Prof. Pat Utomi
By Obinna Chima
A management expert and political economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, has attributed the inability to sustain most family businesses in the country after the death of the founder to the dearth of basic infrastructure and incentives required to encourage entrepreneurs in the country.
Utomi stated this in speech titled: “Why Wealth Disappear: A Study of Nigerian First Entrepreneurs,” presented at a one-day seminar organised by Meristem, Wealth Management Limited in Lagos.
He lamented that wealth sustenance had been a greatly hindered the growth of the Nigerian economy.
Arguing that there were so many dis-enablers to business growth in Nigeria, he stressed that start-ups and other form small businesses were vital for jobs and wealth creation.
Utomi also identified the huge amount of tax paid by entrepreneurs, lack of information and business friendly environment, lack of institutional support for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) as factors that had hampered wealth creation and sustenance in Nigeria.
On his part, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Meristem, Wealth Management Limited, Mr. Sulaiman Adedokun, revealed that only 15 per cent of wealth and business that had been established in the country still existed as going concern.
According to Adedokun, wealth had not been sustained in the country but had continued to disappear. This, he argued, was responsible for the huge debt profile of most families, organisations and the country at large.
“Nigeria can only sustain wealth when you invest in human capital. Human capital is a veritable means of wealth sustenance. The issue is not just developing wealth, what about the human capital? What is the fate of education? What happen to the skill people are building? What happens to the enabling environment to ensure that people are ready to actually work, earn something and be able to develop themselves, so that the wealth of the country can be sustained?” the meristem wealth management boss added.
Adedokun further argued that pursuit of foreign direct investment (FDI) should not be the priority of the government, saying that right structure and framework should be put in place to ensure the sustenance of wealth, in order to attract investors.
He also regretted that most business empire owned by individuals and government establishment had continued to fizzle out due to the lack of required knowledge, structure and framework needed to ensure a robust economy.
Adedokun also said that despite Nigeria’s enormous resources, the country had failed to harness the resources to transform the economy.