Professor Utomi, who is a founding senior faculty member of the Lagos Business School-Pan Atlantic University, said institutions set boundaries and help to reduce uncertainties.
Speaking on Thursday in Lagos at The Platform, a forum organised by Lagos-based Covenant Christian Centre, the management expert said weak institutions had been a drag on the nation’s economic progress, stressing the need to get down to diversifying the base of the economy.
While spoking on ‘Institutions, culture, and inclusive private sector rapid growth’, he identified the imperative of quality policy choices, noting that weak institutions could be an impediment to the implementation, a situation that had seen the country move “two steps forward and four steps backwards.”
Utomi said, “We keep repeating our past experiences because our institutions are weak. Institution building is part of the critical challenge of nation-building.
“Human capital is critical for economic development. Unless people are well-educated and have the right skills, we will not be able to make progress. Developing human capital is very critical.
“Entrepreneurship is essential to wealth creation, and if we are going to grow out of the challenges that we face today, we will have to create value machines in the ways that our people think. Values shape human progress. Without the right values, you cannot make progress.”
He noted however, that every part of the country had endowments that could be harnessed to make the country a high-growth economy.
“Just look at the endowments of our country; why have we for 30 years talked repeatedly about diversifying the base of our economy and have done nothing about it,” Utomi added.
By Patrick Aigbokhan