Former Anambra State governor, Mr Peter Obi, has identified aggressive savings embarked upon by his administration and the sincerity of purpose of that government as some of the factors that made it possible for his administration to leave over $150 million in the state confers, while leaving the office in 2014.
The two-term governor of Anambra State , who stated this on Thursday, at the first annual conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), held in Lagos, on Thursday, stressed that unless governments at all tiers, begin to imbibe the culture of saving for the rainy day, the dream of revamping the nation’s economy might not be realised.
According to the former governor, the nation’s economy had refused to grow in the past few decades, due to failure of those in government to have a savings plan that would aid the nation’s economy to survive the present turbulence.
“It is unfortunate that the nation’s economy is still the way it is, despite the fact some of the economies it shared similar features with, few decades ago, had grown tremendously.
“While Nigeria’s GDP and that of China was around $11 billion three decades ago, today, China had been able to grow its own to over $3trillion, while that of Nigeria still stands at $30 billion.
“China was able to achieve this because it embarked on aggressive saving, diversified its economy into a knowledge-based export and invest in education.
“There must be aggressive savings. That is the only way our economy can survive as a nation. $150 million was saved when I left the office.
Those monies were always there in the past, but shared.
“That is why I strongly believe that the ones they are sharing now, either Japanese or Paris Club, we must have a way of saving some of this for the rainy day,” Obi added.
While assuring the online group of the Federal Government’s support, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, expressed the commitment of the present government to allow freedom of the press, describing it as the only way of growing the nation’s economy.
“The government is not interested in muzzling press freedom, the only thing is that let there be responsibility. The media should be positively critical. But you can count this government out from muzzling the media,” he stated.
In his welcome address, the outgoing president of the association, Mr Musikilu Mojeed, explained that the idea behind formation of the association was to sanitise online publication in the country and to ensure irresponsible journalism online was checked.
Meanwhile, The Publisher of The Eagle Online, Dotun Oladipo, has been elected President of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers.
The election was conducted on Wednesday at Adna Hotel, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, Oladipo is the current General Secretary of the Association.
Also elected into the National Executive Committee of the Guild are the Publisher, Real News, Maureen Chigbo, as Deputy President; Publisher, Newsdiaryonline, Danlami Nmodu, Secretary General; and Publisher, Metro Watch, Collins Edomaruse, Deputy Secretary General. Others are the Publisher, World Stage, Segun Adeleye, Financial Secretary; Publisher, The Scroll, Janet Mba-Afolabi, Treasurer; and Publisher, Qed.ng, Olumide Iyanda, Publicity Secretary.
The election was conducted by a committee led by the Publisher of Global Patriot, Simon Ibe.
Speaking after the election, the outgoing Acting President of GOCOP, Musikilu Mojeed, thanked the electoral committee for organising a free and fair poll.
Mojeed congratulated Oladipo and his team, calling on all members of the Guild to give them all the needed support.