SAN FRANCISCO, April 30, (THEWILL) – One of the world’s most popular media personalities, Richard Quest of CNN, while on a week-long trip to Nigeria, noted that poor leadership and corruption are the twin evils preventing Nigeria’s greatness.
He harped on the need for governments in Nigeria and Africa to strengthen their institutions so as to punish corrupt politicians and criminals, disclosing that “In America, government officials when caught are sent to jail. Same should happen here.”
The ‘Quest Means Business’ anchor, who was in the country to appraise the state of the economy, progress so far made and the opportunities available for investors, averred that business people in Nigeria are succeeding in spite of government, not because of it.
He spoke at an interactive session with select business editors on Friday, after he had got the views of business leaders across the oil and gas, manufacturing, quoted companies, media, Nollywood/entertainment, public sector, traders and people on the streets of Lagos.
Quest, who is also the anchor of ‘Business Traveller’, said it was a fascinating period to be in Africa as the people are optimistic about the future especially Nigerians, stating that things are changing in Nigeria as the country is now better off than it was over two to three years ago.
His words, “From my interactions, the response keep coming back about leadership in government, leadership in private business, etc. There is no shortage about entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Since my trip here, I have met people who are enthusiastic, ambitious, and aggressive in a nice way”.
While noting that “Corruption remains a challenge from my interactions with CEOs who says it is the first thing that should be addressed,” he however said “I am leaving Nigeria optimistic. The young people I met on the streets are absolutely brilliant.”
“Nigeria has got the potential to establish itself among global leaders. Every person I ask says corruption and leadership should be addressed. Of course, the western nations have been complicit in not dealing with corrupt African leaders who hid their loot abroad,” the CNN anchorman added.
Quest stated that the N13bn recovered from a luxury apartment in Ikoyi Lagos is a good opportunity to put things right in Nigeria. THEWILL had exclusively reported the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, as claiming ownership of the $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23, 218,000 seized by the EFCC from Osborne Towers, a luxury residential complex in Ikoyi, Lagos, said to be owned by ex-National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Adamu Muazu.
While asserting the media has a pivotal role to play in nation building and to keep the leaders on their toes, Quest said, “It is the job of the media to report on corruption cases. Our job is to report it. It is not our job to solve it that is the job of the law enforcement agencies. CNN is famous today because it reports stories as it is without fear or favour.”
He had earlier in the week explained that his trip to Nigeria was in response to calls from CNN fans that were not happy that the cable network has largely ignored Africa when it comes to its ‘Business Traveller’ programme. He disclosed that this made them decide to come to Africa beginning with Nigeria.
At some of the radio stations he visited in Lagos, Quest had said “Last year, we filmed ‘Business Traveller’ across 10 countries of the world using nine airlines. The CNN subscribers/fans from Africa sent many complaints on twitter and various online platforms that we’ve ignored Africa on the programme. I wasn’t quite pleased because we had challenges of getting and out of Africa using low budget airlines.
“It’s difficult getting low budget airlines like EasyJet, Jet Blue, etc. It is difficult booking flights with your credit cards and arriving at the airports without encountering flights delays and cancellations.
“These challenges are still prevalent in Africa and it behoves on the leadership to solve them. We are in Lagos to assess the economy, the nascent democracy, and how far and where the country is going to in the future.
“We will be shooting two episodes of ‘Quest Means Business’ on Thursday and Friday from Lagos. We will also be reporting CNN business stories from Lagos while I am here.”
Source: The Will