A former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Lamido Sanusi is canvassing for the education of the girl-child and believes it is the ‘silver bullet’ to eradicating poverty in Nigeria.
Sanusi spoke on Thursday during The Platform, a programme to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary, aired on Channels Television.
“When you look at a country like Nigeria, my sense is that the focus on the education of the girl-child and the place of the woman, are the most critical SDGs we should focus on,” the economist stated.
“If you educate a girl-child, you deal with a number of issues. You deal with the opportunities you gave to the rise of poverty, you deal with inter-generational poverty, you deal with mortality, you deal with nutrition; you deal with the education of the child because the children of educated women are more likely to be educated than the children of those who did not go to school; you deal with water and sanitation and so on.”
Sanusi explained that education of the girl-child is at the heart of development and raising the standard of living.
“So, the single silver bullet for me, that goes to the heart of underdevelopment and poverty, is educating the girl-child and providing her with an opportunity to raise against poverty,” the 14th Emir of Kano added.
De-emphasis On Merit
He equally lamented that in the country, especially in the public service, there is “a general de-emphasis on merit.”
According to him, there “is obviously a general de-emphasis on merit in our institutions.”
Giving an instance, Sanusi said while the Nigerian constitution mandates each state to produce a minister, “it does not say anything about the qualifications of a minister. It does not say that the minister must be qualified and competent to do the particular job he is given.”
The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan has felicitated with Nigerians on the occasion of its 60th Independence Anniversary.
In his independence statement, the Senate President asked Nigerians to see beyond its challenges stating that Decomcracy is a journey rather than a destination.
“As has been said, democracy is a journey rather than a destination. National development too is always a work in progress that requires the patient and unconditional commitment of all patriots.
“We value our democracy and the rights it confers on us as citizens of a democratic nation. However, the expression of these rights need not be a clog in the wheel of our national unity, peace and development.
“Our democracy is a vehicle for the pursuit of our individual and collective aspirations. We all have roles to play to keep the vehicle roadworthy and fit for purpose”.
Read Full Statement Below:
I heartily felicitate with fellow Nigerians on the occasion of our 60th Independence Anniversary.
While we celebrate the Diamond Jubilee Anniversary of our country as a sovereign nation, the occasion is also auspicious for a sober reflection on the progress that we have made, the challenges that we face, and the future that we desire as a nation.
It is in this sense that I consider the theme for the 60th Independence anniversary, “Together”, as apt.
Indeed, patriotic Nigerians have ample reasons to celebrate the fact that in spite of the clear challenges that the differences in our tongues, modes of worship, and other elements of our diversity pose to nationhood, we have remained Together.
Our national journey may have been tortuous, our progress slow and unsteady, and primordial fears and sentiments may occasionally cast dark clouds over our unity and threaten our resolve to stick together, but if we look at great nations throughout history, we would realise that all such experiences are common features of nation-building.
Some of us may not see the wood for the trees due to some unmet expectations. But a broad perspective of issues will strengthen rather than weaken our aspiration of building a great Nigeria.
Our commitment to the cause of building a nation in which none is oppressed and of which all is proud must therefore remain unshakable.
This cause fired the zeal of our founding fathers and inspired them to make the great sacrifices that they made to bequeath to us our independence.
This cause must remain a proud heritage for the current generation of Nigerians and a baton to pass to future generations.
We should not allow unnecessary magnification of our teething problems by some people to shake our faith in the great destiny of our country.
As has been said, democracy is a journey rather than a destination. National development is always a work in progress that requires the patient and unconditional commitment of all patriots.
We value our democracy and the rights it confers on us as citizens of a democratic nation. However, the expression of these rights need not be a clog in the wheel of our national unity, peace and development.
Our democracy is a vehicle for the pursuit of our individual and collective aspirations. We all have roles to play to keep the vehicle roadworthy and fit for purpose.
On our part as the Legislature, we will continue to provide true representation to the Nigerian people and to strive to make their government work for them. In this regard, the ninth National Assembly is committed to having another look at our constitution, the grundnorm for our co-existence as a nation, with a view to making it a document of the Nigerian people.
