March 28, 2017

Act now, take the mantle of leadership, Utomi Urges Youth

Act now, take the mantle of leadership, Utomi Urges Youth

Prof. Pat Utomi

A renowned economist and scholar, Prof. Pat Utomi, has urged the nation’s youths to take up the mantle of leadership, amid the current economic challenges being experienced in the country.

Utomi told newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos that youths should be interested in rising up to challenges that could make a difference in the society.

The Professor of Economics, spoke against the backdrop of an award conferred on him by The Verdant Zeal Quantum Awards at the prestigious Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, on March 22.

Prof Utomi

He was honoured for his pivotal role as a Leader of thought in Development Economics.

“I want to encourage young people that the world we live in can be changed by few people. If they so wish; it is their time to take up the mantle.

“It is a function of few committed individuals who know what to do; they should not sit back and watch. They should act now.

“Almost everything I do most times is to show young people example that it is possible to have a vision that is bigger than the size of your bank account.

“They should have interest in changing the world around them, and not trying or emulate those who accumulate everything without success,’’ he said.

Utomi added that he had lived a life that could be mirrored by the society and told newsmen that he had been engaged more in philanthropic activities in recent times.

“My life is an open book; everything about my life is what I want everyone to know. I am a person of faith in the last 40 years.

“I have been deeply involved in different faith-based activities to change the world as a Christian in my church and the Full Gospel Businessmen Fellowship (FGMF) member.

“I do a lot of social enterprise with widows, the weak and the challenged. Generally, I don’t like to talk about it, but people know that I’ve been working on it more than 30 years now.

“I am committed to a centre that takes care of widows and to render help. I see them as vulnerable in the society,’’ he said.

Utomi said that the focus on helping widows was borne out of the experience he had sometimes ago in his village.

“I began to focus on widows when I came home in 1982 and it was reported to me that one rich man had died of cancer.

“After that, the widow went from been up there to nowhere, then I realised something is wrong with this culture. I began to do things around supporting widows,’’ he said.

He said that he had been commenting on the recent economic recession, especially on the global platform, and added that the economy needed a consensus policy.

“I have been commenting on the Nigerian economy in recent times on a global platform. I have been saying that economics is about facts and getting the right policy issues.

“It is about empowering people to have strategy on how to get to a determined place, we need to put our policy in one direction; it is about the right policy choices.

“We need to build a consensus around our policy though; we are not clear in Nigeria what direction of policy we are travelling.

“We actually need to get the economy right, every government needs help but they need to put up efforts,’’ he said

Newsmen report that Utomi is an economist of great repute, the creator of Patito’s Gang, a television talk, motivational speaker and a former presidential candidate.

Utomi was a former Vice-Chairman of Platinum-Habib Bank. He is an accomplished columnist, and Chairman, BusinessDay Media Ltd.

He has served on key blue chip corporate organisations such as the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI); The National Council of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria; and the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA).