CNAA 2019 Lecture: Awosika Calls For Entrepreneurial Productivity To Drive National Development


Thursday, December 12, 2019 / 11:49 AM /  Nifemi Taiyese for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV


The Cadbury Nigeria Alumni Association, CNAA, recently hosted its 2019 Dr. Christopher Kolade Lecture in Lagos themed; "2020: Opportunities and Threats in the Nigerian Economy".


Giving the welcome address the CNAA President, Mr. Lampe Omoyele said the association served as a platform to project integrity, innovation, excellence and creativity.


Omoyele highlighted the 7 C's of the company's former Chairman and Managing Director, Dr. Christopher Kolade, which were: confidence, commitment, consensus, caring nature, character, competence, and being careful.


The CNAA President said establishing the Dr. Christopher Kolade lecture series was a Cadbury Nigeria alumni contribution to stimulating intellectual discourse on issues of corporate and national interest and pursuing excellence at individual,  corporate and national levels.


The MD/CEO of Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Oyeyimika Adeboye, who was represented by Mr. Tope-Phillips Aikhuemelo, Human Resources Director in his goodwill message, said the lecture was targeted to stimulate intellectual discourse and equip participants with the competencies they need to succeed both in their personal and professional lives.


He said the thought behind the lecture was to provide ideas-leadership, which would complement other initiatives designed to grow the  economy.


According to him, the CNAA was established in 2015 as a vehicle to drive change in our society.


Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, Chairman Board of Directors, First Bank of Nigeria Ltd and Member, Board of Directors, Cadbury Nigeria PLC in her keynote address discussed the theme, "2020:Opportunities and Threats in the Nigerian Economy". Awosika said the discussion at CNAA was designed to facilitate the creation of a better society by adding thought-value to the Nigerian economy.


Awosika said Nigeria had diverse talents and a huge population estimated at 200m people. According to her, "The population is an asset depending on what we do with it, the population can also be a risk or liability depending on what we do not do with it'.


She emphasized the need for a productive economy that is driven by entrepreneurship that focuses on value addition that would boost national competitiveness.


Awosika spoke on the real value of Nigeria's population being the potential to grow economically empowered enterprises through an institutionalized process of value creation.


Speaking on the opportunities for 2020, First Bank of Nigeria's Chairman emphasized the need for the diversification of the Nigerian economy,  and the focus on agro-allied industries and tapping into diaspora remittances like other emerging economies.


To enable diversification, Mrs. Awosika stressed the need for significant investments in infrastructure, which covers roads, bridges, rail, power and broadband etc.


For harnessing opportunities and job creation Awosika believed that the issue of human capital needs addressing. She stressed the need for deliberate strategies to train and retrain Nigerians with the requisite skills to be globally competitive.


Giving further insight into competitiveness, Awosika called for economic restructuring which she believed would unlock certain opportunities in the country.


She made a strong case for entrepreneurship studies to be integrated into the Nigerian Education Curricula, giving individuals the capacity to manage their businesses and create economic .


Mrs. Awosika called for a stable political system, a robust legal structure and an environment that respects the sanctity of contracts and commitments.

She stressed that the uneven pace of development across the geo-political zones in the country was a threat to the socio-economic development of the nation.


Awosika called for investments in security and logistics to address the threats to investments and businesses in the nation. 


She said Nigeria required an instrumental education system with the employment of competent and sound teachers to drive the sector.

The Chairman of First Bank emphasised the need for a national mindset that supersedes regional mindsets that could threaten the entity called Nigeria.


Dr. Christopher Kolade, elder boardroom statesman and former Chairman/Managing Director of Cadbury Plc, who was the guest of honour at the occasion lauded the CNAA lecture series and called for resilience, dedication and commitment from Nigerians to achieve great nationhood.


He said despite the challenging macro-economic environment, Nigerians should strive to be change agents in their various spheres of influence.

The event featured a panel discussion moderated by Mr. Olufemi Awoyemi, Chairman, Proshare Nigeria Limited, Dr. Ayo Teriba, CEO Economic Associates and Ambassador Ayo Olukanmi, Director General of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture and  Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, Chairman First Bank of Nigeria Ltd.


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