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Any country where government officials are richer than businessmen won't survive — Obi

Peter Obi has warned the government that corruption and criminality kill professionalism and hard work.

Peter Obi [Kin Cheung/AP Photo]

Obi said this while giving a remark at the 21st CVL Annual lecture and International Leadership Symposium on Skills-Driven Entrepreneurship, to mark the 68th birthday of Prof. Pat Utomi on Monday in Lagos.

He stated that corruption and criminality kill professionalism and hard work and as such, the government must be deliberate to fight these cankerworms to drive the nation.

"Any country where the government officials are richer than businessmen and manufacturers will not survive. We must dismantle corruption and reward people for their talents, skills and energy," he said.

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According to him, the country must be structured in a way that people's talents and hard work give them the opportunity to thrive and contribute to the economy.

In a panel discussion, Dr Alfred Okoigun, Founder/Group Managing Director, Arco Group Plc, charged the government to be deliberate and intentional in supporting local production. Okoigun implored Nigerians to scale-up their skills to improve their lives and contribute to the economy. He also advised entrepreneurs to be concerned about making impact in business and not just making money.

Also, Tunde Kehinde, Co-founder, Lidya, a digital fintech lender, suggested that the country should be seen as a business, hence a strategy for its growth, maintenance and sustainability must be ensured by its leadership.

Kehinde noted that there were so many opportunities in the Nigerian market that can solve the problems of the country.

"There need to be clarity and direction from the government about where the country is going, so that the citizens can key into it to get to the next level," he said.

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