Economic experts to examine state of the Nigerian economy at upcoming Editors conference

*Tinubu to declare conference open in Uyo 

The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) is holding its 19th annual conference from November 14 to 18, 2023, in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital. The conference will focus on the state of Nigeria's economy, with economic masters and technocrats from global and local institutions gathering to examine the economy's condition. The conference will also address concerns over monetary/fiscal policy, missing gaps, and the role of media executives/editors in resolving the challenges.

The conference, which will be attended by over 400 media executives and senior editors, will be chaired by the Founder/Chairman of Vanguard Newspapers Group, Uncle Sam Amuka, while President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is expected to declare it open on November 15, 2023.

A press statement issued on Sunday, October 15, 2023, and signed by the NGE President, Eze Anaba, and General Secretary, Dr Iyobosa Uwugiaren, the umbrella of editors/media executives in Nigeria, said this year’s conference, which will also witness the launch of the NGE Media Trust Fund, was carefully planned to examine state of the nation’s economy and the missing gaps with the theme, “Stimulating Economic Growth, Technological Advancement: Role of the Media.”

According to the press statement, the conference will also examine the Nigerian media sustainability and the existential threat by the Big Tech, and what we need to do to arrest it. The goal of the conference is to remind editors and media executives that economic actors need accurate, credible and timely information to allocate resources judiciously. That foreign/local investors and other groups in the economic ecosystem, demand a governance-monitoring role from the media.

“Masters of economy, Tech experts and technocrats from both within and outside country - African Development Bank, World Trade Organisation, Central Bank of Nigeria, academics and other sectors have been invited to examine the burning issues – including the role of the editors in shaping the narrative and stemming the challenges,” the editors stated.

Giving a background to the conference, the Guild explained that the media have a role to play in fixing the economic challenges in Nigeria, adding that chief executive officers from both public and private sectors believe the media can provide information and monitoring role to the economic policy development process that will lead to more effective economic policies and programmes.

“There is ongoing conversation among economic experts, which suggests that unlike in the past, high oil prices have failed to enhance the performance of our economy since 2021. Rather, what we have consistently witnessed is a “macroeconomic stability that has been weakened in the midst of declining oil production.”

The statement said further that “there is also a concern over a costly petrol subsidy that was consuming a large share of the nation’s gross oil revenues until it was recently removed by the federal government; exchange rate racketeering and distortions; monetization of the fiscal deficit, and high inflation – hitting about 27.08%.

“The fast worsening economic environment is leaving millions of Nigerians in poverty. Many experts and global institutions have argued that with our nation’s population growth continuing to outpace poverty reduction, the number of Nigerians living below the national poverty line will move up by 15 million before 2025’’, the editors added.

The Guild explained further that while some people might argue that Nigeria has made some progress in socio-economic terms in recent years, the country was recently ranked very low in the global human capital development.

It also noted that our country continues to face huge development challenges, including the need to reduce the dependence on oil for exports and revenues, diversify its foreign exchange sources, close the infrastructure gap, build strong and effective institutions, as well as address governance issues and strengthen public financial management systems.

The conference is also expected to examine the impact of illegal oil refinery, bunkering and oil theft, which has continued to threaten the survival of the nation’s economy and is also a major threat to Nigeria in meeting its revenue.’’

The gathering will therefore afford participants the huge opportunity to discuss issues affecting journalism profession and proffer solutions that will enhance its robust practice in the country.

The NGE is an independent non-profit and non-partisan organization established to provide a rallying forum for the editorial leaders in the Nigerian journalism profession to have a professional path for the industry's growth.
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