The immediate past Director of Corporate Communications at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Isaac Okorafor, has called on all Nigerians to support the apex bank in its efforts to pull Nigeria out of its second recession in less than five years.
Okorafor made the plea while accepting Business Hallmarks Man of the Year award in the professional Excellence in Corporate Communications noted that the challenges confronting the Nigerian economy were daunting and could overwhelm many central banks.
He pointed out that the activist posture of the monetary authorities in Nigeria was appropriate especially at this time given the peculiar nature of the challenges confronting the Nigerian economy.
“If the CBN had not taken its activist posture and if I had not adopted its current pragmatic approach perhaps we would not have had an economy today”.
He appealed to participants at the event to support the Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele and his team, saying “The battle being fought by Mr Emefiele and his team at the CBN is a battle on behalf of all Nigerians to diversify the economy and all well meaning compatriots should give them support”.
The Awards which held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos on Sunday, is part of the weekly newspaper’s concept of honouring outstanding individuals and corporate organisations that have affected the Nigerian economy and polity in productive ways.
Delivering his opening remarks, chairman of the occasion and former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim described the awardees as achievers who have “shone like bright stars” spreading light on the nation.
Anyim used the opportunity to call for the restructuring of Nigeria, warning that the need had become urgent as the country dances on the brink. “The reality is that we may have now found ourselves at a point in history where we we must decide who we are and were we are collectively intending to go from here,” he said.
“From my interactions with different groups from different parts of the country, what comes comes out most times is that there is an urgent need for us to evolve a sociopolitical system where everybody feels that they are effectively represented.
“I must must say that the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, banditry, kidnapping and the recent citizens protests and the contraction of the economy over the last two quarters means that the long forecasted intense competition for the dwindling resources has started. This battle for the control of scarce resources will lead to intense social conflicts that can only be averted if we make the right decisions now.”
Other winners of awards on the night included Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike who took the Man of the Year accolade; Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami who won Public Servant of the Year Award; Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, Fidelity Bank CEO who took Banker of the year award and Dr. Fidelis Ottah Francis Agbo, member of the House of Representatives who was named Lawmaker of the Year.
Others are former Transcorp CEO, Valentine Ozigbo who won the Outstanding Achievement in Transformational Leadership Award; All Progressive Congress (APC) chieftains, Prince BB Apugo and Senator John James Akpanudoedehe both of whom won the Outstanding Achievement in Political Awards; Barrister Mrs. Uju Ifejika, CEO of Brittania-U Nigeria Limited who emerged Entrepreneur of the Year and Konga, the country leading e-commerce start-up which won Company of the Year accolade.