The former Governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, has said that he cannot run away from Nigeria.
Igbinedion who made this known in a interview with guardian.ng’s Leo Sobechi, spoke on many issues such as relationship with the father, the Esama of Benin of Kingdom, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, how he came into politics and how it feels to be 60 years old etc
Doing business Nigeria’s
It is tough, but I cannot run away from my country. All my investments are here; my family’s investments are here. I am a Nigerian and I believe in the project Nigeria. We have the resources to grow, but I still believe that the basic infrastructure must be there or given some incentives by government.
Until we start having steady constant power, we really cannot progress. Until we have good transportation system- road, rail and air transportation, we cannot develop. So, government can give encouragement even to the private sector to make sure that they succeed.
For example, in the power sector, you see the DISCOS are blaming the GENCOS, GENCOS are blaming the bulk traders, and gas suppliers are waiting for their money from the GENCOS.
There must be coordination between the various providers of power, because power is the basic and most necessary infrastructure that we must have.
Once we have that, a situation where you spend 30 percent of your revenue on diesel will be arrested.
That revenue can be spent on yourself and even reinvest some of it for other cottage businesses.
So it is tough, but not insurmountable. Government should try and ensure that good business environment is provided.
Even for you to get road and railway, you need power. So power is number one priority. Government should truly focus on power generation and supply.
How I came into politics
I can say my father also encouraged me. I got back from the US in December 1983, I believe that year there was a coup, of course I went for my mandatory NYSC, 1984/85, then I worked in Okada Air.
It was while working in Okada Air that one day he called and said, some people are suggesting that you should come and become council chairman. My first reaction was, No I don’t want to get into politics, so I ran away to Lagos, because Okada Air was flying and I was managing the airline then. I think on the very morning of the day of close of nominations, he now called me and said, my son, what is your final decision, what do you want to do, because they are closing nomination today for the local council election.
So I said, well, what do you want me to do? He said, as your father I will advise you to give it a shot. I said okay. It was then that I entered the plane back to Benin that morning. That was the day I filled my form and my political journey started.
So that is why I said he kind of encouraged me to deviate from his own path to cast a wider net for the family and I am glad I have been able to create that additional value.
My father told that his properties do not belong to me
One advice that my dad gave me, which actually was a guiding principle all my life is this one day, he took me in his car, I was very young then and still in the primary school.
He said, son, we are going to drive around to show me some of his properties. He said, but all these do not belong to you, so you should not even think about it. What I owe you is your education, any school in the world no matter how expensive it is, I will pay for it and that is the same thing for your siblings. That stuck in my mind and that is what I teach my children and other children from well to do homes.
Your parents can decide to will away their properties. Look at Bill Gates, for instance; he has given 85 percent of his money to charity. So you must walk your own path and for you to carve your own path education is the bedrock of your future. I will thank them for that mostly.
Called from guardian.ng