• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Older generation revise age requirement upward to limit everything to their generation – Atedo Peterside

Atedo Peterside, the founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank, said the Nigerian environment is not encouraging for today’s youths to thrive, saying that the older generation constantly revise age requirements upward to limit everything to their generation.

Peterside said this when he featured on Channels TV documentary, Amazing Africans, highlighting aspects of his early life experiences that helped define who he is and what motivates him towards promoting good governance.

The chairman of Anap Jets Limited recalled how General Yakubu Gowon became the head of state at 31 and worked with people within his age range to run the government.

Peterside lamented that the younger generation no longer has that kind of opportunity because many of those who became heads of state, ministers, and governors in their 30s perpetuated their stay in the corridor of power in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, and till now, constantly revising age requirements for everything to limit it to their generation.

He noted how former President Muhammadu Buhari, who was a minister in his early 30s, had a 50-year-old as the youngest cabinet member during his administration as democratically elected president.

“If you check the history book, General Gowon was head of state sometime in 1966. I believe if you check, he himself was aged 31; so please tell me, can a 31-year-old make rules to outlaw young people from any activities.

“Nigeria has changed considerably. What happened was that that generation of Gowon and those after him got into the position of authority; he was 31 at the time, and they allowed 30-year-olds, who were their mates, to do everything.

“The problem was that, and I’m not referring to Gowon now because he is not the culprit. As they get older, they constantly revise upward the age requirements for everything to limit it to their own generation,” Peterside said.

The veteran banker recalled that the requirement when he started Stanbic IBTC was ten years of experience in the banking sector. However, it was changed to twenty years later, which means it would have been impossible for him to start a bank if he had waited for a few years. He added that it takes 15 years of experience in the sector before you can be a founder in today’s Nigeria.

The Anap Jets chairman noted that there is no scientific evidence to show that the problems in the banking sector were necessarily caused by the young CEOs, saying that some of the banks that failed were promoted by very elderly people.

Peterside, who founded a bank at age 33, recalled that he was also the youngest student when he joined King’s College in 1966, saying that the early struggles of keeping up with people older than him helped to define him in several ways.