SDGs: Nigeria to mobilise NYSC members, 17 iconic leaders to champion implementations at grassroots, President Buhari tells UN meeting.
Nigeria will engage the services of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members across the country and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Ambassadors to champion the implementation of SDGs 2030 at the grassroots, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
The President spoke Friday at the virtual inaugural SDGs Moment, convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, during the high-level week of the 75th UN General Assembly.
In his video message to the meeting, President Buhari provided an update on SDG progress in the country, setting out Nigeria’s vision for the next decade in fighting poverty, combating illicit financial flows and ensuring economic recovery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
”Our National Assembly has established Committees on Sustainable Development Goals.
”The National Youth Service Corps Scheme is also ensuring that Nigerian graduates actively participate in SDGs implementation processes by serving as SDGs champions at the grassroots.
”Going forward, we will invigorate the Goal achievement process at the grassroots by engaging the services of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals Ambassadors we appointed to support our efforts at the national level.
”We will also encourage more sub-national authorities to appoint and train SDGs Champions,” he said.
Re-affirming Nigeria’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other Internationally Agreed Development Goals, President Buhari told the meeting that anti-corruption institutions have been strengthened to enable the administration effectively combat illicit financial flows and recover proceeds.
Acknowledging that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic had threatened to derail the progress in achieving SDGs, the President said Nigeria is addressing the threat by re-dedicating efforts towards economic diversification, focusing on agriculture and the mining sectors.
According to him: ”Nigeria has made good strides in SDGs domestication processes, as we have commenced the re-alignment of the National Statistical System with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs.
”We have developed a novel home-grown ‘Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Model, as an analytical framework for assessing how policy making can better address the indivisible nature of the Sustainable Development Goals.
”Nigeria has also set up a Model Private Sector Advisory Group and an SDGs Donors’ Forum with a view to engaging critical stakeholders towards the attainment of the SDGs”.
The President recalled that Nigeria presented its second Voluntary National Review on SDGs to the UN High-Level Political Forum in July 2020.
According to the President, ”the second Voluntary National Review highlighted our efforts to meet SDGs targets on the critical issues of poverty and an inclusive economy; health and well-being; education and gender equality; enabling environment of peace and security; and partnerships.”
He noted that these targets were based on current development priorities, as captured in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020), as well as the Medium Term National Development Plan (2020-2025).
President Buahri also used the occasion of his address to pledge Nigeria’s commitment to mainstreaming the SDGs into subsequent development plans.
Setting out Nigeria’s vision for the Decade of Action, the President pledged that the country will implement unique initiatives such as the re-aligned National Statistical System to effectively track and monitor the implementation of the SDGs on annual basis.
”The Nigeria Integrated SDG simulation Model to support the domestication of the Planning Model across the 36 states; the Integrated National Financing Frameworks for SDGs; the scaled-up National Social Investment Programme to reach more poor and vulnerable Nigerians in line with our commitment to lift 100 Million people out of Poverty within a 10-year period; and the engaging of all segments of the society for the achievement of the SDGs,” the Nigerian leader said.
The statement was made available today by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity.
According to the statement issued today by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, in which President Buhari declared that: “Nigeria most prosperous BLACK nation in the world.” Adesina said:
“Unveiling the theme and logo for the commemorative activities to celebrate 60 years of independence, President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Abuja described Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, as the most prosperous black nation in the world.
Nigeria at 60 theme, TOGETHER, with the logo was projected and unveiled virtually on the 12 by 20 feet screen at the Council Chambers, before the commencement of the e-Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Buhari.
The President performed the exercise in the presence of some cabinet ministers and other members of the council who joined the meeting online.
”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 our 11-month modest commemorative activities would rest on.
”Celebrating sixty years of independence really calls for pomp, but the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced all nations in the world to think and act differently, has also foisted 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 would appropriately define the theme.
”Of these four options, Nigerians from all walks of life participated in making a choice and I am happy to let you know that the logo I would be unveiling is a product of choice from the Nigerian people,” President Buhari said.