Fellow Nigerians should take advantage of this opportunity by taking an active part in the constitutional review process. The overall objective of the periodic amendment of our laws is to make them keep pace with the changes that each epoch requires, strengthen the bond that keeps us together, and to cement peace and progress in our beloved country.
I wish to salute the resilience of the Nigerian workers in the face of the challenges we face as a nation. Organised labour in particular deserves special commendation for the patriotism they exhibited in the management of the recent disagreement over certain policy decisions arising from the reform programme of the government. Such an understanding between the government and the people is always required to move the nation forward.
Finally, as we celebrate our Independence Anniversary, permit me to remind us of the need for us all to continue to be conscious that the Coronavirus pandemic is still very much with us.
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and our health workers at the frontline are working very hard to flatten the curve of the spread of the disease, so we as members of the public must not drop the ball by letting down our guards. Let us abide by the public health safety protocols to avert a second wave of the pandemic.
The Governor of Adamawa State, Umaru Fintiri has congratulated Nigerians on the occasion of commemorating the nation’s Independence Day.
“It is with great pleasure that I extend congratulations to Nigerians on the occasion of the nation’s 60th-anniversary celebrations”.
Governor Fintiri stressed that after two decades of the democratic process, the political class must advance democracy, peace and prosperity through mutual interests based on shared democratic values.
He said, “It is possible to achieve a truly free society rooted in common values in order for democracy to thrive”.
While congratulating the Adamawa people and Nigerians for witnessing the diamond anniversary, Governor Fintiri advised against allowing those challenges threatening the nation’s co-existence, but rather see challenges as possibilities.
The Governor notes that the 2020 anniversary theme “Nigeria @60 together” presents an opportunity for joint efforts to confront the twin crisis of COVID-19 and poverty through deepening capacity cooperation to overcome challenges.
He regretted that these are trying times in Nigerian history and tasks all to endeavour to bring together an ever-divided country.
He said “We fought an unfortunate civil war, been through the cycle of conflicts and crisis and most recently kidnapping and insurgency, but going forward, we must fight obstacles to moving forward the boundaries of freedom, the only danger to the hope that is Nigeria.
“Let’s borrow from our founding fathers and preserve the better Nigeria they have hoped for in our journey to nationhood”.
Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri reassures the people of Adamawa that as a government “We will not fail to liberate our people, to restore material wealth and true essence of democracy and bringing prosperity in our social contract with the people of the state”.
The fresh air Governor believes Adamawa people deserve more after 60 years of self-rule and promised to make a difference within the period of his mandate.
Governor Fintiri said, “We stand ready to help restore the pride of the people, heal the cruel legacies of suspicion, underdevelopment unemployment, poor housing, and inadequate education and security”.
As Nigeria attains 60 years of independence, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has decried the persistent level of insecurity and its attendant consequences on the growth and development in the country.
Governor Sani Bello said the country’s economy as well as the sociopolitical lives of the people will continue to dwindle unless a holistic approach is found to the security challenges and are tackled head-on.
“Security is key, and without it, the country will be struggling and its quest for sustainable development will be a mirage. We have tried as much as we can to support the security agencies, but there are allegations that the security apparatus is been compromised, which is highly regrettable”.
He said the country has the capacity, potentials and wherewithal to be a producer rather than a consumer nation stressing that the nation’s leadership must put her priorities right and build the courage to address all developmental challenges setting the nation back.
The Governor described as unfortunate how the country imports virtually everything adding that it was regrettable to see an oil-producing nation like Nigeria importing fuel while allowing it’s infrastructure to irresponsibly decay.
“The importation of those things we can produce has led us to sustain the industries abroad, and that is why we have found ourselves in this present situation as it were”.
“I hope, at 60, we are able to tell ourselves the bitter truth. We all know what is right and wrong, but we don’t have the courage to confront it. We must open a new chapter towards revitalizing and diversifying our economy and ensure that we invest in the future for our younger generation by resuscitating our moribund, dead industries”.
