Failure of critical institutions discourages investors from investing in Nigeria – Utomi

...says governors don't respect agreements with private partners

Pat Utomi, Professor of Political Economy, has noted that failure and ineffectiveness of critically-established institutions in the country, covering legal, political, economic and social practices and operations, serve a main discouragement to both foreign and local investors from either putting up a new investment or expanding established ones.

Utomi, who identified poorly conceived and implemented policies, policy somersaults,
failed institutions, lack of continuity in government, lack of trust and violation of contractual agreements by government officials as some of the factors that drive away investors and for account for poor Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Nigeria, said that the country would be better off the bad narrative are changed for good.

Speaking at a Symposium held at weekend in honour of Oladipupo Adebutu, former House of Representatives member, who was installed by Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, the Alake of Egbaland in Abeokuta as Lisa Aje of Egbaland, Utomi stressed the need for the government at all levels to build institutions and partner the private sector in order to build infrastructure towards socio-economic growth and development.

Utomi, founder of the Centre for Value in Leadership (CVL) gave a speech centred on the public private partnership for the development of Ogun state and warned public office holders, especially governors, to be fully committed to the contractual agreements signed with private partners, saying, “even if government was to commit its entire budget for a whole year to infrastructure, it would only succeed in building a few projects.”

Read also:‘Nigeria is a fertile ground for Impact Investing, but there aren’t many Impact Investors’- Dr Wiebe Boer

While blaming Nigeria’s past leaders for squandering the commonwealth of the nation instead of saving for the future generation, Utomi said, “our leaders lack the ability to recognise the place of discipline, commitment and integrity in development.

“During the period of oil boom, our leaders were busy spending lavishly instead of saving for the future. We have to be honest about why we have not succeeded in many things.

“Strong institutions are important for Public Private Partnerships (PPP), for all kinds of things. Failure of our institutions has discouraged investors from investing in Nigeria.

“I think one of us here should really feel a deep sense of personal shame that our children are likely to have a quality of life worse than we had.

“In most societies, the basic questions people ask is, is your life better today than it was a few years ago? Every generation is expected to have a better life than the generation before.

“Sadly for us, we as teenagers, as young professional men and women have had a better life than our children are having, that is very sad and we must not let this continue”, he concluded.

But, Oladipupo Adebutu said government needs to adopt Public Private Partnership (PPP) instead of borrowing from abroad, adding that “for us to have wealth, we must have cooperation between the private sector and the government. We cannot have confrontation.

“Why should go and mortgage our children’s future and borrow money? Why do you have to borrow money when somebody will bring his money and do what has to be done?

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