Hard work, not prayers, will revive Nigerian economy – Bank chief

oluremi Omotoso

For Nigeria’s economy to be revamped, its citizens must go out and work hard instead of depending on prayers, the Chairman, Standard Chartered Bank Ltd, Oluremi Omotosho, has said.

“Prayers and bold pronouncements are not enough,” Mr. Omotosho said recently in Lagos, during the investiture of the president of Rotary Club of Ikeja, District 9110, and the induction of new Board of Directors for the club.

“We need to work both hard and smart, with our leaders leading the way.”

Since the global fall in oil prices, the most populous black nation in the world has been thrown into serious economic crisis, with the naira on a free fall against the U.S dollar, increasing rate of inflation, with most state governments unable to pay their workers.

Figures released on Wednesday by the National Bureau of Statistics confirmed that the country is in recession.

Even with the economic hardship, Nigeria is known for spending billions of naira to sponsor religious pilgrimage.

A 2015 survey by WIN/Gallup International showed that the country is one of the most religious in the world; Eighty-three per cent of Nigerians who responded to the survey considered themselves religious.

Mr. Omotosho said the country’s economy could be grown back to its robust status if the leaders are determined to make it happen. There must be integrity and accountability in the management of national assets, he said.

“We must shun those corrupt practices that have depleted our foreign reserves and made implementation of the plan on capital development, particularly in the area of infrastructure, almost impossible.”

In her inaugural speech, Olaitan Ojuroye, who is the 50th and first female president of Rotary Club of Ikeja, said she would focus on tackling poverty.

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  • adekenny

    Well said sir!GOD bless you

  • It is clear that only hard work and intra-continental co-operation will get Nigeria’s economy back on track.

  • Battle AXE

    The corollary is also true that hard work without God is failure. When you combine the two together, the result is phenomenon. You don’t need to look further to see what winners church is achieving.

  • Adebayo Yahweh-Wise

    Well so I hope your honorable sir Oluremi is reading this. What has standard chartered bank done to make such hard work fruitful. How many SMB, have they given loan with structured officers to monitor how such loans are been used. How many hard work job creating ventures can they boast off that it is Standard chartered bank SMB loan scheme sustained such ventures. I dont like when privileged individuals who took the nation into ransom during their generational responsibility era, now come out to make some unrealistic statement. PRAYERS ALWAYS WORKS and GOD has heard the cries and prayers of poor Nigerian citizens, but unfortunately sometimes the revival of an individual or nation can be orchestrated and be controlled by another individual. God had to allow Angel Gabriel to go and fight for a long answered prayer that prince of Persia was delaying. So there are many princes of Persia in various structures of the Nigeria Nation, they continue to hold the country to ransom, they continue to lie and live a privileged life, they are supposed to be retired and let young able brains review the nation, after they have all enjoyed the country at the time of their youth and they are actually the one delaying the prayers that have already been answered and they are now talking about Hard work. Please can we rephrase the headline caption Premium Times?

    • Batotchu Onos

      May God Bless you Adebayo Yahweh-Wise, this man talking whom God has broken his palm kernel does not know what it takes to get up from nothing. his bank will never finance any start up business Standard chartered bank is the most useless bank in Nigeria there global chairman came to Nigeria a few years ago and went to take pictures in an enclave of prostitutes while staying at Wheat-baker Hotel in Ikoyi so that they can hoodwink the world that they care and are touching lives at all levels, This bank is known for taking hard working businessmen to the alter and abandoning them just right before the Priest shows up to consummate the transaction this bank will only stand with you if you are successful have one problem they are gone the only thing you will hear is close the account

      This bank is not committed to Africa so let this man just keep quite can standard chartered bank tell us there exposure to nigeria businessmen compared to what they have done in Asia Standard chartered bank loan to Mukesh Ambani, Tata and Lakshmi Mittal, just three persons and there companies put together is more than there entire loan portfolio in Nigeria with 170 million people and he said we should not pray but work hard no matter how hard you work without funding you will remain a basic peasant businessman. Sir it is a combination of the two that produces results do you need me to tell you Standard Chartered loss portfolio in India to companies please next time before you talk think

      My conclusion, this man is just a confused ajebutter who has lost touch with the common man

    • Okonkwo Chukwudi Obiajulu

      Adebayo Wise, while I believe so much in prayer, and know that prayer always work. I stand with Mr Oluremi on this. He is absolutely correct. There are praying Christians as well as tremendous natural resources in Nigeria, but yet Nigeria has not achieved greater development or success as a nation. Christian leaders will always answer that people need to pray more. Our people pray intensely, loudly, and long. They gather for all-night prayer meetings and earnestly seek God together. But nations don’t develop as a result of prayer unless they also embrace the principles of the Kingdom as well. And until the Kingdom principles of “hard work”, honesty and integrity becomes the lifestyle of Christians, Nigeria cannot prosper, Pray from today till eternity. Prayer alone cannot prevail over laziness and sinful lifestyles. We need to break out from Religion. Religion has never ever saved a nation.

