Renowned economist and former presidential candidate, Professor Pat Utomi, on Monday revealed the real reason Nigeria is facing economic challenges. He said that the reckless spending of Nigeria’s resources was responsible for the country’s current economic problems.
Speaking during a programme organised by a group of youths under the aegis of YALI Network at the United State Consulate in the Victoria Island, Lagos, Utomi stressed that true leadership calls for shaping cultures and initiating the right values.
Utomi said, “What has happened in Nigeria in the last four years has prevented the economy from growing due to foolish choices. Look at the excuse we are giving about the drop in oil price. Do you know what oil prices were when former President Olusegun Obasanjo came to power? We have learnt to spend recklessly without saving; they bought private jets and some people were stupid enough to buy three to show who they were.
“Leaders are not people who tar roads. Any moron can sign a cheque and ask Julius Berger to tar roads. Leadership is about shaping culture so that there is human progress. The kind of value you have as a country determines (your) economic performance. It is the leaders that will initiate those values.
Utomi puts the blame on how politics is used to undermine the good that would have come Nigeria’s way, adding that political leaders themselves refuse to make things better.
“Everything in our country is reduced to politics. The biggest danger to Nigeria is the overrating of politics and government. I can actually prove with case studies that the government is more responsible for preventing progress in Nigeria than for making it happen. This is not because these men hate Nigeria.
“A man cannot give what he doesn’t have. They are working hard for the good of this country but systematically preventing good from taking place because of their limitations.”