NIGERIA@60: Corporate Nigeria’s Contribution to Nigeria’s Sustained Unity

Mr. Atedo Peterside, Chairman Stanbic IBTC

By Onuwa Lucky Joseph

2020 was supposed to be the magical year when everything came together for Nigeria. This was after it had been moved from the original 2010 date. After it became apparent that by 2010, we’d still be laggards in the comity of nations, we concluded that by the 2020 of our febrile imagination, we would be one of the top 20 economies in the world. Things have turned out a lot different. It’s become obvious that our Vision 2020 was all mouthing and little by way of movement.

But that’s not to say we haven’t chalked up a few milestones. For whatever it’s worth, we are Africa’s biggest economy in terms of nominal GDP. But at the rate our currency is getting devalued and with our doing a lot less exporting, only time will tell how long that title stays ours.

However, we must give the corporate sector its due for playing its part towards keeping this giant (yes, giant) of a country together despite the myriad contending interests and usually woeful national leadership. The private sector through its adherence to merit as against government’s nepotistic hiring methods has brought Nigerians from different quarters and backwaters together to form a strong workforce that’s taking Africa by storm. Without significant government input, Nigerian businesses are berthing in different parts of the continent (and the world, it must be said) and doing good business in those places. 

Aside that, the private sector has also done an excellent job of partnering with government at various levels to ensure a measure of infrastructure development that would not be there were it not for their input. Hopefully, there will be reinvigorated interest in ensuring the upgrade of schools, health centres, water supply, roads, etc. as more corporates burnish their CSR credentials with support in those critical areas. Our corporates are also in the forefront of sourcing, refining and deploying Nigeria’s human capital which is recognized worldwide for its immense worth.

It’s true we could have made 60 years count for more. A lot more. Let’s mull that over even as we commemorate the occasion.


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