The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Wednesday said that the country needed great entrepreneurs to build the economy and put it on the path of prosperity. Fashola made the remark in Lagos at the launch of a book, “Goodie Minabo Ibru: A Life of Service and Enterprise”, organised to mark the 70th birthday of Mr Goodie Ibru.
“Nigeria today is in dire need of men with entrepreneurial spirit; those who will build the local capital that will propel us to the prosperity that we all desire. The Europeans have gone, and all the capital they built, they have taken away. So if you are a graduate of Business Administration, what business will you administer if the business has gone? he said. Ibru, an industrialist and current president of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), turned 70 on Wednesday.
Fashola noted that there were more job seekers in the country than builders of capital, saying that the situation had significantly affected the pace of the country’s economic development. He urged Nigerians, particularly university graduates, to strive to be employers of labour rather than job seekers in order to build wealth and be self-reliant. The governor described Ibru as a courageous entrepreneur who had done a lot to promote the economic development of the country.
He said Nigeria needed more Ibrus with a strong hunger for entrepreneurial exploits to break out of the shell of economic underdevelopment and move to the comity of .prosperous nations. In his contribution, Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta, said Ibru was an achiever who had done a lot to promote the development of Delta State. Represented by his Deputy, Mr Amos Utuama, Uduaghan said the industrialist deserved to be celebrated by all Nigerians for his contribution to commerce and industry.
Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, Director-General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), who reviewed the book, said Ibru had contributed greatly to the development of tourism in Nigeria. Akintehinwa said Ibru’s massive investment in the hospitality industry had helped to place the country on the global tourism map, describing him as a blessing to his generation.