By Bode Akinwumi

People in authority whose positions are either motivated by politics, economy or administration should work harder with a view to ensuring that their services are targeted at tackling poverty in the Nigeria.

Addressing the 5th Biennial Presidential Lecture of the Institute of Director, IoD, Nigeria ; the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, said it was erroneous to treat leadership as a mere representation of class, adding that the failure of an environment can be traced to the quality of leadership available in such places.

The programme was held at the Metropolitan Club, Victoria Island, Lagos, where he was inducted as the Honorary Fellow of the Institute and there he opined that leadership without “discernible responsibilities is a burden on the society”.

“We theorise on the system of government best suited for our experiences as a people and failed woefully to educate our citizens on micro and macroeconomic policies of government and their impact on development in an undeveloped economy.

“Our people, must be told clearly, that unless they produce what they eat, they will remain in perpetual servitude. They must not wallow in delusion which informs the misplaced expectation of growth and development without production”, he said.

Arakunrin  Akeredolu who described the Institute as which deals essentially with issues of leadership in all facets of human endeavour and fully committed to transparency and accountability however, thanked IoD for counting him worthy of the Honorary Fellowship Award.

Governor Akeredolu, however stressed the need for members of the Institute and leaders in the country to be acquainted with pontifications of the best approaches possible for economic development.

Earlier the President/Chairman of Council of the Institute, Mr Yemi Akeju had said the Biennial Presidential lecture of the Institute was a valedictory platform endorsed by the Governing Council for its outgoing President, interact with members and appreciate them for their remarkable commitments over the years.

Mr Akeju who blamed the economic situation in Nigeria on persistent financial crisis, unbelievable personnel audit reports of Federal and State Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs), under-payment and under-assessement by oil companies, stressed the need to check ethical behavior in corporate dealings.

He urged government at all levels and organizations in every sector and jurisdiction of the nation’s economy to invest and channel their human capacity development efforts in Corporate Governance and international best practices.

“Our discussions in IoD have been characterized and centred on ways of institutionalising and enforcing the tenets of sound corporate governance in Nigerian business environment and fostering partnerships with relevant regulatory bodies with a view to arresting the unholy behaviour.

“Until our people’s attitude to life and ways of doing things are positively changed and oriented, we shall not be able to make trajectory productivity and sustainable economic prosperity”, he said.

The Guest Speaker and one of the Honorary Fellowship Awardees of the Institute, Chief Kola Jamodu, while delivering the lecture titled: “The Roles of Corporate Leaders in Accelerated Economic Revival of Nigeria Today”, said the essential role of government is to create a conducive environment for the organised private sector to operate, regulate and ensure the attainment of the growth and development agenda of the nation.

He commended the present administration for driving the objective through the implementation of its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), a Medium Term plan for 2017 to 2020, developed for the purpose of restoring economic growth, while leveraging the creative ability, resilience and resourcefulness of Nigerians.

Chief Jamodu who listed some of the factors affecting foreign direct investment to include; political environment and macroeconomic stability, safety and property rights, labour matters, taxes, infrastructure, foreign exchange rate/regime among others, enjoined IoD members to also contribute their own quota to make the journey to economic revival faster and better.

“The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) focuses on restoring growth, investing in people and building a globally competitive economy. It can only succeed, if we mobilise the political will, resources and our collective support behind the plan”, he said.

He stated that Nigeria has always had the potential to attract foreign direct investment and become a major player in the global economy by virtue of her human and natural resources, but regretted that those potentials has remained largely latent and untapped over the years.

“Our shift in focus from Agriculture to Oil in the 1960s, led to the dethronement of an economic system driven by and heavily dependent on high oil prices which accounts for 95% of Nigeria’s export and foreign earnings”, he said.

The Guest Speaker noted that the recent collapse of crude oil price in the international market and the reduction in oil production volume due to challenges in the oil sector, massively impacted on the nation’s  economy and led to the economic recession with significant reduction in government revenue and the spending.

He pointed out that dependency on oil created a vicious cycle of boom and burst for our economy which was further compounded by the misuse of our earnings in the boom years, however enjoined Nigerians to mobilise and give the economic recovery growth plan the necessary support it needed to succeed.

Other eminent personalities who were honoured with the Honorary Fellow of the IoD include; Chairman of the Nigerian Breweries Plc, Chief Kola Jamodu, President, Chartered Institute of Bankers in Nigeria, Prof Olusegun Ajibola, Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Stock Exchange, NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema and   Managing Director of the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, Mr Ahmed Lawan.

Some new members who were inducted into the Institute include:  Mrs Bunmi Akinremi, Mr Muhammed Betube, Mrs Oreoluwa Famurewa, Abdurahman Bashir, Haruna Yahaya, Imo Abassi Jacob, Mr Shemaech and Tibot Mabera.

The Head of Service, Ondo State, Mr Oluwatoyin Akinkuotu;  Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale; Professor Wole Akeredolu and Business Mogul, Prince  Rotimi Ibidapo accompanied the Governor to the ceremony.

Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu(2ndRight) receiving a Certificate of Honorary fellow Institute of Directors Nigeria From the Former President of the Institute, Chief Mrs Olutoyin Olakunrin(Left) while while the President & Chairman Of Council of the Institute, Mr Samuel Yemi Akeju(Right) and Chairman, Nigerian Breweries Plz, Chief Kola Jamodu assisted During the 5th Biennial Presidential Lecture of the Institute of Directors Nigeria held at Metropolitan Club, Lagos
From left, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale and Business Mogul, Prince Rotimi Ibidapo.