Soyinka inspires leaders at Sterling Bank’s seminar

The leadership series themed, “Corporate-Culture Intersection”, according to management of the bank, is an affirmation of its commitment to promoting arts and cultural productions.

The bank said it is driven by the belief that art and cultural
productions are a part of the larger economic ecosystem, saying it is
much more than delighting people and can be an important part of a
nation’s economic development and growth strategy.

In his speech, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, who was guest
speaker at the event, addressed current knotty issues of migration,
particularly the death of thousands of migrants on the Mediterranean
Sea, the indifference of some developed countries to the plight of
migrants, mass burial, loss of identity and hopelessness of majority of
young people as well as the ongoing xenophobia in South Africa.

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On the leadership and future of Nigeria, he subtly berated the
younger generation for their lethargy and connivance with the old
brigade to shut themselves out of leadership. He charged the Nigerian
youth to brace up and challenge the status quo because the political
elite will not surrender power without a fight.

Soyinka urged the audience to be good followers by holding leaders
accountable for their stewardship from time to time, adding that Nigeria
has been unfortunate to be led by the bourgeoisie who think that
leadership is their birthright.

He applauded Sterling Bank’s initiative to send its employees home to
collect their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in preparation for the
general elections, describing it as civic solidarity. He encouraged the
electorate not to give up on the country’s leadership because the signs
of another change are already showing.

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According to him, banks should take the initiative and promote
artistic entrepreneurs. He said the contribution of arts to the society
is mostly underrated even as he enjoined Nollywood to wake up so that
banks can invest more in its business because it is a viable industry.
He regretted the extinction of art works across the country, remarking
that many art works have disappeared, from Oyo to Bida, among other
notable art centres in the country.

Soyinka commended Sterling Bank’s decision to specialise in five key
areas of the economy under the acronym of HEART: Healthcare, Education,
Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Transportation. “I really appreciate
your effort in the transportation system while I encourage you to put
some effort in the railway system. Solar power is very good, and I use
it sometimes in my house in Abeokuta. I will like to see PHCN fully
destroyed.”

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In his welcome remark, Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Abubakar
Suleiman, described the literary giant as a living legend whose large
body of work is positively influencing people on the continent and
across the globe.

Others present at the occasion include Mr. Yemi Odubiyi, Executive
Director; Mr. Emmanuel Emefienim, Executive Director, all of Sterling
Bank.