Chidoka Celebrates Babaginda At 80

Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka has called on the Federal government to take decisive actions towards addressing the current security challenges facing the country.

He also urges the government to restructure from a federal government-controlled entity to a more diversified control structure”.

Speaking during the IBB Legacy Dialogue to mark the 80th birthday of the former Head of State, Chief Chidoka, who was a former Corps Marshall of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), said that the “situation in Nigeria today bears a strong similarity to the 1985 situation with declining oil revenues, the high running cost of government, high debt rate, foreign exchange crisis and increasing political tension in the country”.

Chief Chidoka, in a 16 minutes speech delivered via video conference described the economic policies of the Babangida regime that gave rise to Banks like GTB, Zenith and Access Bank as momentous in our national history.

“How a 44 years old soldier without any economic training, working with the finest minds of his time, figured out these policies and followed through with them, is a mark of his ingenuity. Today GT Bank is N455 billion revenue business larger than the internally generated revenues of any state in Nigeria and more than the combined internally generated revenues of the bottom 25 states.”

“The 2020 profits of GT, Access, and Zenith banks at about N590 billion Naira is bigger than the combined budgets of Anambra, Benue, Ekiti, Zamfara and Yobe States. This is a testament to what can happen when government enables business.   

Chidoka who is also, the founder of the UnlockNaija Movement, a volunteer organisation committed to the renewal of the idea of Nigeria paid tribute to Gen. Babangida for unlocking Nigeria’s potentials laying the foundation for what he called Naija Nation.

“Today two Nigeria have evolved, we have Naija where the youths are blazing the trail in technology, music and arts without the obstructive role of Nigeria where ethnicity, religion and corruption had held back the march to nationhood. The foundation of that Naija space was laid by the Gen Babangida administration. The spirit of free enterprise, vibrant media and conscious social mobilisation combined to create the Naija space which is growing despite the challenges of the Nigerian State.”

Chidoka, therefore, called for new leadership that will renew the idea of Nigeria and unlock the possibilities of a vibrant black nation providing a counter-narrative to the current African story.


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