Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State had on Saturday attributed the ravaging poverty in Nigeria to lack of productivity amongst majority of Nigerians, saying more than 70 percent of the nation’s oil resources goes to less than one per cent of the total population.
The governor, who was playing host to Nigerian Guide of Editors (NGE) in Osogbo, the Osun State capital berated over concentration of the nation’s common wealth in the hands of the few, without pragmatic economic will for productivity and sustainable development.
Aregbesola said the menace of abject poverty amongst Nigerians would remain for a long time if the consciousness of hard work and value-added engagements were not institutionalised.
“If we have ever paused to ask why we are how we are in this nation, we will discover that lack of productivity is at the root of our economic problems.
“The large chunk of the nation’s wealth is in the hands of few while majority wallow in abject poverty, and these resources are not utilised for any development.
“Sadly, work does not pay in Nigeria today as those who work very well are the most poor. Our inability to develop values out of nature brought us to this abysmal level of poverty.
” For as long as we don’t work for this wealth, it will lead to lack of productivity, work must be the major attraction for all of us rather than our heavy reliance of rent seeking oil economy of the present,” Aregbesola stressed.
While acknowledging the indispensable role of the media in democratisation and nation-building, Aregbesola,however, cautioned media practitioners on the need to be conscious of the impact of what they write on the society.
He argued that no responsive governor of a state would be unnecessarily passive to criticisms, adding that criticisms remain a compass to public office holders for the purpose of good governance, if it is genuinely constructive and not in bad faith.
“Criticism is an elixir of life. If you want to get far in life you must be willing to accept criticism.
“But then, journalists also must be conscious of what they want to publish and be mindful of its repercussion.
“We should not put out something that will cause crisis in the society because when there is crisis there is no discrimination about who is to be victim. We will all stand the risk of being victims of any crisis situation.
“Thus journalists must always exercise caution in the way and manner they report events.”
The President of Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mrs Funke Egbemode in her remarks commended Aregbesola for what she termed massive infrastructural development in the state under the watch of the governor, even as she described him as exceptionally visionary in his style of leadership.
Egbemode ascribed the development and progress of the state to the atmosphere of peace and security being enjoyed in the state.
According to her, there has been a conspicuous change in Osun, with significant improvement in terms of infrastructures in the state since the present administration came on board.
She added that it is gratifying to know that the state of Osun especially the state capital is now looking more clean, developed and beautiful.
In her words, the state has moved forward tremendously under Aregbesola, saying she is always impressed by any government who is passionately working to leave the state better than it met it.
“Obviously, so many things have changed in Osun. I am from this state and I come home occasionally and each time I come, there is always a new thing to see.
“I am so happy that we now have a cleaner and more beautiful state, it is great to see that there is a lot of improvement in Osun.
“A governor that is able to attract businesses and investors to his state through direct masses-oriented programmes like the O’Meal, Oyes and others has done well.
“One thing is obvious, whether you are in Osun or you are outside the state reading about Osun, you definitely have a feeling that it is a secured state.
“And one good thing about a peaceful and secured state is that it attracts investors to the state because a peaceful and secured environment helps business to thrive.
“By and large, your government has done well for the people of Osun and we urge you to do more” Egbemode said.
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