Exclusive: Silverbird closure not a setback, says Murray-Bruce
The founder and chairman of the Silverbird Group, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce in an exclusive chat on Twitter with the Guardian on Friday, said the takeover of the Group’s real estate division by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, (AMCON), “is not so much a setback.”
“In 1939, Awolowo’s assets were auctioned. But he overcame the setback. With God’s help, I will also,” he told the Guardian.
Murray-Bruce, who established the Silverbird Group in 1980, explained that only the real estate division was affected by the takeover and that other subsidiaries of the Group were not affected contrary to media reports.
“I run several successful firms. Only the real estate division is affected. Our other businesses are not. Silverbird Communications, owners of STV, Rhythm FM, Silverbird Cinemas and Film Distribution are not affected,” he said.
Reacting to a comment made by Mr. Kunle Adegoke, an attorney working with Muiz Banire (SAN), the debt recovery manager appointed by AMCON, Murray-Bruce said he had no regret taking the loan and that it was expedient for him to have done so.
Adegoke, according to an online medium, had accused the senator and his brothers “of living large and feeding fat without recourse to the interest of the real labourers who own the money.”
But Murray-Bruce chided the attorney for his comment, saying that “our habit of celebrating downfall has to be purged from our national psyche for Nigeria to grow.
“There is no shame in taking a loan. If I didn’t take loans I wouldn’t be able to employ 1000 Nigerians,” he said further.
“The man accusing me of living large: Sir, I lived large by paying 1000 Nigerians above minimum wage.”
While expressing his belief in the Nigerian project, Murray-Bruce said his business would survive in spite of the current state of the Nigerian economy. But for this to happen, Nigerians have to embrace the #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira campaign, which he started.
“The Naira must pursue made in Nigeria goods, not foreign goods for our currency and economy to grow,” he said.