Speaking further on the logo, the President declared:
”The selected option depicts our togetherness, a country of over 200 million people whose natural talent, grit and passion glitter like the precious DIAMOND we are.
”This, to me, is a special appreciation to our most precious asset – our people. Everywhere you go, Nigerians are sparkling like diamonds in the pack, whether in academia, business, innovation, music, movie, entertainment, fashion and culture.
”Furthermore, the neatly encrusted Diamond on the Nigerian Map symbolizes our age of treasure, the worth of the Nigerian people with our sparkle to the admiration of the world.
‘‘In the same vein, the pear green and 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 make us unarguably the most prosperous black nation in the world and Africa’s largest economy.’’
“On the theme of TOGETHER, President Buhari recounted that the country’s founding fathers, in spite of the differences in faith, tribe and tongue came together to fight for Nigeria’s independence.
‘‘This shall be a befitting tribute to the struggles of our heroes past,’’ he said.
The President thanked members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Nigeria’s Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration for the work they have done so far, reminding them ‘‘that this is just the beginning.’’
President Buhari pledged that his government would work towards greater inclusiveness and look forward to the participation of all Nigerians in the celebration.” He concluded.
Islam is a religion which according to the prophet Muhammad (SAW) started with the creation of Prophet Adam, the first man (Human being) to be created by God (Allah) but the same religion found itself around 570 AD with the coming or prophet hood of Muhammad in Arabia, to be precise in Makkah and letter Madinah which served as the first Islamic City. and the followers of Islam are referred to as Muslims, Islam is practiced by more than one billion people in the world and it recognises God the creator, prophet Muhammed as his messenger and the Quran as God’s final words or massage to mankind. The Muslims usually greet themselves with the phrase, Assamu’ Alaikum (peace be upon you) .
However, despite how popular Islam is in the world and the huge number of their worshippers, There is a country in Europe were Islam is not recognized as a religion, has no single mosque and has the toughest laws against Islam in the entire Europe. Below is what you need to know about this country and their hatred for Islam, not withstanding their claim for freedom of thought, conscience or religion among others.
Slovakia is a country in central Europe, it has a population of over 5.4 million people, with 75.9% Christians, 13.4% irreligion and 0.5% others. One thing that terrified me about Slovakia is that Islam is not recognize as a religion and it has no single mosque in the country.
On 30th November, 2016, The Slovakia nation passed a law to totally block Islam from gaining official status as a religion in the country, making it the only country within the European Union (EU) without any mosque despite having the population of over 5,000 Muslims in the country.
Since Islam is not officially recognized as a religion in Slovakia and have no mosque, the Muslims do not receive any financial aid from the government as done other faiths. Hence during Friday or Eid prayers (Sallah) the few Muslims in the country meet in small apartments which serve them as prayer hall and place for religious studies.
Moreover, failing to recognize Islam as a religion means, islamic leaders and Islamic marriages are not recognized, no school is allowed to teach thier student about Islamic faith, thereby denying the students knowledge concerning the historical presence of Muslim in Slovakia.
Why was the law passed
Slovakia politicians sees islam as a “serious threat” due to how mistakenly islam usually get associated with terrorism. With series of terrorist attack in Europe hands keeps pointing at the Muslims as the perpetrators of such act.
However, this made the Prime Minister of Slovakia, Robert Fico to officially block Islam saying “I am sorry Islam has no place in Slovakia. Its a duty to every politician to talk about these things very clearly and openly, I do not wish there we’re ten thousands of Muslims”.
Corruption: A Parasite That Retards Collective National Development – Mukhtar Garba Kobi
It is unarguable true that the problem of corruption has being in existence since time immemorial. Corruption is frequent in each and every society and it happens almost everyday. It has several shapes as well as various effects but that varies from one society to another, it deals with subverting public fund, etiolating morals, defalcating staff’s benefits, absurdifying tax & fines, political misconduct and decadences in spheres of human endeavours.
