The founder of the Lagos Business School, Prof. Patrick Utomi has described the recession presently facing Nigerians as a golden opportunity to finally put the nation’s economy on the right path.
Utomi made the remarks during the ground breaking ceremony of the Integrated Produce City (IPC), a private initiative, championed by him and other investors at Ugbokun Community in Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State.
He said said he wished for oil prices to stay down and for a long time for Nigerians to discover the richness of the country.
”Let me say that the recession we face in Nigeria is a golden opportunity.
”It is not a problem; it is an opportunity to finally get the Nigerian economy right.
”So, without appearing to scandalise anybody, I pray for oil prices to stay down and stay down for a long time, then we will come to our senses and we will know that Nigeria really is a rich country.
”Right now, we are not behaving as we should behave. Competitively driven industrial policy in select value chains will be helpful in confronting the misery index and bringing hope to millions,” he said.
Utomi called for unique integrated produce strategy that confronts the biggest challenges facing agriculture in Nigeria and the reversal of poor infrastructure being encountered in agriculture.
”With a well organised trading platform and accessing commodity exchanges will increase global competitiveness on the produce in which our factor endowment becomes strong,” he added.
Gov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, who performed the grand breaking ceremony, on behalf of the Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, described the Integrated Produce City as a commitment by the investors to combat poverty.
he noted that it is the first produce city in the heart of Benin kingdom.
”This is an event that will kick-start what will add meaning and values to thousands of people both within and outside here.
”What you have done by this initiative is to demonstrate that there are Nigerians who have those qualities that we celebrate elsewhere.
”All those who teach can also practise what they teach, and practically in the country, you are one of those teachers,” the governor said.
Oshiomhole said the initiative was a demonstration of the commitment of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)’s recent campaign promise to create 200,000 jobs, which many have doubted.
”That brings you to two divides of Nigerians: that we have those who believe in diversification with ingenious growth and those who believe that our future lies in that lazy tradition of extracting the liquid gold and exporting it with little or no value to it and bring dollar home, quarrel over sharing it do some symbolic public toilets and buildings, and then privatise the rest and export more,” he said.
From Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo