Business Fidelity Bank CEO 'Okonkwo' Has an Important Word for Unemployed Nigerian Graduates



Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo has stated that Nigerians over rely on proceeds from crude oil in the past and that it has made a lot of Nigerians lazy.

He has this to say to SMEs and it applies to unemployed graduates as well.

"The number one thing is that you have to first of all identify a need, then you provide the service that fills the need. The huge population of Nigeria is positive for SMEs. If you cast your mind back to around 1984 when we had serious economic downturn, we used to queue behind trucks to get milk. What happened? A lot of people started producing soya milk in the country and we began to have substitutes for imported milk.

"The oil economy just made a lot of people lazy and what you saw was that we started importing everything that we could produce here. Why for instance, would we be importing frozen chicken? Some of these chickens are smuggled into the country through Cotonou and some through the port. Some of the imported chickens are preserved with dangerous chemicals.

"But, how long does it take from the time you buy day old chickens to feeding them to mature to broilers, layers for eggs? But everybody would rather spend on importation because we had the foreign exchange to play around with then," Okonkwo stated.

"So, what I am trying to say is that this country is blessed abundantly, especially in the area of agriculture. So, we must all go back to the basis. There are opportunities and we just have to identify them and not continue to depend on imports."

He spoke on the Fidelity SME Radio, monitored on Inspiration FM, Lagos. He added that although 2015 was tough, Nigerians should expect a tougher 2016.


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