An intelligentsia group comprising over 200 Professors, going by the name of Anambra Consultative Forum, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), has thrown its weight in support of the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, the former Governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi.
A press statement made available to newsmen signed by the trio of Prof. E. O. Ezeani, Prof. F. O. Orabueze, and Prof. P. U. Okpoko, President, Secretary and Co-convener respectively, states that Obi’s vice presidential candidacy is the best for the country at a time like this.
They said that having dissected the problems of the country, they found the choice of Obi as apposite. While granting dissenting voices the right to their opinions, they said in other climes, people like Obi would have been begged by search parties to come out and salvage the country.
Justifying their position, they said: “What should be uppermost in our minds now is how to salvage this ailing economy and save Nigeria from total collapse. This demands for a personality with proven competence, remarkable legacies, zeal, pedigree, unwavering commitment and strong desire to serve, which Mr. Peter Obi has in abundance. He is not an idealist, but a pragmatist. He does not only do the talk; he also walks the talk. He also has imposing credentials, borne out of many years of personal development and diligence, to his credit.
“His legacies in Anambra State as former Governor speak volume about his personality. Using an integrated development model and United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Mr. Peter Obi transformed the state tremendously, making it the number one state in the federation in all spheres.”
Recalling Obi’s glorious days in Anambra, the group went on: “He developed a plan of action, eliminated all areas of waste, paid salaries and pension allowances expeditiously, moved the school system to an enviable height, revitalised and upgraded mission hospitals to cutting-edge ones, built roads in all nooks and crannies of the state, improved agricultural production, invested in progressive corporate businesses, incurred no debts and above all, saved a huge chunk of money in local and international currencies, which he handed over to his successor.
“In actual fact, Anambra State under his watch was rated one of the best economies in Africa, in terms of the development indices and income per capita. Anambra State has the best road networks in the country as at today. This explains why the state did not experience any hardship, but paid salaries regularly and met their other financial obligations when Nigeria was in recession, and when many state governors went cap in hand to the federal government for bail out.”
Insisting that the choice of Obi means eliminating leakages and wastes, nipping of corruption in the bud, creation of jobs, provision of infrastructure, among other benefits, the group called on the Igbo nation and Nigeria at large to rally round him and support his choice.
The statement concluded: “ACF is a non-partisan association of Professors of Anambra extraction who work in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. It is a professional body whose intent is to interact and promote development, initiate policy changes through research, advice and consultancy and partner with government and people of Anambra (within Nigeria and in diaspora) to move Anambra State to an enviable level.”
Elumelu receives Doctorate Degree, says ‘We must join hands to lift our young ones from poverty to prosperity’
Tony O. Elumelu, Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation and Chairman, UBA Group and Heirs Holdings, charged everyone to join hands to lift Nigeria’s youth from poverty to prosperity.
He made this statement while receiving an Honorary Doctor of Business (Hon D.B) degree by one of Nigeria’s foremost universities, Bayero University, Kano.
According to the Vice Chancellor, Bayero University, Prof. Muhammad Yahuza Bello, Elumelu’s conferment was in honour of his immense contribution to human capital development across Africa and especially in Northern Nigeria. Through the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Africa’s leading philanthropy empowering entrepreneurship which he founded in 2010, he has empowered 7520 entrepreneurs across Africa; almost 1000 of the entrepreneurs are from Northern Nigeria. In addition to the current beneficiaries, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recently partnered with Tony Elumelu Foundation to empower an additional 1,000 African entrepreneurs from the seven countries in Africa’s Sahel and Lake Chad regions, including the Northern Nigerian region. By the end of 2019, total beneficiaries of the Tony Elumelu Foundation will be 8,520.
In his acceptance speech, Elumelu emphasized the importance of collaboration between the public and private sector to create more jobs on the continent. According to him, “Our young people need jobs that governments and big corporates alone cannot provide. By promoting entrepreneurship, creating favourable policies and building infrastructure to help these entrepreneurs, we enable them to create jobs, and become employers of labour”.
Elumelu commended the declaration made by the President of Nigeria, H.E President Muhammadu Buhari on Nigeria’s Democracy Day to lift 100million lives out of poverty. He stated that job creation and entrepreneurship will help to achieve this goal.
Elumelu said: “There are a variety of ways to lift 100 million citizens from poverty, but two stand out. We can increase the number of jobs in the economy or we can create more opportunities for our young entrepreneurs to transform their ideas into small businesses that employ labour.”
He added: “By promoting entrepreneurship, creating favourable policies and building infrastructure to help these entrepreneurs, we enable them to create jobs, and become employers of labour”.
