Osun Modulated Salary, Better Than Sacking Workers – Comrade Sunmonu

By Kehinde Ayantunji

The Veteran Labour Leader, and the Chairman Osun Revenue Apportionment Committee, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu has said that the Modulated Salary initiative was the best option as at the time it was adopted.

In an interview, Sunmonu said the first option was for workers to go on strike and paralyse the state, which would have a bad consequence on the workers and the people, the second option was to sack workers if full salaries would be paid, while the third option was the modulated salary arrangement.

According to him, the first and second options would not be tenable to any sincere labour leader or trade unionist.

The labour leader hinted that the arrears of the modulated salary would be paid when the economy of the state is buoyant, saying the government was already saving the money for that purpose and has shown commitment to the payment of the arrears.

“We had three options; you have to consider your options when you are a leader. You must consider the consequences of every action and go for the most suitable one.

“The NLC in Osun had the option to go on strike and paralyse the state, but what consequence would that have on the people and the workers themselves? The second option was that if the full salaries would be paid, government would be forced to sack some workers. We all know the unemployment situation and its effects in Nigeria.

“If the NLC went for the first option, Aregbesola would remain governor because you cannot depose him, but the people, including the workers would suffer. If the second option was taken, what would be the fate of those who would lose their jobs? Don’t forget that when you sack one worker, about 10 people will suffer for it because he has a family.

“The third option was to consider the resources of the government and decide what could be done to accommodate everybody.

“We did not want anybody to be sacked, so we said that workers from level 1 to 7 would be getting their full salaries while those from level 8 to 17 would earn half. When the government becomes buoyant they will take the arrears. The government was saving the money for those guys because they will surely take their arrears.

“I told the governor that he must pay the money when the economy of the state improves and we asked if the state would be able to pay full salaries if government’s internally generated revenue could go up to N5billion monthly. The governor said yes, but the internally generated revenue of the state has not come close to that since then.

“When the governor got the Paris Club refunds, he reviewed the pay of those on level 8 to level 12. Therefore, only the very senior workers whose salaries are huge are taking half now, and they will surely get their arrears when the state becomes buoyant. That is still better than sacking half of the workforce in Osun.

“We realised that workers’ salaries is their most fundamental right, you must not deny a worker his pay, but the situation in Osun required pragmatic leadership and define wisdom to handle. Before the economic meltdown, Governor Aregbesola was paying the 13th month salary to Osun workers”, Hassan restated.

Muslims Challenged To Venture Into Media Ownership

By Murtala Agboola

Muslims have been challenged to venture into media ownership with a view to tackling the alleged bias and discrimination of the media against Islam and Muslims.

This was the charge at the launching of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Muslim Media Watch Group (MMWG) held at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Osogbo last weekend.

The Sultan of Sokoto and the President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar who spoke through his deputy, Alhaji Sakariyau Babalola at the event urged the Nigeria media to shun fake news and report only factual and balanced stories, saying, the media has been unfair to Islam.

He then urged Muslims not to be discouraged by the alleged bias and discrimination of the media.

Also speaking, the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who was represented by the Grand Mufty of Osogbo land, Sheik  Moruf Ishola, warned against hate messages and subtle incitements along ethnic and religious lines by the media.

This, according to him, portends danger of triggering a catastrophic civil war from which the nation may never recover, saying, journalist should be able to separate free speech from libel and promotion of falsehood.

The Osun State Chief Executive described the allegation that he planned to Islamize the state and secede from

Nigeria as falsehood that was not backed by any fact. Aregbesola, the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion stated that “If you say that Aregbesola wants to Islamize Osun and secede from Nigeria, you must be able to back it up with facts and incontrovertible evidence”

“Failure to do so, it has become libel and falsehood which is injurious to my person, government of Osun, our political party, the All Progress Congress (APC) and ultimately the society in general”.

Speaking on “Effective Use of Mass Media for Da’awah”, the Guest Speaker, a former Managing Director of the defunct National Concord Newspaper, Alhaji Liadi Tella identified alleged ‘media biased’ against Islam as hindrance to the effective use of media for propagating Islam.

He stressed that Nigerian government and the media were aware for a long time that Boko Haram are not muslim, but deliberately addressing them as Islamic sect.

According to him, efforts to deceive members of the public from knowing that muslims dominate public schools in Osun led to the war against Hijab wearing by pupils in the state.

He continued, “The government knew when French jet was dropping arms for Boko Haram in Sambisa Forest. They continued attributing them to Islam”.