Governor Sani Bello, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for retracing the development trajectory of the nation and executing policies and programmes that will, in the long run, energize and revitalize the country’s ailing economy.
A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega wants President Muhammadu Buhari’s 60th Independence speech to go beyond talk to implementation.
The former INEC boss spoke on Thursday during a special edition of Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary.
“What is clear is that the speech carries quite a lot of the right things to be said on a day like this. But for me, the critical thing is not what is said but how it is followed up,” Professor Jega noted.
“I think it is important to reflect on the issue of what government needs to do to ensure that when you call upon Nigerians to take pride in Nigeria, there are certain things that encourage and help them to be able to do that.”
While admitting that Nigeria has come a long way in the past six decades, the former lecturer called for caution, insisting that the 60th Independence anniversary should serve as a time for reflection.
‘A Long Way’
“And also, there is no doubt that Nigeria has come a long way in the last 60 years but is also important not to be in a celebratory mood but more to use this period as a period of reflection and contemplation as to what we really want Nigeria to be in the next 60 years,” Jega explained.
Jega said although the country is facing several challenges, Buhari’s Independence speech should trigger those in governance to act upon what was said to inspire confidence in the citizens.
“The key challenge for the government and governance is how to act upon all those things that have been said in order to give people the confidence that really, we are prepared to make the journey of the next 60 years as a united country that we can all take pride in and we can all be happy that our fundamental needs and aspirations would be addressed and satisfied through the process of governance,” the former INEC boss, added.
Ministers at the meeting include the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, among others.
The Federal Government had earlier in September called on Nigerians to submit creative ideas that can brand the anniversary which is themed “Together at 60”.
Nigeria’s Independence is usually celebrated annually on October 1.
See more photos below…
President Muhammadu Buhari delivered a speech after the unveiling. Read the full speech below:
SPEECH BY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI
Today we stand on the threshold of history as we formally begin a series of activities commemorating Nigeria’s Diamond Anniversary. The task history has saddled me with today is to proclaim a theme that will keep us united, help us forge ahead, and unveil a logo that will form the critical pillars, which are eleven months modest commemoration activities will rest on.
Celebrating 60 years of independence really calls for pomp and pageantry, but the global COVID-19 Pandemic, which has forced all nations in the world to think and act differently, has also forced on us the imperative of a low-keyed celebration. Operating within the limitations placed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we created an internet challenge for Nigerians to make a choice from a set of four pre-selected logos that will appropriately define the theme.
Of these four options, Nigerians from all walks of life participated in making a choice and I’m happy to let you know that the logo I will be unveiling is a product of choice from the Nigerian people.
I’m informed that the selected option depicts our togetherness; a country of over 200 million people, whose natural talents, grits, and passion glitter like the precious diamond we are. This to me is a sufficient appreciation to our most precious assets; our people. Everywhere you go, Nigerians are sparkling like diamonds in the pack, whether in academia, business, Innovation, music, movie, entertainment, and culture.
Furthermore, I’m also made aware that the neatly encrusted diamond on the Nigerian map symbolises our age of treasure, the worth of the Nigerian people, who are sparkle to the admiration of the world.
In the same vein, the fair green and the dark green colours should respectively remind us of our warmth, welcoming spirit, and love, as well as the abundant wealth inherent in our human capital and the richness of our land.
All these properties made us, unarguably, the most prosperous black nation in the world and Africa’s largest economy. It is therefore with a deep feeling of national pride and I hereby announce to you that “Together shall we be” shall the theme of our nation’s 60th-anniversary celebration.
Our founding fathers, in spite of differences in faith, tribe, and tongue, came together to fight for Nigeria’s independence. This shall be a befitting tribute to the struggle of our heroes past.
It is to the glory of God and in celebration of the attainment of the diamond age of 60 by our great nation that I hereby unveil the preferred anniversary logo for this momentous occasion in our national history.
At this juncture, let me thank members of the inter-ministerial committee on Nigeria’s 60th-anniversary celebration for the work they have done so far and remind them that this is just the beginning. As we celebrate this anniversary, this government will work towards greater inclusiveness and look forward to the participation of all Nigerians.