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Nigeria Has Not Done Enough On Economic Diversification, Says Utomi

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A former Presidential Candidate, Patrick Utomi, on Friday, said that Nigeria has done little to become an economic diversifying base.

This is even as he pointed out that the youths are the major advancers of the economy in any country, alleging that in the case of Nigeria, the government had failed to invest in education and other sectors that could motivate the youths.

The political economist, who stated this in Abuja at the launch of the Rebuild Nigeria Initiative, called on the Federal Government to take a cue from Botswana and other African countries.

His words: “What did Botswana do? they saved most of the money (from diamond export) and put it in a future fund because they realise that all Botswana’s born 200 years from now have as much as a share of it, as they will live today. And they continue to produce.

“So, we’ve not done that in Nigeria. We are very ambitious elites that are rushing to buy private jets.”

Utomi also regretted that while the word “diversification” appears to be the most used word in the Federal Government’s budget presentations, Nigeria has little or nothing to show for it, because the country’s economy is still based on oil revenue.

According to him, “For more than 30 years I have heard, the object of policy is to diversify our economy away from mono cultural dependence on crude oil. I mean, I have heard it so many times that it is like playing in my head.

“Unfortunately, we’ve done very little in that direction and it has assumed a new urgency because the world is going through an energy transition and the energy transition that means that crude oil, forgetting that it’s a finite resource, but in 10-12 years from now, as close as that few cars will run on petrol and so we’ve got to put our hydrocarbons endowment to other kinds of uses. It could not be the staple that we have today and who will be in deep crisis.

“Secondly, and very importantly, even if that were not to happen, what crude oil has done to us because we know the diversified base is so frightening. But, you know, most of Africa’s problems have come from a mineral resource endowment. People have fought over easy money and have become poorer whereas they could have used to produce.

“I like to tell my story as a pure child of Nigeria, I mean, who push you off about where they’ve been. But, you know, I was born in Kaduna. I was baptised in Jos. I lived in Maiduguri as an infant. I started schooling in Kano, and the bulk of my primary education was in Guzo and then I entered secondary school in Onitsha and the bulk of my secondary education took place in Ibadan so I saw Nigeria in the early 60s, and saw a producing country from my upbringing in northern Nigeria.

“This year, about $4 billion of investments are expected to come to Nigeria tech space. It was not through the biggest financial institution in Nigeria, it is Zenith, it is not first bank. The company started by some young people a couple of years ago called flutterwave.

“They are the ones holding the economy right now. They are doing it in Nollywood. They’re doing it with the music, and all of that. Just imagine that we put cost on them, that we treated them like the kings that they deserved, and really deserved to be treated.

“If we had invested massively in their education. I mean, multiples will go up. We’ve got to stop politicians that take advantage of this easy money that comes into the treasury. We’re going to do things like Botswana did. Botswana, from 1968 to 1980, was the fastest growing economy on the world, essentially from diamond exports.”

Earlier, the Chairman of Rebuild Nigeria Initiative, RIN, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, noted that Nigeria is facing precarious times, characterized by fault lines borne from ethno-religious conflicts.

Nevertheless, he charged well meaning citizens to come together to accelerate progress towards a new Nigeria where the rights and wellbeing of the people are prioritised.

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‘This Is Stranger Than Fiction’, Momodu Consoles Banky W After Controversial Defeat At PDP Primary

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Ovation magazine boss, Dele Momodu, has consoled singer cum politician, Banky W who lost Eti-Osa primary at the just concluded PDP primary election.

Recall that Activist and convener of Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju revealed that Banky W was denied of the PDP ticket after being previously declared the winner to represent the party as its House of Representatives candidate in the upcoming 2023 elections.

Deji Adeyanju tweeted “PDP is cursed. Banky W didn’t get the ticket according to their latest evil scheme, all they care about is dollars…Kai, I’m sincerely tired of this country. We are in serious mess. The generation of our children are in trouble.”

Reacting to sad news, Dele Momodu who recently purchased the N40 million presidential form of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, shared a video clip where he was consoling the singer and wrote that Banky W’s case is ‘stranger than fiction’.

“Just ran into my very dear Brother MR BANKOLE WELLINGTON and what he’s telling me is stranger than fiction…”,he wrote.

He however encouraged the singer in the video clip, saying, “Don’t worry,”

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Breaking: 2023: Hayatu-Deen Withdraws From PDP Presidential Race

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…Says Primary “Obscenely Monetised”

A former Managing Director and Chief Executive of FSB International Bank, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen has withdrawn from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential race.