“Fair, balanced and objective reportage are the cardinal ethics and supposed inviolable principles of journalism, unfortunately, this is not so with media reportage on Islam and muslims in Nigeria”.

In view of this, Tella challenged muslims who are well to do to embrace newspaper ownership, saying, it is only when muslim own newspaper, radio station and television houses that they can fight the unfair and unbalanced reportage against muslims and Islam.

In his welcome address, the National Coordinator of MMWG, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdulahi said the aim of the group was to promote quality broadcast in media organisation all over the country.

He said the group is also working to correct misrepresentation of Islam and muslim in any media by putting the correct, accurate and true picture of issues at stake in the right perspective for the benefit of viewers, listeners and readers.

The 7-member Board is headed by a renowned Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mallam Yusuf Ali.

Dignitaries in attendance include, the Executive Secretary of MUSWEN, Professor Daud Noibi; Vice-chancellor, University of Osun (UNIOSUN), Professor Labo Popoola; immediate past VC of the University of Ilorin, Professor AbdulGaniyu Ambali, and Professor Obini Ekpe.

Others were, Professor Saadiya Bello, Professor Wahab Egbemole, and Olufon of Ifon, Oba AbduMoruf Magbagbeola, Senators Bayo Salami, Barrister Kolapo Alimi, Barrister Mohammed Ibrahim and Mr Muideen Olateju among others.

Breaking: One Dead, Many Injured As Mopol, Thugs Clash In Ile Ife 

By Sodiq Lawal

Residents of Ile Ife were on Friday  put in a state of fear as men of the Mobile Police clashed with thugs in the town.

It was gathered that trouble started when some mopol officials raided a shop at Ojoyin where some hoodlums sold hemp and marijuana.

It was learnt that the mobile pollicemen attacked the thugs with weapons and threatened to kill them.  As a result of this, the thugs launched an attack to the mopol officials at the shop.

It however led to a serious gun battle as the mopol and thugs engaged.

On hearing the sound of gunshots, residents fled away for their lives, traders shutdown market in many areas, such as Lagere,  Mayfair, Ojoyin, Akarabata and many others.

According to a transport worker in Lagere,  who craved anonymity said that, “One person has been confirmed dead during the clash, many have been Injured.  No one could pass Lagere road when the mopol officials were shooting. Everyone fled.

Stop Discouraging Youths From Politics, Don Tasks Religious Bodies

By Solomon Odeniyi

A professor of political science and  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in the State of Osun, Prof. Adeolu Durotoye has called on religious institutions across the county to refrain from painting politics as a dirty game if youths are to participate in the process of governance in the country at all.

He frowned at a situation where religious bodies teach that politics is a precursor to hell thereby discouraging a larger percentage of the naive youths that ought to be actively involved in politics even as National Assembly has passed the Not too young to run bill.

He spoke while responding to questions posed to him during the Living Faith Church’s Youths in Politics Summit in Osogbo, where he was a panelist alongside Kunle Oyatomi, the Director Publicity, Research and Strategy of the All progressive Congress in Osun State.

Durotoye noted that religious institutions ought to be a training ground where true leaders with the people’s interest at heart are raised, saying they must encourage youths to actively participate in politics.

He said: “Youths may not take charge in politics as being clamoured. Our religious bodies have demonised politics, they call politicians names, they tell their members that those who are into politics are corrupt, and warn to wade them off from political participation. They forget that every profession is dirty but, that individuals distinguish themselves by being unique. What makes evil to thrive is when the good people keep mute.”

Corroborating, the political scientist, Barrister Oyatomi stated that religious leaders should understand that if their youths do not participate in the process, the political sphere would be dominated by the corrupt and ungodly and these malicious beings would be difficult to get out of politics if religious bodies remain negative on politics.

He urged the religious youths who have no interest in politics to strive to become professionals in their respective fields so as to command the respect of those in the corridors of power.

He said: “On several fronts, the politician needs the expertise of fields, for instance in the accounting, legal, medical and media professions amongst several others. When you excel, as a professional, being hardworking, honest and incorruptible, you will command the respect of politicians. I worked with Vanguard Newspaper before I got appointed by the APC and I make bold to say that I haven’t played any dirty game since I joined.

We Don’t Have Capacity To Defend Schools From Terrorists’ Invasion – Military Spokesperson

The Nigeria military on Friday said it doesn’t have enough workforce to have a huge security presence in all Nigerian schools to avoid terrorist’s invasion or abduction of pupils.