The wound of corruption has eaten deep down the flesh and melted in veins of fellow countrymen. It usually starts from home between husband and wife, mother and children, down to entire society. It generates a lack of transparency and a lack of control by supervisory institutions, corruption paves way for a non transparent functioning of social, political and economic sectors.
Corruption is the dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in position of power or followers which typically involves bribery. According to Morris (1991), corruption can be seen as the illegitimate use of power to benefit a private interest. It also entails offering of bribe to an official so that the truth of a situation will be hidden. It covers the embezzlement of public funds for personal use, giving a token to scale a course by students, offering some amount to skip paying actual fine to security agents and any act that is considered to be criminal in nature which is contrary to the laws enshrined by code or constitution. In 2001, Nigeria was ranked the second most corrupt nation in the world out of 91 countries, second only to Bangladesh.
Recently in 2019, Transparency International ranked Nigeria as 146th out of 180 countries surveyed on corruption with 26% corruption index. This reveals that level of corruption has mercilessly stabbed Nigeria deep to a state of unending stupor.
Furthermore, corruption retards economic growth of a country, slows down business operation, blocks employment opportunities and halts investors from foreign countries in investing. The wider society is persuaded when the gravity of corruption is high, the executive arm of government tends to not bring policies and programmes for development, judiciary will then be chocked with angry and money egocentric judges which makes citizens lose confidence in them.
The legislative arm can then be taciturn and passive by not passing bills that could reduce burdens and dilapidated infrastructures. The level of corruption in Nigeria hurts a lot of people as money which supposed to be used in purveying developmental projects to better lives is channeled into the pockets of selected few.
The sad part of it is that the current Nigerian government and the ruling party turned to redemption camp; where corrupt labeled politicians absquatulate to it, then those charges on them are being dropped unquestionably.
The stain of corruption did not spare anti-graft agencies that are saddled with the responsibilities of antagonizing corruption, as the former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Ibrahim Lamurde was accused of fraudulently diverting one trillion naira recovered from corrupt convicts by the commission (Adeyemi, 2016). Recently, the embattled Acting Chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu was also accused of corruption, diversion of recovered loots, insubordination and abuse of office which led to his unexpected suspension as the Acting Chairman of the commission. This is unimaginable as those appointed to fight corruption in the country are also found to be guilty of the same problem they are suppose to be fighting for.
Laconically, corrupt related malfeasance varies from one country to another, in most developing countries; the cases of corruption are usually common. Some causes of corruption includes GREED which has led to major crisis in almost all developing countries and in Nigeria in particular; Leaders that garnered too much wealth still quest to remain on power because their money ego is insatiable.
Secondly, UNEMPLOYMENT; Youth that are the strength of the nation are unemployed, the hike of idleness triggers many into internet fraud (cybercrime), sexual harassment by male managers in companies in order to reinstate female staff.
Thirdly, POVERTY; According to international standard, which states that a person is said to be poor when he or she lives under $1.25 (which is equivalent to N475) per day, poverty has pushed many into thuggery, cybercrime, and other heinous acts in order to better their lives.
In fact, corruption is a multidimensional process, it benefits the giver of the bribe, the receiver and both are aware of the consequences while others are doing it unknowingly.
Some countries have recorded great success in dealing with corruption, such that anyone caught the repercussion is to be liquidated or life imprisonment.
There are several ways to curb corruption and they includes; Reinforcement of moral compass in which government should help parents in by rewarding honest citizens whether adults or teenagers, also by declaring free education, free healthcare, taking under age persons that are found guilty to rehabilitation homes, etc.
Similarly, leaders can help in fighting corruption by serving as good example to citizens; this can be achieved by judiciously applying stipulated punishment to anyone irrespective of whoever he or she is. Thirdly, making anti-graft agencies or commissions independent from government control, by giving them the wherewithal to charge all whether in ruling or opposition parties.
Lastly, citizens should be allowed to have access to information concerning country’s finance, this will help in enhancing accountability.
In conclusion, if these steps are sternly taken and applied the preponderant cases of corruption would be eradicated and lastly become history.
