The Group Managing Director, CFL Group, Mr. Lai Omotola has said Nigerians have lost hope in the two dominant parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), reason they are waiting for a third force.
According to Omotola, governments at various levels have failed to display capacity to confront the country’s daunting challenges. Insisting that governments have been more reactive than proactive, he pointed out that 2020 has seen businesses shut more than ever, just as there have been massive jobs losses and infrastructure decay, with businesses facing unprecedented challenges.
Speaking during a press briefing on the state of the nation, Omotola said: “The recent EndSARS protest revealed the good and the bad of the nation. For the first time, we saw a peaceful protest and government responding to demands of protesters, but there was trust deficit. The people did not trust the government, hence the continuous agitation. EndSARs remains an unresolved issue and a time bomb.
“The politics of today and the future is essential in choosing the next generation of leaders. The majority of people have lost hope in the two dominant parties, APC and PDP, they are waiting for a third force. 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.
“The opposition 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 after 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.”
He observed that 2021 would be more difficult than 2020 because it has set a foundation for 2021. He added that COVID-19 might not end in 2021 and the economy will not recover to blossom level, with insecurity a major factor.
“I have not been able to see anything in government to suggest the availability of resources to meet these coming challenges. For us in CFL GROUP, in all these challenges, our solution is to do big projects in the midst of lack. Therefore, in the first quarter of 2021, we shall be commissioning our app to be known as LONGUDU. This will be the first mobile cinema in Nigeria to rival Netflix, with features to rival Instagram and YouTube. We shall also start Agric project, known as Imota Farm Estate on 100 hectares of land at Imota, Ikorodu and thirdly, Isiu industrial city on 1,000 hectares of land at Isiu, Ikorodu, Lagos.”
He stated that from COVID-19 lockdown to EndSARS, to traffic gridlock that keep residents in traffic for five to six hours have had multiplier effects on the productivity of businesses. “This year, we continued as a business and avoided all challenges as they crop up. We continue with our commercial and residential construction with five new plazas and six residential estates across Lagos State. To stay in business, we became innovative and adapted digital platforms, as ways of reaching customers and carrying them along.
“However, it should be noted that this year has recorded lower profitability compared to other years. The business environment continues to be harsh, as government continues to jack-up prices like Value Added Tax (VAT), petrol, electricity and other charges from Lagos State agencies. Governments, state and national, introduced palliatives that did not produce the desired results. The prices of food items have been on the rise like never before, despite huge investment in agriculture. Security has deteriorated, reaching an alarming rate.”
Omotola stated that the economy is at the lowest ebb with bad foreign exchange. He added that Nigeria has entered into second recession in five years with the economy seriously bleeding and the government knows this, considering the recent opening of the borders. He wondered what the country gained from closing the border.
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