Defence Spokesperson, Brigadier General John Agim, who was a guest on Channels Television Breakfast Programme, Sunrise Daily said due to the huge land mass, especially in the Northern East which is volatile to attacks, it is difficult to deploy troops to schools.

“The military doesn’t have the manpower to deploy (troops) to all the schools. It is not possible.

“People don’t know the land mass that we have in the North East and the number of troops that are deployed in that place. The land mass is very large,”

Agim, who lauded efforts of the Federal government which has authorised civil defence and the police officers to secure schools in Northeast Nigeria, emphasised that the military cannot deploy to schools like some people are demanding.

“It is very difficult. It is not possible,” he said.

The Defence Spokesperson also blamed this lack of sufficient man capacity on the abduction of over 110 schoolgirls in Government Girls Science and Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, Yobe State.

READ ALSO: Buhari Orders Security Agencies To Halt Killings, Criminality

Explaining the role, which the military played in securing Northeast, Agim said the military wasn’t negligent as being rumoured but the troops were redeployed for other assignments few weeks before the terrorists, unfortunately, invaded the school in Dapchi.

“Where the military was deployed in Dapchi, they (the troops) were taken away. They were deployed for other assignments. So, it is possible that the Boko Haram can operate in a place for a long time without the military presence.

“They were withdrawn out of Dapchi for another assignment on January 10 and this attack took place on February 19,” he said.

Dapchi, a remote town in Yobe State was a safe haven before the abduction of 100 schoolgirls in GGSTC. Although a sizeable number of schoolgirls have been returned, Nigerians are still left in shock over the attack, wondering which school or pupils will be the next target by the terrorists.

 

Freed Dapchi Schoolgirls Arrive In Presidential Villa

The abducted Dapchi Schoolgirls who were recently released from Boko Haram captives have arrived at the Presidential Villa in Abuja to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

 

The girls who regained their freedom on Wednesday were airlifted to Abuja the same day, aboard a military plane from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital after being handed over to the Federal Government by the military there.

Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Rogers Nicholas, handed over the freed girls to a four-member Federal Government delegation that evening.

 

 

The delegation comprised of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahman Danbazzau; Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim; and a member of the House of Representatives, Goni Lawan Bukar, from Dapchi.

 

 

Of the 110 girls snatched by Boko Haram on February 19, the Federal Government said 104 were returned by the terrorists with six unaccounted for.

They were freed with two minors – a boy and a girl – who were also airlifted to Abuja with the schoolgirls.

The Federal Government had initially put the number of girls freed at 76 before revising it upwards – to 101, 105 and 104 after verification.

Some of the girls are said to have developed skin reactions while some were seen with broken limbs.

Osun Assembly Urges Ministry To Review Agreement On Freedom Park

By Israel Afolabi

The State of Osun House of Assembly has called on the state’s Ministry of Commerce, Cooperative Industries and Empowerment to do a critical review of concessionaire agreement on Nelson Mandela Freedom Park in Osogbo.

Chairman, House Committee on Lands, Physical Planning and Urban Development, Hon. Nurein Adebisi made the call on Thursday while speaking after an assessment tour of the park as part of the oversight functions of the state legislature.

Adebisi observed that Nelson Mandela Freedom park is situated in the central part of Osogbo in other to beautify the state capital.

He frowned at the present condition of the park with the overgrown bushes in the area and the unbefitting entrance to the park.

According to him, “this is a project that is situated in the central part of the state capital. We must ensure that government infrastructures are functioning properly well”.

He said that the purpose of the committee’s visit is to observe the state of the park as a source of revenue for the state government.

The lawmaker therefore urged Britol Engineering Company, handlers of the project to redesign the entrance of the park to add to its aesthetics.

He said: “we need to give a new approach to this project to complement government’s effort because it is a laudable legacy that has helped transformed the face of the state capital”.

He therefore urged the concessionaire to put some things in order to make the place more attractive to the public, thus, the maintenance of the park is very essential.

In his contribution, a member of the committee, Hon. Olatunji Babatunde said that it is a luxurious project in the state capital which must be properly managed and also commended the efforts and vision of those who put the magnificent park in place for Osun people and visiting citizens.

The project coordinator, Britol Engineering Company, Engr. Dapo Oyedele in company of the Director-General, Osun New Towns and Growth Area Development Authority, Arc. Muyiwa Ige took the committee to the Atewogbeja Water Fountain at the Nelson Mandela Freedom Park to assess the situation of the place.

The lawmakers however were not satisfied with the way weeds grew around most part of the park and urged the company to work more on its beautification to make it more attractive.

 

Osun 2018: Zoning Interests May Tear Parties Apart

By Mariam Bello

Ahead of political parties’ primaries in preparation for the September 22 governorship election in the State of Osun, the idea of zoning or not zoning the seat to a particular senatorial zone might tear the major political parties apart if not properly managed, as gladiators have divided over the matter across political lines.

In the All Progressives Congress (APC), while some groups and bigwigs, including the former Governor of Osun, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola have stood in favour of zoning the seat to Osun West on the ground that the zone has not had its fair share of the seat, some other gladiators and aspirants, as well as youth groups within the party have insisted that zoning the seat to a particular district would spell doom for the party and the state at large.

Also in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the idea of zoning to Osun West might have hit the rock, following the insistence of the former deputy Governor of the state, Iyiola Omisore, from Ile-Ife, Osun East Senatorial district to contest for the most prestigious seat in the state.

This is in addition to the factional crisis rocking the opposition parties in the state, more so the Ife-born politician has the hears of the National Secretariat of the party.

Contrary to the position of Oyinlola and some other gladiators in the APC, one of the party’s aspirant, Barrister Kunle Adegoke from Osogbo in Osun Central has insisted that there is no fairness or equity in zoning, saying there was never a time it was agreed on in the annals of the state and if at all, it was so agreed, it was not based on Senatorial Districts.

He was quoted to have said that no governor has ever been chosen based on zoning in Osun before, saying, if it is part of the system, why not use the federal constituency basis by which Osogbo and Iwo Federal constituencies become most prominent among the “cheated”.

He said the issue of zoning was just a dummy being sold by a section of the ruling elite to favour a personality or one of them, while the masses who will never derive any benefit from the scheming, would parrot the idea slavishly forgetting that they were never meant to benefit from the class scheming being foisted on them.

According to him, it was a strategy to narrow the political space to favour a weak candidate whose credentials cum political and intellectual capacity cannot withstand a fair contest to produce the best, saying the current situation of Osun, do not need just a governor based on zoning, but the best material for the job.

“As far as I am concerned, let the best emerge even if he is from the same ward with the current governor. No governor by zoning can pay workers’ salaries, put food on our table, improve our educational standard, health status etc. based on his place of origin”.

Also, a youth wing within the APC, Osun Progressive Youths Alliance (OPYA), has called on the leadership of the party in the state to jettison the idea of zoning the governorship slot to a particular zone, saying all contestants must be given the equal right to contest.

In a press statement by the Coordinating Head of OPYA, Comrade Adeboye Adebayo in Osogbo recently, speaking on behalf of the group said, the idea of zoning would not give room for a robust contest that would allow superior ideas and capacity to strive for the growth and development of the party and the state.

“Zoning of political positions is the idea of lazy minds who are afraid of robust contests, such an idea will retard the soaring profile of our party and the growth and development being witnessed at the moment in the state.

“Every interested individual should be allowed to put whatever ideas they have for the growth of the State on the table and allow the party to decide her flag bearer according to the laid down rules of the party’s constitution. Zoning should be outrightly jettisoned as it is alien to our party constitution”, he noted.

According to him, all the senatorial districts of the state can boast of great minds who are full of renewed ideas, particularly within the APC and none should be sacrificed on the altar of zoning, noting that the progress of the state is paramount and anyone with better workable ideas and planning should be allowed to lead.

“Zoning will breed animosity, zoning will deprive our State of the best in terms of capacity for growth and development, zoning will deprive our party of funds, more funds will be generated for the party if the contest is thrown open and zoning will breed unfairness and inequalities, hence it should be jettisoned”, he said.

Also, a governorship aspirant of the PDP extraction, Prof. Adeolu Durotoye, has cautioned that limiting the choice of candidates in the election to a particular political zone might be counter-productive.

Durotoye, who is the Provost, College of Social and Management Sciences, Afe Babalola University (ABUAD), said what Osun needs to fast track its development is a candidate who can raise the stake of transformation in a calm or rocky atmosphere.

The aspirant enjoined stakeholders in Osun to avoid the inherent pitfall that zoning has created for political parties, especially at the national level, adding that picking candidates through the zoning practice has robbed the country of competent hands to govern the society.

Besides, Omisore has been hell bent on his decision to contest, insisting that this is another opportunity for him to test his political capacity and he would not let go that opportunity on the altar of zoning.

