â€œIn Nigeria, infrastructure is a major challenge, once we have infrastructure, this country will grow and a lot of companies will spring up. In this country, if you provide quality service, Nigerians will pay, no matter how much, Nigerians are ready to payâ€
These were the words of Dr. Nosike Agokei, the newly appointed Managing Director of John Holt Nigeria Plc.
Speaking during a Special Recognition Award by Friendship Network International Association (FNIA) conferred on him and four other distinguished Nigerians, he noted: â€œ the major challenge facing Nigeria is infrastructure, stressing:Â â€œthe challenges we have are challenges that are facing all of us. Infrastructure is a major thing, once we have infrastructure, this country will grow and a lot of companies will spring up.â€
â€œIf any government comes in now, and say we want to face infrastructure, road, electricity, railways. I tell you!, Nigerians will ask that government to remain in power, if they do well. But let me tell you something , in this country, if you provide quality service, Nigerians will pay, no matter how much, Nigerians are willing to pay for something that is good. So, why not provide good road,Â put toll gate, people will pay, build railways, hike the fare, people will pay. Develop infrastructure people will be happy and pay.â€
On the other hand, Agokei stated that the other challenge Nigeria has, is that of environment, â€œenvironment in the sense that, the economy,Â whatÂ is going on now is not friendly to business, infrastructure is very poor, security situation is not good , electricity supply is almost not there.â€Â â€œThere are so many challenges in the economy, and it is affecting a lot of companies, very many companies,Â some are folding up, I am sure you are aware ofÂ manufacturing concerns that are living Nigeria, going to Ghana, to set up plant. I am not happy about it. And I wish that Nigeria could do some thing to keep those companies here.
â€œLetâ€™s face it, companies are set up to make profit, if a company makes loss the company will fold up. If a company makes losses, the company will sack a lot of people, and in this country now one person that is employed has a least five people that depend on him.â€
â€œNow in this country, the challenge we have is to build infrastructure. The other day the new CBN governor advised the President to take two from the seven point agenda. That is what I have always believed in.â€
On adulterated products, he said: â€œ I think the issue with Chinese product is this, the Chinese products are cheaper, because, there are cheap labour in China, but the quality of the Chinese product are coming up.â€
He went further to say that theÂ major thing that is helping China now, is cheap labour, but observedÂ that there will come a time labour will no longer be cheap and there (China) products will become expensive. This same thing, he said,Â happened to Japan, â€œbut today see were Japan is, he stated.
He never denied the fact that currently, his company is facing a lot of problems with products from China, because they are cheaper, â€œbut I believe that this government could do something that could encourage business in this country to grow; that is byÂ looking at the cost of producing goods in the country and subsidize it, so that products from the country can be exported at cheaper rate.