I want to thank President Buhari for sharing this special day with me. The pressure of affairs facing the leader of a nation is such that you could have easily found reasons why you could not participate.

Instead you chose to be here and to even give me the compound honor of accepting to be the Chairman of this occasion.

Mr. President, you have gone far these past few years in laying a good foundation for the economic recovery of the country.

We shall go farther still so that Nigeria truly reaches the next level with you leading the way.

Here I must also thank our dear First Lady Aisha Buhari for her zeal, support and commitment to the betterment of this nation.

You are a true role model for women in Africa. I commend the Vice President, my dear friend, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and his team for organizing another excellent Colloquium.

VP Osinbajo and his team have done a fine job bringing us together again this day. You have enhanced our democratic and economic discourse at a moment when such public discussion is greatly needed.

You see, Next Level is not just a trendy campaign phrase to be quickly discarded once victory has been achieved.

It has a much deeper and more profound meaning, perhaps even more than its authors contemplated.

This is because we are a nation still in the process of defining itself politically and economically.

In this process, it is tempting and easy to borrow indiscriminately from those nations that seem to have mastered the art of democratic governance and to have achieved economic prosperity.

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