Former Governor of Ogun State and Chairman, Kresta Laurel Limited, Otunba Gbenga Daniel has stated that the current economic situation in the country might be a blessing in disguise and an opportunity for Nigerians to look inward by developing our local contents and effecting outright adjustment in our ways of life.
Receiving a delegation of the Institute of Chartered Accounts of Nigeria (ICAN) on a courtesy visit led by its president, Deacon Titus Soetan at his office in Lagos on Friday, Otunba Daniel reiterated the fact that government should place more emphasis on local manufacturing and production most especially in the agricultural sector.
“It is criminal to the economy if we spend so much foreign exchange on importation of food into the country to the detriment of our staple food that have more nutritional value.
“It is high time we banned food importation and curtailed smuggling of such into the Nigerian markets. The total mind-set of our people must change not only in food consumption but in every sphere of our lives”, he stressed.
He also charged ICAN as a body to network regularly with its members in government and brainstorm on the way forward towards reviving the economy.
Professionals, he said must be given pride of place in policy formulation and it therefore becomes important that in moving the nation forward, the best of the brains must be employed.
“Here, the ICAN has a pivotal role to play by creating a forum to brainstorm and come forth with fool-proof agenda and solid recommendations on finding a lasting solution to our economic challenges”.
Continuing, he said: “it becomes embarrassing and pathetic that our ecomic managers at the highest echelon speak in discordant tunes about the state of the nation’s economy. It is avoidable and should be avoided”, he quipped.
ICAN president, Deacon Titus Soetan, earlier in his address described Otunba Daniel as an accomplished engineer, a mentor and benefactor who has always supported the accounting body.
He also assured of ICAN’s readiness to intervene and support the government of the day in matters relating to economic policies.
He also took the opportunirty to notify the former governor of the 46th yearly Accountants’ Conference holding in Abuja with the theme: “Accountability Now Nigeria” where financial experts will discuss salient economic issues as part of the efforts of the Institute to ensure accountability and good governance in the country.
Meanwhile, the former governor, while being decorated by the executive officers of the NIgerian Institution of Safety Engineers (NISE) led by its Chairman, Engr. Abiodun Oyedepo with the Fellowship of the institution at the Kresta Laurel Complex, Lagos on Friday advocated proper legislation on adherence to safety measures in workplaces especially engineering and construction industries as a way of preventing fatalities and unwarranted accidents.
According to Otunba Daniel, “safety is one of the most important factors in engineering and so, the NISE is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that safety measures are put in place and strictly adhered to in work places both private and public. As a matter of fact, routine inspection must be carried out regularly to double check adherence and conformity with such measures as stipulated”.
He cited the unique example of Kresta Laurel Limited which he emphasised has not recorded any incident of fatality since its over 25 years of operation because adequate safety measures were put in place.
Continiung, he said ‘the gap between developed and developing nations of the world is the presence of adequate safety measures and the premium placed in its observance to the letters”.
He then advised the institution to lobby for legislation on these safety codes to give it legal teeth and thereby reduce the scourge of accidents in sundry formations.
NISE is a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and an agency that provides safety codes aimed at boosting the safety of projects.