Regardless of the opposition to the zoning formula, a socio-political group, Coalition of Concern Progressive Youths (CCPY) has warned that the party will be left to face a bleak future should the next governorship seat taken out of Osun West Senatorial District.

In a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Korede Ajibade, the group maintained that it is the turn of Osun West Senatorial District in the interest of fair play and justice, adding that zoning the governorship seat out of the zone would amount to crisis, political fraud and imbalance in the sharing of political offices since the creation of the state in 1991.

Some concerned elders were also reported to have supported the agitation that the next governorship slot be zoned to Osun West Senatorial District in the spirit of justice and fair play.

When contacted, the Chairman, Elders Caucus of the APC in the state, Chief Sola Akinwunmi declined from making comment on the matter for now.

Aregbesola’s Commitment To Cause Of Downtrodden Unparalleled – Ifaturoti

By Abdullahi Omotayo

The commitment of Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s administration to the cause of the poor and downtrodden in the State of Osun has for the umpteenth time been rated as second to none in both the annals of the state  and the country at large.

The State of Osun Coordinator of Youth Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), Mr. Femi Ifaturoti stated this in Osogbo at the mining of potential beneficiaries by Osun Project Implementation Unit (PIU)-PWF from the Register of Poor and Vulnerable Households generated by the State Operation Coordinating Unit (SOCU) in the third and fourth rounds of the support operation’s Community Based Targeting (CBT) exercise.

Mr. Ifaturoti said Governor Aregbesola has carved a niche for himself through his unparalleled commitment to the cause of the poor and downtrodden in the state which has seen the present administration receive avalanche of accolades and commendations from reputable global institutions such as World Bank, UNICEF, UNESCO among several others.

The Coordinator of Osun YESSO enjoined the PIU-PWF delegation to make the best use of the potential beneficiaries’ list mined from the Single Register of the Poor and Vulnerable Households in the overall interest of the deserving members of Osun community.

In his remarks at the event, the Head of Project Implementation Unit (PIU)- PWF, Osun YESSO, Mr. Olugbenga Odulaja appreciated Governor Aregbesola’s administration for innumerable supports received by Osun YESSO, assuring the State Operation Coordinating Unit of PIU-PWF’s readiness not to rest on its oars at ensuring the success of the support operation in the state.

 

Facts: How OAU Illegally Arrested And Jailed 8 Student Leaders

By Sodiq Lawal

About eight members of the students’ union of Obafemi Awolowo University are currently being held in Ilesa Maximum Prison for staying back in the school hostel while the institution is on break.

It was learnt that the school management while trying to enforce an eviction order on the students, invited police officers to the school.

It was gathered that the police officers arrested the union leaders while they were addressing their fellow students.

The union leaders were first detained in Moore Police Station after their arrest before they were taken to court where the judge ordered that they should be taken to Ilesa maximum prison for detention on Thursday.

But the students claimed that those who stayed back in school were either writing their projects, doing their teaching practice or internship programs.

The students also added that they have always been allowed to stay back in halls of residence by the school management because the programs are recognized by the university authorities.

Speaking to our correspondent, one of the students’ union leaders who escaped arrest narrated how the Hall Warden of Moremi Hall spearheaded the forceful ejection of students and eventual damage to properties.

He said, “the hall warden and some other people went into the room of the students and were throwing out beds, clothes and other properties of the students. They even went as far as molesting the students in carrying out the order of the management.”

One of the students who spoke with our correspondents revealed that the university management had previously attempted to forcefully evict students from an Alumni Hall.

He added that it took the intervention of the union leaders before residents of the Alumni Hall were allowed back into their rooms.

“While we were trying to pacify the warden that they should allow the students to stay, the management hurriedly brought in police officers into the schools. These police officers brutalized and whisked away some of the union leaders present at Moremi hall.

“We found out that they were taken to Moore police station but when we got there, the officers told us that we cannot bail those arrested and insisted that it is only their guardian that can bail them”, the students narrated.

Speaking further, the students lamented how their colleagues were hurriedly taken to court and tried before a kangaroo court.

They maintained that they were arraigned as early as 9 am and the judge asked the students to be detained at Ilesa maximum prison.

They also said that the school management presented the Hall Warden and some university officials who were not at Moremi hall when the controversy broke out to testify against the students.

The judge who presided over the students’ case at Adebamidele High Court, Osun ordered the students to be remanded while he fixed very tough bail conditions for them.

