‘We should remain ardent patriots in spite of challenges’
Nigerians have been advised to look beyond the current challenges confronting and count the numerous achievements the country has made with the hope for a better future. These were the affirmations made at Posterity Media Symposium held recently at the University of Lagos. The symposium is aimed at creating avenue for extensive discussion on the issues affecting Nigeria and proffering solutions to them.
With the theme ‘Nigeria at 58: Counting the Political and Economic Gains: Looking Back, Looking Forward,’ this year’s edition focused on the various feats Nigeria has made since independence. It also afforded the audience opportunity to voice out their individual concerns about the country.
It had in attendance Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Muda Yusuf, who was represented by Mr. Afolabi Akinola, Mr. Williams Adah, Innovations Manager, BudglT Lab, Mr. Abel Akeni, and HOD, Mass Communication, University of Lagos, Prof. Abigail Ogwezzy, alongside some secondary school students.
While addressing guests, Publisher/CEO, Posterity Media, Mr. O’Femi Kolawole, said the essence of the colloquium was to educate Nigerians on the need to stop being pessimists and over-dependence on government for everything. According to him, a nation depends on the individual efforts of her citizens to develop and so every hand must be on deck to push the nation forward.
“It is true that we have not seen our desired dreams,” he said. “It is true that some of the structures of our country are not enabling. It is also true that we have lost hope for a better future. However, I must let you all know that we all are stakeholders in this nation. Our collective effort is what will fuel the nation to our promised land. As we prepare for the 2019 general elections, it is important we look back at our numerous achievements, hence the theme for today. Let us look beyond our failures, but take comfort in our gains which will propel us to a greater height.”
Similarly, Mr. Akinola enjoined the audience to fan the flame of the founding fathers of the nation by maintaining the nation’s values and heritage. He regretted that Nigeria’s situation is not a palatable one but called for relentless patriotism in overcoming the challenges.
“Some eminent personalities, irrespective of their backgrounds, fought for our independence,” he stated. “They suffered, toiled day and night and even died in making sure that we were liberated. Their patriotism could be seen by all and it was a genuine one. Although the nation is passing through a sorry state even though we have invested a lot in it, it should not deter us from remaining ardent patriots. As individuals, we should put our country first. It is not all loss for us. We have achieved what other countries dream of. Therefore, let us quit the lamentations but pray and work for a brighter tomorrow.”
Akinola also admonished the government to invest in data capturing so as to reduce the incidence of manipulated polling system and also checkmate potential criminal activities, adding, “Nigeria must invest in accurate and credible data capturing system. If we do this, it will reduce corruption, enforce the supremacy of the law and eradicate the advancement of illiterates as political aspirants.”
On his own part, Mr. Akeni advised government to invest in the local industry by partnering with institutions and inventors to raise locally made products to a global standard. According to him, most Nigerian inventors are passionate to put forward benefiting products but are always discouraged by lack of support from the government and the inferiority complex tag from Nigerians.
“There are thousands of Nigerians who are so creative that they produce amazing products,” he stated. “The so-called foreign inventors are seen as local in their respective countries. But they enjoyed the support of their governments.
Reverse is the case here, as our government does not support them. Each year, about N100 billion is allocated for research and project but very little of this amount trickles down to what is meant for, thereby resulting to production of inferior goods.
There should be collaboration between the government agencies and educational institutions so they can cash in on the unique inventions of the students and raise them to a higher level.”
Mr. Adah called for a national vision and re-orientation of values if the nation is to move forward, adding, “Problems predate situations that can turn to opportunities. For us to succeed, we need to have a national vision irrespective of our political affiliations. Corruption must be looked at with utmost derision by all and we must have a standard educational structure that would impact positively on the minds of our future leaders.”
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