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Diamond Bank boss seeks govt review of capital investment

By The Citizen
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The Group Managing Director, Diamond Bank Plc, Dr. Alex Otti, has said that there is a need for the Federal Government to review its policies where about 80 per cent of its revenue is expended on recurrent expenditure.

He said such spending would make sufficient funds available for capital investment, thereby affecting employment generation and national development.

Otti spoke at the Zik Prize 2013 in Lagos organised by the Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre where he was recognised for his professional leadership and economic contributions.

He observed that the unfavourable situation, if not contained, would continue to plague the nation, while youth restiveness and other socio-economic problems could remain largely unresolved.

Otti said, 'The current situation whereby we spend 80 per cent of our national revenue on recurrent expenditure leaving very little for capital investment is unsustainable. This is why we continue to face problems of youth restiveness, among others.'

The Diamond Bank boss was honoured along other Nigerians like Afe Babalola, for his humanitarian service while the Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwambo, was picked for good governance, among other awardees.

Otti said he would try his best to follow the footsteps of late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.

The banker said his bank had introduced a programme called 'Building entrepreneur today' to reduce the incidence of youth unemployment and aid talented young people but in need of funds, to execute their lofty ideas.

'At Diamond Bank, we are trying in our own ways to reduce the burden of youth unemployment. We have instituted the 'Building entrepreneurs today' project, where we try to help young people with great ideas but no money to execute them.

'We reach out to these people from all over the country and select 50 with the best ideas for training at the Enterprise Development Centre, Pan Atlantic University.'

The managing director hinted that the bank had invested over N100bn in small business sector.

The Chairman of the occasion, who is also a former Commonwealth Secretary, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, called on leaders in various sectors to rise up to the challenge of restructuring 'our governance', which he regretted was a far-cry from what it should be.

He decried the growing rate of youth unemployment, insecurity and deplorable state of most infrastructures in the country while stating that the 'do-or-die politics' syndrome would not lead the country to greatness.

The award, chaired by Prof. Jubril Amin, was established in 1994 by a select group of eminent Nigerians to recognise those who have distinguished themselves in public and private sectors.