Prof. Pat Utomi
By Amaka Eze
Political economist and management lecturer, Prof. Pat Utomi has called on the Federal Government to take advantage of the country’s huge youth population to achieve economic growth.
Utomi made the remark at the second annual conference of an investment firm, CBO Capital, titled: ‘Is There Meat in this Soup Called Nigeria?’, which held in Lagos at the weekend.
CBO Capital Partners is an Investment Advisory and Project development firm that provides competent insight and international perspective to help finance business growth in Nigeria and across Africa.
Utomi explained that Nigeria, indeed has a bright future with a huge population of active youths who are willing to work, and called on the government and Nigerians in the Diaspora to ensure that the youths are actively engaged by creating employment and also conducive environment for entrepreneurship to thrive, so that they can contribute to the growth of the economy.
He added: “We must seek to build a future which will allow our capital grow by ensuring that we do not allow capitalists continue to hold onto our capital.” He lamented the huge gap, which has created a high level of unemployment, despite the numerous skills that abound in the nation.
Utomi commended Mr. Chuka Mordi and Bex Nwawudu, both of CBO Capital, for their contributions to the country. He said, “We must applaud CBO Capital, for setting up this firm, which borders on delivering capital to sincere and profit seeking entrepreneurs and entities to help grow businesses and improve the lives of many Nigerians.
“My excitement stems from the fact that countries like China and India revolutionised through the same channel. I see a huge potential for Nigeria even as a few Nigerians in the Diaspora are already setting up and building skills to bridge that gap”, he said and also urged Nigerians to consult business investment management experts before taking any investment decision.
On his part, Mordi, who is a Director at CBO Capital Partners, said it advised investors to be conscious of possible business risks and how to handle them.
He said: “Despite the loss of confidence in the nation’s financial system, it is important for investors to understand the need for risk diversification, while renewing their faith in credible financial institutions.
“In 2011, we raised about $115 million for both retail and institutional investors in the country for various businesses. For this year’s conference, CBO Capital has showcased over $1.35 billion of Nigerian projects to visiting and local investors with $5 billion worth of investment financing capacity,” the economist added.