Alhaji Gbadamosi Ambaliu Adewoga, an entrepreneur, ex-naval officer and philanthropist in this interview with BAYO ALADE speaks on the nation’s economy, the administration of Governor Ibikunle Amosun and his philanthropic gestures.
IN less than a year after this government came into office Nigerian officially went into recession. As a business man and entrepreneur, this must have been affecting business and there is no end in sight. What do you think could be done to turn things around?
Government is a continuum. Even if ex president Goodluck Jonathan had not left office, there would still be recession as the economy had not been well-planned. The bane of our development as a country is corruption, which the present government is fighting. It is an act of selfishness for a person to accumulate wealth that is enough for a country to survive on. Corrupt Nigerians don’t know when to stop accumulating wealth. Even after accumulating such wealth, they don’t invest it in the country to benefit the economy. I believe the anti-corruption war should be pursued to tame corrupt politicians, to serve as deterrent to others with such evil potentials.
Duplication of political offices should also be discouraged. This is evident in the clamour in several quarters for the creation of new states. This is not what we need, when existing governments cannot even settle their bills. Government should find a way of generally cutting down on expenses. This will curb wastes and such money sowed can be ploughed back into the economy. Also we should not rely on imported products, but patronise home-made goods.
Government must also fix our refineries in order to refine our crude locally. If we do this, it would go a long way to turn things around and create wealth.
You are an indigene of Ogun State. Though the recession is affecting all states of the federation, what is your impression about the state looking back a few years and going forward?
I am not a politician and sincerely to the best of my knowledge, the present administration is trying its best in the area of infrastructure. I have to be factual here. Despite that, the whole community of Ilisan is still in dire need of basic infrastructure. I want to call on Senator Ibikunle Amosun-led government to come to our aid in Ilisan, especially the road that links us with Ago-Iwoye. This will open up the community in terms of agriculture and also its boost economy in tandem with other communities. The initiative of the Amosun led government to flag off model schools is commendable. Public Schools should be well-structured in such a way to compete with the private ones so that a maximum level of literacy would be achieved. When teachers work without strike, nobody will think of going to private schools, talk less of private universities.
As a philanthropist, you recently built and donated a Doctors’ Quarters to the community Hospital in Ilisan Remo. What was the reason behind it?
I give thanks to God for all the achievements I have recorded in my life. As a good muslim, I believe one must help the needy, the poor and by extension, give back to the community. I am not the richest man in Ilisan, I am only privileged to be part of them. No matter what I do anywhere else, it cannot be more than the one I do for my town, Ilisan Remo; it is my base. I grew up there and all my life preparation originated from there. I regard it as the best, because, I think whatever I become is just a payback to Ilisan. my root.
At 66, I don’t think I want to have any political ambition. My military orientation does not allow for any political ambition. I face what I believe in. I tell the truth all the time and I hate exploitation and I don’t want to start what I cannot finish. In a nutshell, I am doing this only for the good of the community. I don’t have any political ambition; it is rather too late for me to do so. If I was interested, I would have started years back.
Sincerely, I will continue in my own little way to pay back to my community. This is what I was brought up to do. All my life, people helped me in one way or the other to become what I am today. I have a priority and obligation to do as much as I can for my community so that the society can improve.
I have been involved in building a crèche and maternity ward before the new Doctors Quarters. Due to inadequate number of doctors and the need to create a facility that will attract them to this community, that’s why I decided to embark on building the quarters. I have done this in the hope that when others that are more endowed see the gesture, they can also join and do bigger and better projects than I have done. I am also grateful for the recognitions that have come my way for the little contributions I have made to the development of the community.