L-R: Former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Otunba Femi Pedro; Director General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae; Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat; Former Secretary General of the Common Wealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; former British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson; Member, Board of Trustee of the foundation, Chief Anthony Anyiam-Osigwe and Coordinator General Osigwe-Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation, Charles Anyiam-Osigwe


By Oluwatope Lawanson

A former British prime minister, Boris Johnson has urged Nigerian Government to maximise the potentials of its citizens to bring about more economic growth.

Johnson stated this at the 16th edition of the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation Lecture Series in collaboration with Nigerian Institute of International Affairs held on Monday at Ikeja, Lagos.

The lecture series, has the theme: “Rehumanising Human Experience: A Synopsis of Anyiam-Osigwe’s Treaties”

Johnson stressed the importance of human potential and how best to maximise potentials of the citizens.

He stated that government must ensure some criteria if it hoped to enhance the potentials of its citizens.

According to him, safety and equality under the law; the right to choose and remove those who govern them; freedom to live as they wish provided within the law; guaranteeing a society that is open and without discrimination are some of the criteria.

He also added the government should ensure a seamless and cost-effective transportation system and provide qualitative education for both male and girl children to avoid extinction of human talents.

He, therefore, called for further collaboration and synergy between Nigeria and Britain in order to tackle similar challenges together and do more together.

Similarly, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State advised Nigerians to desist from undermining the nation but rather promote the positives and goodness in the country.

The governor, represented by his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat decried the rate at which Nigerians undermined the nation by always rebroadcasting its negatives and pushing down its positives.

“It is for us to understand that as a nation, we make mistakes but we must look at the good side and continue to build our nation.”

The governor noted that the theme was apt, adding that in today’s world, it meant going back to first principles which was rediscovering or reconstructing that connected to the Divine.

According to him, it is a very timely issue as a nation to confront and debate, especially in a world increasingly afflicted by rising inequality, terrorism, pandemics, rising geopolitical tensions, dangerous populism, climate change and the disturbing unpredictability of technological disruption.

“Until everyone is free from poverty, war, and violence, no one is free.

“Therefore, this is a clarion call and challenge that must be taken up collectively by all of humanity, for all of humanity,” he said.

In his remarks, former Secretary General of the Common Wealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku urged political leaders across the world to effectively pursue the theme of the lecture by making comprehensive welfare of the people the bedrock of policies and actions that would make the world more habitable for everyone.

Earlier, the Coordinator General of the foundation, Charles Anyiam-Osigwe stated that the purpose of the foundation was to realise a better world order which could be made possible with the potentials built in man.

He noted that “in earth-bound existence, whether in the development of the sciences, technology, architecture, environment, economics and economic policy, agriculture, industry, ethical sustainability, man was the factor in giving direction and determining the depth of development.


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