MANAGING Director of The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Eric Osagie, has said that Nigeria stands to gain fron China’s experiences in economic reforms and development.
Speaking with Chinese news agency, Xinhua, he said that the socio-economic turnaround of Nigeria will reinvigorate the West African country’s economy.
The MD, who also spoke on the recent fellowship programme The Sun Nation’s Capital Editor embarked upon in China, said: “We are naturally delighted that the Chinese partnership for development found it worthy to select one of our editors in the Nation’s capital, the city of Abuja, we are the first here in Nigeria and also we are the voice of the nation.”
He expressed 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.”
Osagie stated that Nigeria hopes to strengthen relations with China, which he believes will help redefine the country’s 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 is 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, but it 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,” he said.
The MD expressed disappointment that Nigeria is not managing its oil wealth properly, which he attributed to the economic problem the country faces.
“Sadly, we have had people who have 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,” he said.
Osagie said Nigeria has a lesson to learn in the areas of leadership, economy, technology and agriculture from China.
He said a time has come for Nigeria to join the rest of the progressive world and the rest of the big economies of the world.
The Sun MD said Africa needs collaboration and not handouts, saying China should teach the continent how to fish, instead of feeding it with fish.
On security, Osagie said there is a lot Nigeria and indeed Africa can learn from Chinese technology in fighting crimes.
“You know China is a very big country. In fact, China is almost a continent on its own with a population of over a billion, that means the population of China is over five of Nigeria and if you have managed to have good security network, then we can learn from the Chinese,” he said, adding: “It’s something we would be very glad to partner the government of China or the Security Agency of China.”
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.
Osagie said the Nigerian government should take advantage of the Chinese opportunity and experience because the world is a global village.