Professor Utomi who spoke during the ground breaking ceremony of Integrated Produce City (IPC), a private initiative championed by him and other investors at Ugbokun community in Ovia North East area of Edo state, added that without appearing to scandalise anybody, he actually pray for oil prices to stay down and stay down for a long time for Nigerians to come of their senses to know that the country is really rich.
His words: “Let me shock you by saying that the recession we face in Nigeria is a golden opportunity. It is not a problem; it is an opportunity to finally get the Nigerian economy right.
“So without appearing to scandalise anybody, I actually pray for oil prices to stay down and stay down for a long time. Then, we will come to our senses and we will know that Nigeria really is a rich country.
“Right now, we are not behaving as we should be behaving. Competitively driven industrial policy in select value chains will be helpful in confronting the misery index and bringing hope to millions.”
He said Integrated Produce is unique, first because it aims to confront the biggest monster facing agriculture in Nigeria, which is yielding losses – the poor returns that farmers get, as middle men scoop everything up, the profits that slip away in these kinds of dis-articulated markets and the poor infrastructure challenge that face people in agriculture
According to him, “With a well organised trading platform, accessing commodity exchanges, efficiencies increase at a pace that increases global competitiveness on the produce in which our factor endowment are strong,” Nigeria will get things right and the economy will grow.