Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Improve leadership to fulfil potential, Nigeria told

25 March 2014, 21:26

Lagos - Nigeria needs to improve the way it does business if it is to fulfil its potential to become one of the world's top economies, a leading economist said on Tuesday.

Jim O'Neill, who has predicted that Nigeria could become one of the next global economic powerhouses, said the government needed to lead from the top to make doing business more efficient.

"What is clear is that it needs to be better," the former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management told a news conference at an Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) summit in Nigeria's financial hub, Lagos, on infrastructure challenges.

"I think it's incumbent on all of Nigeria's 168 million people that the leadership of this country in terms of policy makers start to set themselves higher standards for the maintenance of their weekly business lives.

"Start penalising yourselves if you don't turn up for meetings on time. Don't blame it on Lagos traffic or Abuja traffic. Africa and Nigeria are not the only places in the world with infrastructure challenges."

O'Neill's prediction about the rise of the so-called "MINT" nations (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) came after a similar forecast for the "BRICS" (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

He based his findings in part on demographics, with each having a large population and labour force that if handled correctly, could see productivity surge and attract increased foreign investment.

The effect of stamping out lax practices would trickle down, he said.

"It's a pretty simple thing to do. It would be potentially transformative in signalling a message to the standards that everybody in the country is expected to live by," he added.

- Joining G20 is possible -

Nigeria is currently Africa's second-biggest economy behind South Africa but is widely expected to become the biggest after the results of a re-basing of its gross domestic product are announced.

Despite being the continent's leading oil producer, decades of under-investment in and mismanagement of utilities such as the power sector have left yawning gaps in infrastructure that are mirrored across Africa.

The AFC, which works to develop and finance infrastructure projects, estimates that improvements to infrastructure could potentially add an average of 2.0 percent a year to Africa's growth rate over the next decade.

In Nigeria, which last year part-privatised its ailing power sector to help boost supply and cut daily outages, decent power could boost growth from about 7.0 percent currently to 10-12 percent, according to O'Neill.

"There is no reason why Nigeria should not become one of the G20," he added in a separate statement.

But he said in a speech to delegates that leadership and good governance were essential.

"Look at Manchester United. They are struggling since (manager) Alex Ferguson (retired). It doesn't matter whether it's football, a country, a company, a school, good focused leadership is ultimately an enabling thing," he said.

"In order to have a chance to reach this prosperous future, Nigeria and Africa needs to have better leadership...

"Unless you have credible governance, it's going to be very difficult to attract that finance."



Tags lagos economy

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...