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At award night, Obasanjo tells Nigeria to adopt UN SDGs as blueprint for development

By Gregory Austin Nwakunor
16 October 2022   |   2:31 am
Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has said the country could reach greatness through a strong will to change the prevailing narrative, saying: “Nigeria is, as we all know

[FILES] Obasanjo. Photo/FACEBOOK//MrUdomEmmanuel

Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has said the country could reach greatness through a strong will to change the prevailing narrative, saying: “Nigeria is, as we all know, blessed beyond measure in talents, capabilities, and resources.”

He also called on Nigerians to adopt best practices so as to leap with giant strides.

He spoke at the 2022 Nigeria LNG grand award night, held at the Eko Hotel, Victoria Island on Friday.

At the event, which was themed, Touching The Stars, said Nigeria is blessed beyond measure in talents, capabilities and resources, but when it comes to development, “the country is light years away.”

Obasanjo, in his keynote address, stressed the critical roles science and literature play in national development.

“The world has always been fast spinning into areas of scientific breakthroughs and innovations that aim to maintain high standards of living, while sustainably preserving the earth for generations yet unborn. But now, more than ever, there is a sweeping tide of energy transition and climate change mandates, medical advancements and applications, food security interventions to combat hunger, as well as measures to sustain life on earth.

“Who is truly listening, and willing? Reaching and indeed, touching the stars, which are light years away, is in retrospect, very much possible. In fact, there are several Nigerian citizens that occupy positions of merit, as global patriots. A national meteoritic rise can happen within the blink of an eye. Just like a space launch, a scientific breakthrough can shoot our nation to those seemingly unattainable heights where we can touch the stars.

“We can adopt world-class best practices, and leap with giant strides into the future. We can collaborate on exchanges of ideas and invest in research and development. We can focus on the education and mental development of our people so that we position the nation in the direction it should go.

“I speak to the political class, the administrators, business institutions and organisations, small and medium scale enterprises, the creatives and content developers, leaders across all spheres of influence, the man or woman whose heart burns with passion for Nigeria’s good, and to the boy or girl, who is discovering his or her talents and gifts. May we all rise to that place of willingness and do so, collectively,” he said.

Obasanjo called on Nigeria to give attempts at the UN SDGs, as “it is a blueprint for development.”

According to him, Nigeria should collaborate; invest in research and development as well as education so as to attain that desired breakthrough and development.

In his welcome remarks, NLNG’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Philip Mshelbila, said the Company sponsored the prizes to ensure that excellence takes a prominent position in creativity and innovation in the country.

Speaking on the 2022 theme of the science prize, Innovations in Sustainable Food Security, Dr. Mshelbila stated that the prize and the winners were a wake-up call for the country and Nigerians to take responsibility for food sustenance.

“From the mangroves of the Niger Delta, through the rain forests, to the grassy plains and savannah terrains, the nation pitifully boasts of poverty, yet it is bountifully endowed with arable lands and agricultural treasures. Including its aquatic wealth. This is a wake-up call! We must take responsibility for food sustenance, at the very least, and scale up to foreign exchange revenue drive from food/agriculture export once our people are assured of their daily meals. What’s more, we must shun wastages, arising from poor handling or preservation of agricultural produce,” he said.