*Says The AUTHORITY has done extremely well
*Seeks honour for Humphrey Nwosu over June 12
By Chika Otuchikere
Nigeria’s socio-political and economic challenges came to the front burner on Thursday in Abuja at The AUTHORITY second Annual Award for Good Governance.
The guest speaker and President-General of the pan-Igbo group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, declared that Nigeria is currently at a crossroads and in dire need of a new direction.
Nwodo told the audience at the event held at the Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers, that The AUTHORITY since its inception, “has performed extremely well by living up to the objectives for which it was set up”.
Nwodo, a former Minister of Information, however took a swipe at the nation’s education sector and revealed a published report on ranking of World Educational Systems which showed that of the nearly 40 countries assessed, none in Africa was found worthy of assessment.
Another study the erudite guest speaker made allusion to was the Higher Education world University Ranking with a list of 15 best Universities in Africa. While South Africa had six, Egypt three and Morocco two, Nigeria, the presumed giant of Africa, had only one, placed at number 14th on the list of 15 universities.
Furthermore, Nwodo listed the trend of growth of global resources and the ten leading companies in 2006. From the data, the leaders were dominated by Energy and Information Technology companies, in contrast with the figure of 2016, which was dominated by IT companies and concluded that the trend in growth is traceable to education.
“Education has given rise to newer and cheaper ways of production, newer and competitive production, and optimal efficiency of management and gargantuan growth of wealth.
“Quality education is a function of good teachers, good teaching methods, and recognition of talents, level playing field and responsible governance,” he said.
The erudite speaker proffered three things Nigerians must do to reverse the current trend which has not helped the nation’s growth and they include “speak to power; by criticizing government constructively and offering alternatives suggestions which are not inimical to promotion of national cohesion.
“We must offer ourselves to serve; the quality of those in government determines the quality of governance.
“Get your PVC and use it wisely. You do not deserve to complain if you do not vote. You are part of our problem if you do not vote. You are greater part of the problem if you do not vote wisely,” he said.
On the performance of The AUTHORITY he said; “AUTHORITY Newspaper in its mission statement claims to be anchored in Truth and Justice, to be the voice of the voiceless and to give news a human face by focusing on issues that affect the ordinary Nigerian. So far, they have done extremely well in living up to these objectives. I congratulate them”.
In his opening remarks, the chairman of the occasion Chief Dr. Simon Nsobundu Okeke, congratulated the chairman of The AUTHORITY Newspaper, Chief Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, for the foresight and determination to forge ahead in setting up the newspaper in the midst of a turbulent environment.
He urged successful businessmen and women especially from the “over the Niger”, to take a cue from Dr. Ubah to set up more newspaper houses, like The AUTHORITY, to help in educating, and informing our people better than hitherto”.
The chairmen also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for changing the country’s Democracy Day from May 29th, to June 12, saying that May 29 is a sad reminder to some sections of Nigeria of the first wave of pogrom.
He called on the president to come up with a second bold step in accepting that June 12 would not have been possible without the dogged determination displayed by the then electoral umpire, Prof. Humphrey Nwosu, who he said, risked his life to ensure the success of that election.
He said Prof. Nwosu deserves to be honoured for his gallantry.