An industrialist and former National Vice President of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Barrister Charles Odunukwe, has called on the government to prioritize steady power supply and stimulate industrialization in order to encourage local manufacturing of essential items.
Speaking on how economic policies affect lives and businesses in Nigeria and African region at large after he received “Dynamic Enterpreneur of Excellence” award from UNIZIK Business School in Awka, Chief Odunukwe, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Colonades Hotel Lagos, called for the creation of industrial hubs, as well as mentoring of youths on how to secure a better future by making good use of their individual talents.
He equally called on government to create necessary infrastructure, including sports facilities, to encourage the youths on the use of football and other sporting activities in discovering individual talents.
Chief Odunukwe noted that elsewhere, private individuals manage football club, calling on the government to give the sports sector desired attention.
On the high rate of foreign currency exchange, the industrialist blamed it on people he said are buying and storing forex because they lack faith in the local currency, adding that a single policy statement from the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria can address the challenge.
Expressing delight over the award bestowed on him, Chief Odunukwe called on those who can to help in supporting the institution to achieve great feat.
Earlier in her lead paper presentation at the 2023 International Hybrid Conference organised by the UNIZIK Business School, an economic policy expert and former Vice President of the World Banks, African Region, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, said that African is in dire need of a political system and culture that will engender economic prosperity of citizens.
The one-time Nigerian Minister of Education regretted that the dominant mindset of African political leaders negates common good of the citizens, reason the continent is still lagging behind.
She, however, recommended competitive politics to help in achieving human capital development in the region, in addition to other reforms that include implementation of sound policies, strengthening of institutions, as well as focusing on quality investments that guarantee human capital development.
Also in his keynote speech, the Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, Professor Obiora Okonkwo, represented by Professor Charles Obiora, affirmed that a peaceful political transition guarantees enhanced development that ensures that people feel the impact of democracy, and called on African leaders to make equity and accountability their watchwords in all policies and implementation actions.
Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Professor Charles Esimone, represented by former Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Professor Frederick Odibo, noted that many African countries have passed through political transitions from colonialism to independence long enough to have broken the yoke of underdevelopment, expressing hope that the conference would help open new insights towards tackling the Nigerian and African challenge.
Also in their remarks, the host and Director of UNIZIK Business School, Professor Emma Okoye, and the Chairman of Nigeria Institute of Management, Venerable Professor Anayo Nkamnebe, said international discourse as the one organised by the UNIZIK Business School stimulates critical thinking that helps drive development, expressing hope that a blueprint will be generated at the end of the conference to inform policies that will improve governance.
Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion and Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, represented by Professor Sam Omenyi, said the theme of the conference, “Political transition and economic development: the African perspective”, is apt, especially now that there are changes in political leadership in states of African nations.