Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that Nigeria can produce the highest quality individuals to run the most efficient governments and private institutions if the right values of hard work, honesty, integrity, among others are taught and imbibed.
He stated this on Tuesday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, while delivering the Centenary Lecture of Baptist Boys’ High School (BBHS).
The VP, who spoke on the topic, ‘Values: the difference between success and failure’, Osinbajo urged that an ethical revolution is necessary to fast-track the country’s development towards becoming a great nation indeed.
According to the VP, there is a need for a national consensus, especially among the political, religious and business elite in accepting and implementing minimum ethical standards, “where we establish a national work ethic, of honesty, hardwork, thrift and the deferment of gratification”.
“It is what is taught and learned that shapes the character of individuals and nations. But it is not just teaching, governments must lead this ethical revolution, by rewarding ethical behaviour and ensuring speedy punishment for misconduct,” the VP said according to a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.
“The religious elite must reinforce the ethical direction agreed by showing that wealth, and influence are built by hardwork, diligence and the deferment of gratification and not just by miracles.
“The religious elite must also reject and ostracize public officers and persons whose wealth cannot be explained or is clearly from shady or suspicious sources. Every modern society has had to deal with corruption, and enthrone minimum ethical standards to succeed, we must do the same.”
The Vice President, referencing the earlier section of the ceremony where the Commemorative Centennial Obelisk with the names of the distinguished centennials inscribed upon it was unveiled, observed that the same values of integrity, hard work and trustworthiness are what makes individuals, institutions and nations great.
He said, “The difference between men and women who attain significance and those who do not is values. So, it is also the case that the difference between successful societies or countries and failed or failing countries is values.”
Defining values as ethical principles by which individuals and communities live, work and interact, including honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, perseverance, hard work, diligence, discipline, respect, etc., the Vice President emphasised that “it is values that determine the success or failure of individuals or societies.”
He stated that “every one of the great and successful economies of the world share the same characteristics, they emphasise hardwork, integrity”.
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