The Nigerian President is different things to different people, depending on the prism from which he is being considered. To some people, Muhammadu Buhari is a father figure. At 77 years old, he qualifies. To some others, he’s the greatest crowd pulling politician the country has seen for some time, and may yet see for a long time to come. True. And yet, to some others, he’s the strict man of discipline and integrity, who sets his face as flint against all forms of graft and avarice. Very true.
President Buhari is all these, and even more. But how does the international community see him? How do leaders of other countries, and people of weight and reckoning see the man who is a gift to the Nigerian nation?
For those of us who travel with the President round the world, it is sheer delight to see how the Nigerian Leader is venerated, and held in high esteem by the international community. Never to be forgotten are the words of the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, when he met with President Buhari at the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States of America, in September, 2019.
Inviting the Nigerian President to Euro-African Forum that his country was to host, de Sousa said: “Please come and declare the event open, even if it’s for half a day. We have been waiting for you to visit for three years. Many African leaders have come, but we want Nigeria.”
Truly, President Buhari is that Nigerian Leader that is in demand not just in the West African sub-region, where his colleagues virtually compelled him to be Chairman of Ecowas in July 2018, in Africa, where he was made Champion of Anti-Corruption by the African Union (AU), and in the uttermost parts of the world.
One of his earliest international visits was to America in July 2015, just two months after assumption of office for the first term. He was guest of the then American President, Barack Obama, who said of him during a bilateral meeting at the Oval Office:
“President Buhari came into office with a reputation for integrity and a very clear agenda, and that is to make sure that he is bringing safety and security, and peace to his country.”
In September of 2016, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, President Obama said of the Nigerian President again: “I am very pleased that we have been able to build a very strong working relationship with President Buhari, and he’s come in and initiated some very bold efforts at reform. “On the security front, because of President Buhari’s leadership, he has been able to reform the Nigerian military.”
What of President Donald Trump, who succeeded Obama in office? At a meeting during an official visit by the Nigerian Leader in April, 2018, he declared: “I especially want to thank President Buhari for Nigeria’s partnership and leadership in the fight against terrorism. He’s been a real leader.”
And never to be forgotten is that meeting between Presidents Obama, Buhari, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, during the Nuclear Summit in America in May, 2016. President Obama introduced the Nigerian President to Trudeau, saying; “Have you met President Buhari? He’s doing a good job.”
Every good Nigerian felt proud of his President round the world, at that endorsement.
Let’s go back in time to London, May 2016. The Queen of England had just turned 90, and after a thanksgiving service, she was in conversation with the then Prime Minister David Cameron, and Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. It was in the build up to a summit on corruption that London was hosting, and unknown to Cameron, a microphone was picking their conversation. He said: “Actually, we have got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain. Nigeria and Afghanistan- possibly two of the most corrupt countries in the world.”
But the Archbishop interjected, talking of Buhari. “But this President is not corrupt.” Another fine moment in praise of integrity.
President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China: “Under the leadership of Your Excellency, the Nigerian people have been committed to safeguarding the nation’s stabilization, development of economy, and elevation of livelihood and achieved gratifying outcomes.”
At another time, President Jinping said: “ President Buhari is as decisive in dealing with terrorism as China.”
Thabo Mbeki, former South African President: “Here you have a person whose principle and practice is hostile to corruption. His detention (in 1985) was not for corruption, but for standing against corruption.”
Dame Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth: “Nigeria’s effort to combat corruption has been awe-inspiring. Thank you, Mr President.”
And Rex Tillerson, then American Secretary of State: “President Buhari’s work has resonated across Africa with his recent recognition as the African Union’s anti-corruption champion.” That was in March, 2018.
How about a fellow African leader, Dr Hage Geingob, President of Namibia? “A brave son of Africa is here, who has declared war against corruption.”
Many other testimonials trail President Buhari from different parts of the world, but this piece won’t be complete without mentioning the inspiring words of the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, about Nigeria’s exploits against the global plague, Covid-19. And it was all under the leadership of President Buhari.
