Kayode Fasua in Abeokuta
Philanthropist and Founder of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Group, Otunba Subomi Balogun, has counselled the Federal Government to actively work with those in the private sector in the implementation of its economic policies this year, to achieve results.
Balogun gave the admonition at a New Year thanksgiving service held at his Tunwase Court country home in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
Speaking with THISDAY shortly after the event, Balogun, who will turn 86 in March, said, “They (the federal government) should revitalise the economy. They should do things that will make the economy grow and not to be static.
“In particular, the federal government should work with the private sector; they should involve key players in the Nigerian economy in the implementation of their various economic policies, to achieve result.
“There are economic experts in the banking, finance, industrial and other sectors that the government can team up with, to improve on the state of our economy, this year,” he admonished.
Balogun also noted that hope was not lost for the Nigerian socio-economic and political growth, as the problems the country was going through were not peculiar to it.
He however said Nigerians must imbibe the culture of placing God first in their activities, as a pre-requisite for attaining greatness.
“Like any growing institution, Nigeria as a country has problems. Why we have not disappeared from the face of the earth is the grace of God.
“We are not infallible, but we should pray for the grace of God to weather the storms. A nation that puts God first will, in turn, grow spiritually and holistically. I’m not talking of numerical growth, but of the growth that comes with socio-political and economic transformation; deriving first, from putting God first.”
He added that religious tolerance and show of love to fellow human beings were the ways to go, in exercising the fear of God.
He recalled that his late father was a Muslim but that he converted to Christianity at the age of 13 while at Igbobi College in Lagos, and that, despite being a Christian, he had always related well with his Muslim family members, friends and associates.
At the thanksgiving service, the octogenarian banker called on everyone to remember that after their sojourn on earth, they would inhabit another world in heaven, and that they would be judged by their earthly performances.
Speaking earlier, the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ijebu Zone, Venerable Wale Omotayo, lauded Balogun for his several contributions in enhancing humanity and in helping the churches to grow.
“We all know how his contributions have raised individuals, the communities and the Church of God, and I urge others to learn from his generosity, fatherly conducts and humility,” Omotayo counseled.
Dignitaries on the occasion include a former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; nonagenarian Afenifere chieftain and statesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; many traditional rulers in Ijebuland, and captains of industry.