· Says Nigerians have lost hope in APC
· Unveils mobile cinema app to rival Netflix
The Group Managing Director, CFL Group, Mr. Lai Omotola has predicted that Nigeria faces uncertain future in 2021 with the renewed wave of COVID-19, insecurity and economic doldrums currently ravaging the country.
Omotola, currently running a foremost infrastructure development company with a diversified project portfolio, also said Nigerians have lost hope in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He expressed these views at the annual news conference he addressed recently on the state of the nation, even as he identified unprecedented challenges that undermined, and crippled business operations in 2020.
Omotola observed that 2020 “has been a tough year all through in view of the spread of COVID 19 that made nonsense of the global strength leaving devastating effects.
“This year, we have seen how feeble and vulnerable the world can be. In the case of Nigeria, we have managed to survive with the low cases of COVID-19 when compared to China, Europe and the United States among others.
“This year has seen businesses shut more than any year in our recent history. Also, there have been massive jobs loss and infrastructure deficit. Businesses face unprecedented challenges from January to December 2020.
“From COVID 19 to ENDSARS to traffic gridlock that keeps you in traffic for five to six hours in Lagos state, all these have had multiplier effects on the productivity of businesses in Nigeria,” he said.
Given the new dynamics of the pandemic, Omotola predicted that 2021 “will be more difficult than 2020 because what we see is that 2020 has set a foundation for 2021. COVID19 may not end in 2021.
“The economy will not recover to blossom level. Insecurity is a major factor. I have not been able to see anything in government to suggest the availability of resources to meet these coming challenges,” he observed.
He dissected political development nationwide, noting that the politics of today and the future “is essential in choosing the next generation of leaders.”
As significant as politics is to national development, Omotola lamented that the majority of people had lost hope in the two dominant parties saying they are waiting for a third force.
He said: “As good as this may sound, it remains a tall order to dislodge the two parties in elections. Politicians must give space to new leaders otherwise, the agitation will continue.
“Governments at all levels have not been able to show the people that they are capable in confronting the daunting challenges of the present and of the future. We see a reactive government more than a proactive government.
“The opposition to this government continues to agitate for the restructuring of the country to regional basis but the historical antecedent has it that we are more attracted to terminologies and execution.
“For example, in the 50s, what the leaders wanted was independence from the colonial masters to pave way for a prosperous Nigeria without verifying if our various institutions were well established.
“Again, during the military era, the statement “return to democracy” was the order of the day, and now 21 years of democracy we can comfortably say how we have fared.
“The truth is that Nigeria is a structured country that will continually need restructuring through established organs like the National Assembly; so, to do otherwise is a political mutiny,” Omotola explained.
In view of grave socio-economic conditions, Omotola noted that CFL Group had worked out measures “to execute big projects amid paucity of funds. In the first quarter of 2021, we shall inaugurate our app to be known as LONGUDU.”
He explained the resolve of the group to come up with the innovative way of doing business, noting that he had not been able to see anything in government to suggest the availability of resources to meet these coming challenges.
Specifically, he said: “LONGUDU will be the first mobile cinema in Nigeria to rival Netflix and will also have features to rival Instagram and YouTube.
“We shall also start the agric project known as Imota Farm Estate on 100 hectares of land at Imota, Ikorodu and thirdly; ISU industrial city on 1,000 hectares of land at ISIU, Ikorodu, Lagos.”