      • Adebayo Yahweh-Wise

        Okonkwo, you need to check your daily routine and figure out if you do not work hard already. When you get to the market and ask the pepper seller and meat seller what they have done to get the pepper or meat to the market then you can check if they work hard or not? Just ask the bus conductors or commuters, the process they go through in making sure their daily income completes with some profit, you will know if they work hard or not? From the little comment people have posted on here, i dont think these are Lazy people posting on here. So what is the basis of my Point, For the current state of nation of Nigeria, there is no correlation between hard work and prayer, The majority of Nigerians are already working hard. The people who are not working hard are the privilege people in power and Mr Oluremi is one. We need him to use his position to advocate for the masses , put machinery in place to create enabled environment for people to work hard the more. He is well learned, ask him how was nigeria when he was in secondary school, How was Nigeria when he was in the university, how was the education standard, how was electricity? how was the roads, When he finished university and he started looking for job, how was the job search like? How was the environment he started working in? How was his life style and state of Nigeria in his path to become who he is at Standard Chartered Bank? These were the people that enjoyed nigeria, and their generation era destroyed Nigeria, He knows his friends that destroyed Nigeria, they enjoyed their schooling days, mid 30s to mid 40s, they were all fulfilled, some of them already stopped having kids, had a well established home,. How many hard working spree did his generation did? So Okonkwo, prayer is prayer, hard work is hard work when there is enabling environment. Standard Chartered Bank should start a mobile solar enabled project for small mid size businesses and other establishment, let there be constant electricity for them to work HARDER like he suggested and let see if Nigerians who are already working hard will not work harder. Do not mix prayer with hard work when there are destroyers and old cargo that refused to retire continue to squeeze the nation and make it seems that Nigerians are not working hard. Who says they are not working hard?

        • AriaFada

          Mr Oluremi is an employee like many people. He doesn’t have the authority to dictate his bank’s lending policy, he is not a majority shareholder and the bank is run to maximise profit not to provide charity to SME’s. That means if FX round-tripping is profitable and legal, then the bank has every right to engage in that or similar activity.
          Mr Oluremi is not the president of Nigeria and does not owe Nigeria a duty of care or responsibility. He was not voted into a political office and cannot be blamed for the mismanagement that characterises Nigeria. Like every Nigerian, he was given an educational start in life and has maximised it for his own benefit. To blame him for Nigeria’s predicament is more a display of envy and your life’s frustration than the truth.

        • Okonkwo Chukwudi Obiajulu

          Adebayo, what I mean is that when a society is established in Biblical values of dignity, honesty, hard work, kindness, and generosity; it will flourish economically and in every way. When those values are prevalent in the society, even if it is pagan and serving a false religion, the Principles of the kingdom of God will work for them to establish a peaceful and stable society. Look, we lay a lot of emphasis on prayer; but forget to teach the people principles. Stealing is a national sin in Nigeria. Even Christians will leave a prayer meeting and go out and steal; they may even steal valuable items laying around in the prayer meeting. The greatness of a country is established by the wealth of their values and not by the virtue of their wealth. The value system of our nation is wrong (graft, stealing, dishonesty, corruption in government and greed rule the society) and no matter HOW MUCH WE PRAY we are doomed to failure, poverty and smallness. We should stop preaching religion or christian experience but teach the truth of the word of God; revealing Kingdom principles to everyone, principles work everywhere.

  • Sunny

    There is need for critical thinking on how Nigerians have misplaced the position of hard work for prayers which is peculiar to the two dominant religious in Nigeria.

  • Oluola

    Nigerans should pray but MUST work harder than they pray.

  • tope fasua

    thanks for this advice sir

  • deansmart

    It is true work and pray works but 70 percent of religious nigeria believees in miracles not hard work.average nigeria pray to be millionaire without having any job doing .they only believes you don’t need to work hard since you chuch or mosques goers and this had many nigerian lazy

  • emmanuel anizoba

    Well spoken, we need a few years break (4 years, say) from God, the Devil, Prayers and Priests. Thereafter, we will have a good basis to decide on the issue. When a drug fails to cure an ailment, intelligence recommends that another drug be tried. Cheers!

  • Biodun

    Nobody is saying you should not pray. But state sponsored religious pilgrimages should stop. Go to work and when you get home pray to God. Government has no business sponsoring religion. 85% of Nigerians are religious, yet there is no water and no electricity in our homes. Hard work is what is needed. When its time to pray I know the way to church!

  • NinjaK

    bitter truth!
    but as nigerians, we do not like the truth, as we have since “outsourced” our brains such that we now wait for God to come down himself to do things for us!
    Useless People….Uselesss Leaders!!!

  • zacchaeus Akinleye

    This is the most reasonable pronouncement by a stakeholder in the Nigerian context in a long time, and the only true way to progress: work smart, pray hard. Without prayers you may succeed; with only prayers you are doomed to fail.

  • Shahokaya

    Where is pastor taiwo ?

    • Rommel

      Planning another scam probably since miracles have started failing them ever since Jonathan left and we discovered that no savings was made from highest oil boom in history

  • Pius Ani

    The newspaper headline said different thing from what the Bank Chief said . He said prayer is not enough and hard work must be the foundation . of course yes , and most truthful Churches have been preaching the same thing . Just as Psalm No 1 said , ” whatsoever he doeth shall prosper ” God prospers the works of our hand and He does not encourage indolence .

  • Ola

    Thank you Sir, Prayer time is over , its time to get to WORK and make Nigeria a producing nation and not a consuming nation.