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‘Young people should take over Nigeria!’ – Dr. Christopher kolade

FORMER chairman of Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Dr. Christopher Kolade says he has no regret resigning from the Federal Government agency.

In a chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly in Lagos, on Thursday, September 25, 2014, the octogenarian technocrat also assured he would always be available to serve his fatherland, whenever the need arises.

Dr. Kolade, however, challenged young people to take over the onerous task of rescuing the nation from its current socio-economic challenges.

He reminded the youths that some of Nigeria’s outstanding leaders attained the peak of their career before 40!

Christopher Kolade, CON, was born in Erin-Oke, Osun State in 1932.  A veteran broadcaster and one-time Director-General, Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, he was also chief executive officer and chairman of Cadbury Nigeria Plc, as well as former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

A lecturer with the Lagos Business School, Dr. Kolade was appointed chairman of SURE-P on January 3, 2012 by President Goodluck Jonathan.  He, however, resigned unceremoniously a year after his inauguration into the 20-man board.  SURE-P, it would be remembered, was established by the Federal Government to ensure the proper management of the funds that would accrue from the partial withdrawal of subsidy.

 

Is this the Nigeria of our dream?

What dream do you have for Nigeria?

A Nigeria with good governance, better life for all, security and massive infrastructural development…

Then you answer the question yourself. Is this the Nigeria of your dream?

No, sir.

Look, you know what?  These are the questions I want young people like you to answer.  I want to know what the youths are doing to rescue this nation.  The first time I occupied the office of a Chief Executive Officer in this country, I was 39.  Don’t ask me what to do, ask your generation what they are doing to promote the values you just enumerated.  Look at Chief Philip Asiodu (points at the respected technocrat) when he was a permanent secretary, they ran the office well.  How old was he then?  The younger people should take the action they need to take now to deliver the nation.  Young people should take over the initiative to transform Nigeria.

Have you given up on Nigeria?

How can I give up on my country?  If I have, you wouldn’t have seen me here.  Together, we can all build a happy and progressive nation.  But all I’m saying is that we have handed over the baton of leadership to you, the young ones.  So, you have to take up the challenge.

What do you do now?

What I do?

Yes.

I work.

How are you enjoying retirement?

I’m fine as you can see.  You know you can’t really retire in the true sense of the word.

You surprisingly resigned from SURE-P.  What really happened?

This is not a forum for this discussion.

So, any regret quitting the Federal Government board under controversial circumstance?

No regret at all.  You know I didn’t want to give room to speculation which was why I personally announced my exit plan.

We are sure you can still accept future appointments in the interest of your country?

That’s for you the younger ones, but I will always serve my country, whenever my services are needed.

–  UCHE OLEHI

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