PDP National Convention to elect a 2023 Presidential candidate out of the 15 aspirants is slated for today, in Abuja.

The foremost Economist and Banker, in a letter addressed to the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, said interacting with Nigerians from all walks of life had reinforced his resolve that Nigeria must be saved, otherwise the future is doomed.

He lamented that for years he observed with great concern and sorrow the recent rapid deterioration of all aspects of Nigeria’s national life characterised by increasing poverty, religious intolerance, banditry and kidnapping, monumental oil theft, corruption, mismanagement of national assets, communal and religious strifes and near collapse of public services and public institutions.

Hayatu-Deen said he planned to ensure that the great potential that had become the hallmark of Nigeria’s development paradigm should be actualized during his presidency.

He alleged that the primary had been “obscenely monetised”.

The renowned economist said he planned to make Nigeria the continental economic powerhouse, which would guarantee high quality of life to most Nigerians.

The foremost Banker said his ambition was driven by passion and commitment to rescue Nigeria which is on the verge of collapse.

He said “My exposure locally and internationally and contributions to the nation’s economic and political well being positioned me to take up the challenges facing our dear nation and the courage to participate in this gruelling exercise which most of our elites have shunned away from. Regrettably, the political system has proved to be acrimonious, corrupt and self-serving.

“I joined the contest as a democrat, with an open mind to keenly contest and accept the result of a process that is fair, credible and transparent

“We have endeavoured to forge a consensus which would have facilitated a seamless emergence of a candidate which unfortunately could not be achieved.

“I wish to reiterate that I did not join party politics and to contest for the presidency because of personal gains and inordinate ambition, but to serve our country.

“It is, therefore, based on personal principles and with great humility that I have decided after wide consultations to withdraw from this contest which has been obscenely monetized”.

Hayatu-Deen assured that as a very loyal party member and believer in the democratic process, he’ll continue to avail himself and his teeming supporters at all times to ensure the victory of the PDP.

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2023: Peter Obi Blows Hot, Insists He’s Not Desperate To Be President

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…I’m Not A Saint, But Go And Check My Records, Ex-Anambra Gov Blasts Wike Over Integrity ‘Attack’

 

Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, on Friday said he is not desperate to be President.

Mr Obi made the comment while appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

According to Mr Obi, he left the Peoples Democratic Party for the Labour Party because the former did no longer align with his political values.

“I’m not desperate to be President or anything,” he said. “I’m desperate to see Nigeria work. Especially for the youths of this country.

“I’ve moved to where I think the process might allow me.

He also retorted that no one can question his integrity over management of public funds/office as he did his best and the records show it.

Obi in a statement on Friday submitted that leaving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not bring his integrity into question or disrepute in any form.

Obi made the submission as a response to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike who had earlier on Thursday during a TV interview stated that Obi’s decision to dump the PDP a few days to the presidential primaries shows a lack of character and integrity.

But replying Wike’s statement, Obi during an interview on Channels Television Politics Today on Friday said his only offence while in office was refusing to mismanage public funds, hence no one can call him out for lack of integrity.

Obi added that even when has was offered some ‘juicy packages’ while in office, he rejected them and opted to live within his means.

According to him, the politics of sharing money has never been a part of him.

“Wike talks about the issue of integrity. He said my leaving the PDP questioned my integrity, I don’t know how that came about. When we talk about integrity, we talk about it in the management of public assets.

“That is what we should be talking about in this country and when such things are mentioned about me, I feel maybe there is something missing somehow. Go and check my record as a governor, I was impeached for three reasons, one, my office had an approved budget for renovation for N298m and I renovated everything with N43,2m.

“My lodge, to renovate where I live, I got a budget of N486m, I did everything with N81m. Number three is that I was saving money without the approval of the House. From day one I said we must save money, for 8 years I was governor, go and ask any contractor that sat with me whether I inflated any contract,” Obi declared.

He added that the evidence of his integrity and character in managing public funds is the N75 billion he left behind when he left office after eight years as Governor.

“When I left office, I left N75bn as at that time because it is public money and I am managing it on public trust. For me when you talk about integrity, it questions your management of public funds and resources.

“Go to Anambra State today, I have no land given to me by the Anambra State Government, My managing director of my housing authority, Mike Nwafor, is still alive, he gave me land and two houses and I rejected them. Nobody has ever seen me in my political life sharing money at any time. I am not saying I am a saint, but I did things which I believe were right,” Obi added.

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