The bail conditions include N500,000 including two sureties for each student and each surety must be a civil servant who is at Level 12 and must have paid his taxes up to date.

Condemning the attack, Education Rights Campaign (ERC) through a statement signed by its Acting Coordinator, Drunnex Samuel and Acting Secretary, Damilola Amethyst, labeled the act by the university management to forcefully eject students from campus as barbaric and inhumane.

“We also consider the violent assault, harassment and brutalisation of students, a ridicule of the university’s image and an abuse of the fundamental human right of students; Right to human dignity and right to a peaceful assembly among many others”, ERC posited.

The education rights body also slammed the Nigeria Police Force for their involvement in the forceful ejection of students by being used as instruments and machines to carry out the dirty works of OAU management. ERC insisted that the police has the duty to maintain law and order and not act as an oppressive body.

“For us in the Education Rights Campaign, we believe the police force is a state apparatus which should serve as a protective layer to the oppressed where they can seek solace and not a mere purchasable tool of the highest bidder in implementing repressive aims of the oppressors.”

It was gathered that the university management is already mapping out how to also forcefully to eject students residing in Awo Hall and to also arrest whoever tries to resist the eviction order.

Bill Gates, Dangote Challenge FG To Invest In Human Capital

Philanthropist and Founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates has challenged the Nigerian government to invest in human capital development, saying it would lay a good foundation for the nation’s prosperity.

He made this known on Thursday while delivering a speech at the Expanded National Economic Council on Investment in Human Capital held in Abuja.

According to him, although Nigeria has enormous potentials, they can only be maximized when the citizens are well equipped.

Making reference to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, he, therefore, urged the Federal Government to take practical steps in prioritising human capital development.

 

“Nigeria has unmatched economic potentials but what becomes of that potential depends on the choices you make as Nigeria’s leaders. The most important choice you can make is to maximise your greatest resource – the Nigerian people.

“Nigeria Will Thrive when every Nigerian Is able to thrive, If you invest in their health, education and opportunities, the human capital that we are talking about today, then that will lay the foundation for sustained prosperity.

“If you don’t, however, it is important to recognise that there would be a sharp limit on how much the country can grow,” he stated.

“Much of Nigeria still looks like a low-income country. Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth.

“With the fourth-worst maternal mortality rate in the world, ahead of only Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, and Chad. One in three Nigerian Children is chronically malnourished.

“The Nigerian government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies investing in our people as one of three strategic executives but the execution priorities don’t fully reflect people’s needs – prioritising physical capital over human capital,” he stated.

Also addressing the issue, President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, asked the Federal Government to provide solutions to human capital challenges experienced in the country.

 

He stressed that human capital is a critical component of Nigeria’s future economic growth , noting that while the nation has largely achieved growth by extracting natural resources, the youths have to be equipped both physically and mentally to drive the nation’s future success.

“In Nigeria, we have largely achieved growth by extracting natural resources and we’re not building on that through our physical infrastructure. But we must also remember that it is our young people that will drive our future success.

“By 2050, Nigeria is projected to be the 3rd largest economy in the world.

“For this next generation to thrive as adults and drive economic progress, we need to invest in their health and well-being and in their ability to learn and apply new skills.

“As a business leader, it is my responsibility to offer jobs and opportunities but I can only do that when people themselves are healthy and have basic skills.”

 

Speaking further, the business mogul explained how nutrition and infrastructural development also play a huge role in equipping the youth for the future.

According to him, malnutrition has been identified as one of the biggest factors undermining the potentials of children and for Nigeria to be able to truly compete globally, we must prioritize investment in health, education and other key sectors.

He said: “As a philanthropist and development expert, I have seen first-hand and critical gaps and proven interventions that can help set those young people up for success especially the poorest.

“A key example is nutrition; a primary focus for the Dangote Foundation.”

“Today, one of the biggest factors undermining our progress is malnutrition. Poor nutrition prevents children from realizing their true potentials, stunting not only their physical and intellectual growth but also educational and employment opportunities.

“As a business leader, I feel the consequences of malnutrition. An inadequately skilled workforce is a constraint to my businesses. Again as a philanthropist and development expert, it is the kind of challenge I am committed to helping solve.

“By this, is where my two roles converge because all sectors, businesses, philanthropy and especially government will need to step up to address the human capital challenges we are now facing in Nigeria.

“For Nigeria to truly compete globally, we must prioritize investment in the health, education, and opportunity of our people alongside other critical areas like infrastructure,” he stated.