Politics

PROF. PAT UTOMI parries on Delta guber dream

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+ SAYS INSECURITY’S TAKING A TOLL ON THE ECONOMY

Professor of Economics, Pat Utomi has decried the state of insecurity bedeviling the nation. In an exclusive interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly at the 11th Centre for Values in Leadership, (CVL) Leader without titled Tribute Series held in Lagos on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, the one-time presidential candidate and public policy analyst, spoke on the state of the nation, his rumoured Delta State guber ambition among other issues.
Prof. Utomi, who also explained why CVL honours exemplary Nigerians gave insight into activities of the organization and its Leader Without Title Series, a policy forum which simultaneously honours outstanding leaders in all sectors of the economy who are over 70.
It equally serves as a think tank synthesizing ideas from a subject derived from the honourees career, discussed by experts drawn from both praxis and academia. CVL celebrated the founder of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Otunba (Dr) Michael Olasubomi Balogun in its May 2014 edition.

What brought about the concept of this Centre for values in Leadership (CVL)?
If you look at our country, it is struggling and if you investigate properly at the bottom of most of our problems centre on values and the collapse of our culture. So, we thought we could create a centre that is focused primarily on trying to get a revolution in values.
So, we started the Values in Leadership Series with variety of programmes. The Leader without Title is one of them. We are very pleased that people are excited with our every month meeting.
So, how has it been?
People don’t realize that this costs a lot of money. They just come and go, they don’t ask how we manage to fund this thing. That is one of the biggest problems we have in Nigeria. Everybody wants things to be done but nobody cares about how it is financed.
How does it feel to host a pioneer in the financial sector, Otunba (Dr) Michael Subomi Balogun today?
It is a great pleasure and honour that we could take advantage of people like that to bless others. I’m particularly happy he was very much pleased.
Who are you hosting next?
Chief Ade Ojo of Elizade Motors. The following month, Chief Authur Mbanefo. It is usually the last Thursday of every month. We did this on Wednesday because of the public holiday on Thursday, May 29, 2014.
Let’s go a bit personal. There is this story that you are running for Delta State gubernatorial election. Is that true?
You probably have to wait to know if it’s a rumour or reality (laughs).
What is the best you have for the people of Delta State?
We need to have a new Delta. It is clearly disappointing that our state is the way it is with all our resources. The only progress would be to invest in people, in their education, in their health, in infrastructure that make these knowledgeable people able to create new opportunities.
What is your take on Nigeria being the biggest economy in Africa?
Size is not all. The quality of life of a people is what matters. So, let’s take advantage of whatever size and create a better quality of life for people and more opportunities for jobs. Jobs matter more than the size of the economy.
If you were President Goodluck Jonathan, how would you have handled Boko Haram?
I have said that 10 thousand times. I don’t want to repeat that.

– UCHE OLEHI

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