Former Petroleum Secretary, Chief Philip Asiodu has canvassed qualitative education and national language as measures to address the present poor standard of education and promote unity and cohesion in the country.
He said that the teaching of what he termed a national language, which, beside English language, would be spoken by children in schools across the country, would promote unity, oneness and cohesion in a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria.
He said: “Nigeria has a unique geographical location, scores of untapped natural resources and 3, 000 miles away from the European market compared to her Asian counterparts, who are 11, 000 miles from the European market and yet she has not been able to utilize the advantage of this geographical location to the advantage of her citizens”.
Getting practical, he said that Nigeria would overcome most of her socio-economic challenges if the public servants adhere to 50 per cent of the Four Way Test of the Rotary Club.
Asiodu, who spoke at the weekend in Lagos as a Special Guest of Honor at the investiture of Rotarian Isichei Osamgbi, as the 33rdPresident of the Rotary Club Ikoyi, noted that the Four Way Test of the Rotary International embraced by all its clubs is all encompassing in dealing with issues of principle and dedication to work and would be of great advantage in a developing nation, if applied in the delivery of service.
According to him, “the Rotary Four Way Test which says; (1) Is it the Truth, (2) Is it Fair to all concerned, (3) Will it build goodwill and better Friendship, and (4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned, will address the issues of incompetence, lack of dedication and quality service delivery which adversely affect the public service.”
Supporting Asiodu, Chairman of the occasion, Ogbueshi Alban Ofili-Okonkwo, Chairman of Autobahn Technique Ltd, noted that applying the Rotary Four Way Test in picking leaders in the country the way Rotary does, will go a long in helping to build a healthy nation of quality leaders, one of which he noted that the new Rotary President, Isichei Osamgbi was.
Speaking in the same light, while admitting that the Rotary Four Way Test is a case study if adhered to in various spheres of life will help mankind, Former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and later Education, Professor Viola Onwuliri who was the Guest Lecturer decried the high level of the vulnerability of the girl child in Nigeria, saying that proper education and training would go a long way in addressing this national problem.
Prof Onwuliri who spoke on her paper titled “Empowering the Girl-“Child for Sustainable Development”, called for collective collaboration between Rotary Club and other relevant bodies to give the child her rightful place in society, adding that providing quality education for the girl-child was a gateway towards ensuring a more prosperous and sustainable future for Nigeria. She lamented that presently in the country the girl child was seen, as mere cannon fodder whose role in society was to produce babies and be used and abused at will.
On his part, Professor Chris Ogbogbo, President Historical Society of Nigeria and Head of Department of History at the University of Ibadan noted that justice and fairness will help address several issues of inequality and agitations in the country, of which the Rotary Club’s principles have taken care of, whether it is the girl child education or other social economic matters.
L-R: New President, Rotary Club of Ikoyi, Rotarian Isichei Osamgbi, Immediate Past President, Rotary Club of Ikoyi, Rotarian Dele Ojogbede and Chairman of the occasion, Ogbueshi Alban-Ofili-Okonkwo, at the investiture of Osamgbi as the 33rdPresident of Rotary Club of Ikoyi in Lagos, at the weekend.
Meanwhile, the newly inaugurated President, who succeeded Rotarian Oladele Ojogbede had in his acceptance speech, said that the Rotary Club Ikoyi has been in the business of doing good in the last three decades, which he said has been necessitated by the fact that people need care and love.
He pledged that in the current Rotary year under his watch, such acts of doing good would be taken even to higher standards, insisting that the government cannot do everything.
He said: “Our focus is to impact on more lives. Someone near you needs cataract surgery; we will undertake at least 100 of such surgeries in this Rotary year. We will build a blood bank and partner with the Police Hospital in Falomo, Lagos, where we carried out some renovations recently, among several other projects the Club plan to undertake in this Rotary year”.