CEM REPORT, GOVERNANCE | Business mogul, Tony Elumelu has prescribed the eradication of poverty as the antidote to insecurity in Nigeria.
He noted that a thriving economy that births prosperity is the ultimate panacea for insecurity and extremism.
He stated this while delivering the keynote address at the 63rd Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) theme: ‘Getting it Right: Charting the Course for Nigeria’s Nation Building.’
The Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation noted that while Nigeria invests in its security architecture, it should also place priority on the young generation to get them economically engaged.
“This is why all of us must think of legacy and play our role and part now that we can, to urgently support our young ones to become economically engaged, else we are doomed.
“We must give them hope. Hope for a better tomorrow. Let us not underestimate the power of hope.
“Hope is what fuels the dreams of our youth, what ignites the determination of our entrepreneurs, and what unites us in our pursuit of a better future.
“Nations that prioritise their young go far. It is no coincidence that an American that created Harvard and Stanford, also produced Amazon, Microsoft and Google. We need the same focus on our young, their futures and ambitions.”
“Let us invest in brand Nigeria. We know the frustrations, we know that joblessness of our youth is a betrayal of a generation; and the plundering of our commonwealth is inhumane and cruel, but we have no other motherland than Nigeria.”
Elumelu continued that it was important for the country to invest in security because banditry, kidnapping, oil theft and pipeline vandalisation created uncertainties, fears, deprivation, poverty, and untold hardship.
He also noted the need to invest in women saying that women were the threads that hold families and societies together.
“Let us invest in our women. When a woman succeeds, families and communities are lifted out of poverty. It is no surprise that in my businesses, women lead and flourish.
“Let us invest in our power sector. Let us create regulatory structures that reward success, that deliver to our people, our schools, our hospitals and our industries, the sustainable, robust power supply that our country so urgently needs.
“Is it not ironic that a country with abundant gas resources cannot optimally operate its power plants due to lack of gas?’
“We have idle gas fields and there is so much private capital to make the needed investments for gas production. Yet, we cannot produce gas to power our economy and 21st-century industrialisation,’’ he said.
The entrepreneur implored all Nigerians to approach the task of nation-building with unwavering determination, guided by the principles of unity, inclusivity, and progress.
“Let our pursuit of nation-building be characterised by unwavering determination, empathy, and the commitment to create a legacy of progress, unity, and hope for generations to come.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 63rd AGC of the NBA, according to its president, Yakubu Maikyau, is the largest gathering of professionals anywhere in the world with over 16,000 registered conferees.
NAN also reports that the conference was also attended by the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiami, and the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike.
Others are the Minister of Sports, John Enoh; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, past NBA presidents and other top government officials.