“Nigeria is a developing country that has shown a remarkable capacity to respond to the Coronavirus… I was quite impressed to see, for instance, Nigeria putting in place and immediately establishing a hospital. And I saw difficulties in countries that are much more developed to do quickly the same.”
Of a truth, Nigeria is blessed to have President Buhari at a time like this. His footprints are surely already left on the sands of time. Indelibly.
…………………………….. PRINCE JULIUS ADELUSI-ADELUYI: CELEBRATING AN AFENIFERE AT 80 His reputation had preceded him for many decades before I got to meet Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi one-to-one, sometime in 2008.
He had been many outstanding things, recorded many firsts, and established a reputation as man for all seasons. Founder of the first company (Juli Pharmacy) promoted by a Nigerian to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. First Governor of Rotary Club covering the entire country. When he decided to add a law degree to his original calling as a pharmacist, he came first in law school, despite not being exactly a young man then. First pharmacist to be named Minister of Health in the country. And for me, who lived in Usi-Ekiti when my father was principal at Notre Dame College in the early 1970s, the first Ekiti man who wouldn’t eat pounded yam three times a day. In fact, he does not like pounded yam at all.
That day we first met at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos, where we had both been invited to the front table during a book launch, I branded the renowned pharmacist in my mind as an Afenifere, though I don’t know if he’s actually a member, or active in the Yoruba socio-cultural and political group, which goes by that name.
Who can you really call an Afenifere? Anybody that looks out for your good, and wants to promote it, not necessarily a politician.
As we sat together, Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi extracted my life history from me within minutes. When I told him I was Executive Director in charge of Publications at The Sun Newspapers, he was astounded.
“Executive Director? But you are too young to be one,” he exclaimed. I laughed, and told him many senior positions I’d held before then. Editor of National Concord. Visiting member of the editorial board at Nigerian Tribune. Editor of Daily Sun for five years.
Prince wondered how it all happened, with what he called my “boyish looks.” I told him it was photo trick, and that many decades were already tucked in my belt.
That was how a father-son relationship started, which has seen me visiting his home many times, and meeting his dear wife, Julia, who never ceases to “load me with benefits” each time I’m leaving. Incidentally, both don’t look their ages, and carry on like boyfriend and girlfriend.
When Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi turned 70, I wrote a piece celebrating him in Daily Sun. All too soon, it’s 10 years after, and he turns 80 on Sunday, August 2, 2020. Hearty congratulations to this caring soul, who is always asking after your family, your welfare, and the next steps, when you finish what you are currently involved in. An Afenifere, if ever there was one.
On that very first meeting, as we departed the NIIA after the book launch, he pulled me aside, and in a conspiratorial tone, asked:”And how are the girls,” with a wink. I got the hint, and responded: “No away games sir.” We both laughed.
Anytime we meet today, whether in Abuja, or at his Lagos home, he never forgets that question, and the wink. And I try to assure him that I try to be just like him. We laugh.
In his early life, the Ado-Ekiti Prince had been a broadcaster at WNBS/WNTV. If you hear him speak today, you will know that what is bred in the bones cannot go out through the flesh. Urbane in all ways.
I’m glad President Muhammadu Buhari has celebrated “the accomplished pharmacist, lawyer and boardroom player” with a personal letter, as he turns 80. May we have more men in this mould. But sadly, they don’t seem to make them like this anymore. Congratulations, Prince. In okun o, as the Ekitis would say.
Adesina is the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity.
Daily Watch Press gathered from a report from OJB Sports about a possible unification bout between, Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury to have agreed to a deal to fight two times in 2021, says Promoter Eddie Hearn. Both boxers who are the current holders of the heavyweight belts, have agreed financial terms for a showdown.
Joshua regained his WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO title from Andy Ruiz Jr who broke his unbeaten record last year. Fury the unbeaten WBC champion’s reputation has soared high due to his giant personality and resounding defeat of American Deontay Wilder.
Fury updated a video via his Twitter; “The biggest fight in British boxing history has just been agreed. Get in there my boy!”
The detail of the clash is yet to be made official, but no doubt this fight is going to be a cracker when it finally happened.