Elumelu has been an active advocate for entrepreneurship as the key to catalysing the economic development of Africa. He has achieved this through empowering African entrepreneurs in the Tony Elumelu Foundation’s flagship Entrepreneurship Programme. In 2010, Elumelu and his family committed $100million to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs in 10 years Half-way through the commitment, he has empowered 7,520 African entrepreneurs across 54 African countries who have received $5,000 non-refundable seed capital, access to mentors and an intensive 12-week business training; a commitment which the President in his address said enviably complements some of the government-led initiatives aimed at enhancing the capital base of small businesses.
During the conferment, the Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies, Bayero University, Professor Umar Pate commended Elumelu’s commitment to lifting young Africans out of poverty. In his citation he spoke of Elumelu as “an illustrious son of Africa that has excelled at home and abroad, an economist that has empowered countless people through job creation and philanthropy, and a symbol of the African spirit of hope.”
Elumelu ended his speech by speaking on the importance of gender inclusion and a focus on quality healthcare and education to develop the over 60% of Africa’s population – the youth. “For Africa to avert a demographic catastrophe, and achieve sustainable growth, we must support gender inclusion, education, healthcare and entrepreneurship,” he said. “National prosperity can only come from widespread economic empowerment. This empowerment will come from inclusion, education, healthcare, and entrepreneurship.”
Other awardees were Senator Bello Hayatu-Gwarzo, LLD, Dr. Folake Solanke, the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria, LLD and Prof. Abdulkadir Dangambo. Guests at the ceremony included HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Emir of Kano; H.E. General Yakubu Gowon, Former Head of State; Chief Alfred Papapreye Diete-Spiff, Chancellor Bayero University Kano; H.E. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje OFR, Governor of Kano State; and the visiting Vice Chancellors from over 25 Nigerian universities.
Presidency must shift to Southwest in 2023 – Senate President
Senate President Ahmed Lawan says power shift to the South-west in 2023 is the best honour that can be bestowed on the late Chief MKO Abiola.
Lawan stated this in Yola, Adamawa State, in an interview with journalists.
He, therefore, advised President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the APC, to take a step further by handing over the 2023 presidential ticket to the South-west.
“The president and indeed our party must beware of divisive elements who are now proponents of retaining power in the north beyond 2023,” Lawan said.
He added, “I have said it before and I believe that 2023 presidential ticket of the APC must go to the South-west. Since I made this comment last time, some members of my party have been hatching a plot to suspend me from the party but I am not moved and I will still hold my ground that power must go to the west.
“June 12 Democracy Day is a milestone in Nigeria’s history and anyone who embraces democracy in Nigeria should be proud of what Buhari has done and it takes so much courage to do.
“So many Nigerian leaders have shied away from talking or acting about it because of the controversy arising from the date and fear of being scandalized but this is what Nigerians want, respect, rule of law and honour for those who fought and bled for democracy and that is what Nigerians should remember as significant for this date.
“It was not marked to spite or contradict anyone but to celebrate the common value we share in the belief in democracy as the best form of government that would serve this country and its people. And Buhari must be praised for this day,” he told Sahara Reporters.
On whether the day is widely acceptable, he said, “I don’t think Nigerians rejected it in any way, on the contrary, it has been welcomed with huge applause across party and regional divides.”
Bauchi govt to launch agricultural policy document
Bauchi State Government is set to launch an Agricultural Policy Document to ensure smooth agricultural production in the state.
The State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed disclosed this on Saturday at the official launching of the 2019 farming season and sales of Fertilizer held at Zaki Local Government Area of the state.
Governor Mohammed who announced the sales of the fertilizer at a cost of Five thousand, five hundred naira per bag, noted that funds has been released to Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to provide six thousand metric tons of the fertilizer.
He said in order to meet the fertilizer demand of farmers, the Ministry of Agriculture and BASAC was been directed to ensure the availability of the commodities across the 20 local government areas.
The Governor said the sales of the fertilizer was part of the determination of his administration towards the provision of agricultural inputs to farmers in line with his campaign promises.
According to him, agricultural sector has remained a vibrant sector which has the potentials of providing raw materials to industries and empowerment opportunities to unemployed youth.
Governor Mohammed applauded the peaceful coexistence among farmers and herdsmen in the state and assured of his support to them.
In a key note address, the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dr Bala Lukshi said significant improvement in agricultural productivity and efficiency would no doubt address unemployment and assist towards poverty reduction in the state.
The Permanent Secretary while disclosing some of the agricultural intervention programmes introduced by the Ministry, observed that agriculture remained the mainstay of economy and major employer of labor.
Dr Bala Lukshi therefore appealed for the immediate government action on the outbreaks of qualia birds, army worms and stem borer in the crop sector in order to address the challenges affecting the sector.
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