HOW time flies. It’s been three years when the life journey of Realnews started on November 19, 2012. And the journey has not been easy at all. Our very existence was threatened when our website was hijacked barely a year after we started publishing. We have had one of our reporters illegally detained when he went to investigate the crude oil theft in the Niger Delta. We have equally survived the death of two pillars of Realnews – Victoria Chigbo, my mother who was one of our directors and Mike Akpan, pioneer editor-in-chief who died on June 22, 2014 and September 30, 2014, respectively.
Despite these challenges and that of the bad economic environment which threatened advertising flow to the company, we have managed to remain afloat and focused. This is no mean achievement in Nigeria of today where the economic situation is very precarious and many companies are winding up.
It is the tradition of Realnews to mark its anniversary celebration by holding lectures on burning national issues. The economic realities Realnews and indeed the whole nation have been facing made it imperative for this year’s anniversary lecture to be focused on the economy.
We did so, knowing full well that there is global economic downturn and that right now the Nigerian economy is currently in the doldrums. All the economic indices in country are not in the form most economic and financial experts will like them to be. The economic indicators ranging from depleting foreign reserve as a result of fall in crude oil prices, depreciating value of the naira, the double digit interest rates, high rate of unemployment, especially amongst the youth to inflation rates which is now on the increase, show that there is need for a rethink of the economic direction Nigeria is heading, especially in this new civilian administration that most Nigerians want CHANGE.
There is no gainsaying that the bad state of the economy is certainly one of the reasons there is so much agitation and tension in the polity. If the economy is good, if the power supply is stable; if capacity utilisation of companies are up to 80 percent; if more youths are employed, I think the anxiety and tension in the land will lessen. Also, if the nation’s agriculture is mechanised, many of the restive unemployed youths will be meaningfully engaged and will not have time to engage in any form of peaceful protests.
But since the reverse is the case, there is an urgent need to check the trend. Hence, Realnews brought together during its third anniversary on November 19, 2015, economists and financial experts to find a way out of the present economic quagmire in the country during the lecture given by Chukwuma Charles Soludo, a renowned economist and former central bank governor. The discussions at the lecture on resuscitating the Nigerian economy formed the basis for the cover story for this week entitled: Soludo’s Prescription for Nigeria’s Sick Economy. It was written by Olu Ojewale, our general editor. (Please download all the papers from the lecture from our website)
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— Nov 30, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT