‘Nigeria Beyond Oil: The Future,’ a conference organized by ‘Inside Out with Agatha’ – Nigeria’s longest running independent television talk show – held on Friday 5 August, 2017 to mark the show’s 20th anniversary.
The event, which was held at Harbour Point, Victoria Island, Lagos, was part of a series of activities lined up to celebrate Agatha Amata as she steps down as host of the show.
According to the media entrepreneur, the theme for the event was inspired by the vision of the former Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who stated his mission to create a ‘Delta state beyond oil’, and providing solutions for disgruntled youth who feel that the government has not done enough for them.
Giving her keynote speech, the Special Guest Speaker, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, emphasized the urgency in the need for change, advocating for a massive shift in the focus from crude oil to other promising sectors of the economy.
“The federal government and other Nigerian financial institutions that provide credit facilities for growing businesses have to remove loan conditions that continue to stifle creativity and entrepreneurship,” Alakija said.
“Nigerian youths have to avoid the prevalent get-rich quick culture, and other negative values affecting the socio-economic development of the country, and divert their skills to businesses with long-term potential such as agriculture, ICT amongst others,” she stated.
Joining a panel session which included Folorunso Alakija; Muda Yusuf, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce; Tosin Akande, a social critic; Shedrack Madilon, Managing Director, Safari54; and Obi Buogo, CEO, Wood Designs; Uduaghan reiterated his message that human capital development is imperative for capital investment. According to him, this can be assisted with strategic mentorship that helps youth across the country to identify economic opportunities inherent in the environment.
Supporting the former governor’s statement, Yusuf stated that current government policies impedes foreign direct investment, pointing out that the private sector should become a strategic partner in driving investment that will pull the country out of recession.