management and Film Studies, University of Westminister, United Kingdom.
What kind of business do you do in the UK?
By the grace of God I am the C.E.O. JJ Barry Conglomerate.An entertainment company based in the United Kingdom, that hosts the biggest cultural carnival in Europe. The Edo Festival and Awards, a singular event which has over the years strengthened the bond between the United Kingdom and Nigeria as a country; recognising the contribution of Edo Indigenes worldwide and also bringing together sons and daughters of this great kingdom in the promotion of our rich cultural heritage while building business and cordial relationships. Chains of other subsidiaries include: C.E.O. Global Connect Travel Agency; C.E.O. Trillionaire Gang (Luxury Clothing & Fashion); Founder, Mayfair Luxury Estate (Int’l Real Estate Developers and Managers);Founder, My Celeb TV, My Celeb Radio & My Celeb Magazine. With interest in promoting rich cultural value. Promoting musical artistes and promoting the films from home (Nollywood). JJ Barry Foundation (for the sustainability and education of less privilege). In recent times we have been able to rebuild four local primary schools in some selected communities. Given over 30 scholarships to senior secondary school students with several random cash empowerment to women.
What can you say between staying in Nigeria and abroad, in living standard and ease of doing business?
The difference is quite very evident in the way of life of the people. As regards standard, the standard of living is very improved abroad in comparison with what is obtainable back home. In the aspect of ease of doing business though both have good business environment but the system differentiates them. There’s a working system abroad and with the right documents you have the opportunity to deal directly without the middleman trauma. On the home front you are bedeviled with so much back end losses that you struggle to remain in business.
How has your migration to the UK improved your living standard and business?
Well, like I said earlier there’s a clear cut system that works, and this system gives you the opportunity to be whosoever you want to be either educationally or business wise or whatsoever you desire to achieve. The first breath you breath is that of a working security system, friendly and sane environment then the capital health insurance.
Has the environment and security situation helped in growing up your business?
The environment is friendly, warm, welcoming and ideas count here. Security is top-notch. It’s just a click away and with an assurance like that your business grows effortlessly, because you don’t need to employ any extra external security force. You are not buying P.M.S. neither are you bothered about generators. It’s a win win.
What do you think the Nigeria Government can do to improve the living standard of the average Nigerian?
The government needs to tell themselves the truth. They know what they can do. They visit abroad on a daily basis. They know what they get with ease here so all they need to do is replicate the same standards. Good roads, hospitals, education, electricity, water, housing for it’s citizen. These are suppose to be the right of the citizen not a campaign asset. All these mentioned above can and will improve the living standards of the citizen of my dear country.
And how can we stop the brain drain, because almost all talented and highly educated Nigerians have left for greener pasture abroad?
Increase the living standards of the citizens; let their opinion count; let their ideas be made into profitable venture. Lets get the value system up and running.
What advice do you have for those intending to travel out of Nigeria?
There’s a right way to go if you must, the only difference is just the system that works over here. Money don’t grow on trees. A lazy man is a lazy man everywhere.