4 March 2016 LAGOS (TSR-Xinhua) – Nigeria can learn from the experience China has gained in its economic reform and development, a media chief executive officer said Friday.
This will reinvigorate the West African country’s economy, Eric Osagie, the Managing Director of The Sun Publishing Limited, one of Nigeria’s most circulated newspaper said in an interview in Lagos.
Osagie expressed the hope while having an exclusive interview with Xinhua at The Sun corporate head office in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub.
The media chief, who recently approved the nomination of one of the company’s editor, Ikenna Emewu as the Nigerian candidate for the 2016 China Public Diplomacy Association Fellowship (CPDAF), said the fellowship is a good development and a sign of the high recognition readers, including the outer world, have for newspaper.
The prestigious international journalism fellowship, meant to foster Africa/China media exchange and experience, is taking place in Beijing.
He said the offer would strengthen the relationship between China and African countries, particularly Nigeria.
“We naturally delighted that the Chinese partnership for development found it worthy to select one of our editor in the Nations capital, the city of Abuja, we are the first here in Nigeria and also we are the voice of the nation,” he added.
“We hope that as Ikenna brings to us news about China, he will also tell the Chinese people in Beijing and every other part of China what Nigeria is, that Nigeria is not a country of fraudsters, as erroneously portrayed in the Western media,” the journalist said.
As a result of this, the chief executive officer said Nigeria hopes to strengthen relations with China, which he believes will help redefine the Nigerian economy.
He told Xinhua that China has in recent years devoted itself to economic development and won appreciation from the rest of the world.
“China is a huge market and I believe it will deepen the relationship between Nigeria and China, it will foster it for both people to understand and know each other,” he said.
According to him, China is strong in agriculture, while Nigeria, the sixth largest oil producing country in the world, having Gross domestic product (GDP) as one of the lowest in the world.
“Over the years we have so depended on oil. Oil should have been a blessing to us, is now a curse to us, we are the sixth largest oil producing country in the world, but our Gross domestic product (GDP) is one of the lowest in the world, we are a rich country, poor citizen, why?,” he said.
“Because we have not been able to manage our oil wealth properly, sadly we have had people who has stolen our oil wealth, mismanaged the economy in the past years, so what we can learn from China is how to be a great country without oil, so we can learn from China. Our reporter in China can also help us in that regard,” he added.
Osagie, however, said Nigeria has leadership, economy, technology and agriculture lessons to learn from China, especially, now that China is opening is arm to us.
“Nigeria has to join the rest of the progressive world, Nigeria has to join the rest of the big economies of the world…” he told Xinhua.
He said Africa needs collaboration and not handouts, saying China should teach the continent how to fish, instead of feeding.
On security, Osagie said there is a lot Nigeria and indeed other parts of Africa can learn from Chinese technology in fighting crimes, and the Chinese security architecture.
“You know China is a very big country, in fact China is almost a continent on its own with a population over a billion, that means the population of China is over five times of Nigeria and if you have managed to have good security network, then we can learn from the Chinese,” he added.
“It’s something we would be very glad to partner with the government of China or the Security Agency of China, ” the journalist told Xinhua.
According to him, there is a lot Nigeria can benefit from collaboration with China security agencies in the area of tackling international terrorism and tackling other security challenges, due to its huge population.
Osagie said the Nigerian government should take advantage of the Chinese opportunity and experience because the world is a global village.