…Says Nigerians waiting for a third force
By Ishola Balogun
The Group Managing Director of CFL Group, Lai Omotola has warned that except politicians across existing party affiliations give way to new crop of leaders, the agitation for better governance would continue.
Omotola stated this during the end of year press briefing on the state of the nation in his office, Maryland, Lagos recently.
He said majority of people have lost hope in the two dominant parties, (APC and PDP), adding that they are waiting for a third force as government at all levels have not shown capacity to tackle the daunting challenges of present and of the future.
“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 i.e. 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 Government at all levels have not been able to show the people that they are capable in confronting the daunting challenges of present and of the future. We see a reactive government more than a proactive government.
“The opposition to this Government 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 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.
“The state of the economy is at the lowest ebb with bad foreign exchange naira to a dollar is N480 and pounds to Naira is N630. Inflation is double digit of 13.4%. Nigeria has entered into second recession in five years. The economy is seriously bleeding and the government knows this fact considering the recent opening of the borders; but I wonder what government have gained.
“The recent ENDSARS protest have revealed both the good and the bad of the nation. For the first time, we saw a peaceful protest and also the immediate response of government in responding to demands from ENDSARS protesters but there is a trust deficit from government. The people do not trust the government in any form hence the continuous agitation. Endsars remains an unresolved issue and a time bomb.
On the year 2020 in retrospect, Omotola said: “No doubt, the year 2020 has been a tough year all through in view of the spread of COVID 19 that made nonsense of the global strength leaving devastating effect. This year we have seen how feeble and vulnerable the world can be. In the case of Nigeria, we have managed to survive with our low covid 19 numbers when compared to America and Europe.
“This year has seen businesses shut more than ever. Also, there has been massive jobs lost and infrastructure decade. Businesses faced unprecedented challenges from January to December 2020. From COVID 19 lockdown to ENDSARS to traffic gridlock that keep you in traffic for five to six hours in Lagos state. All these have had multiplier effects on the productivity of businesses in Nigeria.
On how the group fared in 2020, Omotola said: “This year we continued as a business and avoided all challenges as they cropped up. We continued with our commercial and residential construction with five new Plazas and six residential estates across Lagos state.
He stated that the group became innovative and adapted digital platforms as ways of reaching customers and carrying them along and introduced price friendly products; adding that this year recorded lower profitability compared to other years.