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Nigeria and imperatives of African development
IT is with a special sense of fulfillment that I address this distinguished gathering of eminent personalities attending this significant annual event that brings together a substantial number of our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora for the purpose of planning and strategising for more productive ways to make our communities more viable and productive.
The theme of this convention, “Mayors, Agents for Change: Thinking Global, Acting Local”, concisely demonstrates that your organisation is highly conscious of its responsibility as an agent of change at this critical period of globalisation when the whole world is involved in the process of developing new technologies, create wealth, enhance innovation and creativity as well as promote output in every sector on a sustainable basis.
Ladies and gentlemen, my association with the National Conference of Black Mayors in my dual capacity as the then Governor of Osun State of Nigeria and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding dates back to 2009 when we signed a pact for the creation of new partnerships for development.
With the benefit of hindsight, one could safely assert that our friendship and collaboration have contributed in no small measure to global efforts at dissolving international barriers, forging a new global agenda; inspired by the needs of your organisation and Nigeria. As you all may be aware, Nigeria, the most populous black nation and the giant of Africa, has a great role to play in leading the African continent to political and socio-economic advancement. Nigeria must necessarily continue to propel other African nations to move from the back row to the front by recording greater and impressive socio-economic development. And these are areas where we solicit the cooperation of our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora. Accordingly, I enjoin members of the Mayors Conference and other friends of Nigeria abroad who truly know our nation’s worth and strategic importance to support our quest for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.
My dear brothers and sisters, the current administration in my country is determined to harvest greater significant dividends of democracy by way of improvement in the socio-economic and political development of the polity. The critical policy thrust of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration is to maximise the benefits derivable by the citizenry from governance through more effective and efficient use of public resources, proper financial management and fiscal prudence.
In this connection, the seven-point Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria takes into account the sustenance of law and order, provision of an environment in which people find happiness and fulfilment as well as the development of infrastructure as a pre-requisite to leveraging the benefits of the global economy, improving domestic productivity and attracting foreign investments.
May I assure you all that the manifestos of the ruling political party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), also provides for the creation of an enabling environment through appropriate policies, legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks and enhancing Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in project funding, financing and management. I trust and hope that our emerging partnership would address our common problems, particularly with regard to trade and economic development, provision of infrastructure, tourism, agriculture and food security. It is also important for us to resolve to jointly combat the scourge of security breaches which are not peculiar to any part of the world, for us to be able to successfully engage in collaboration for the transformation of our societies.
Before concluding this address, I should like to re-assure the international community that Nigeria will soon join the league of industrialised nations as we have the resources – human and material to achieve this goal. My optimism is premised on non-negotiable values of commitment, dedication and patriotism on the part of our leaders. We have not lost hope for a better tomorrow. We must be reminded that the industrialised nations of the world which have attained greatness passed through our own kind of experience at one stage or the other of their development process.
We must accept that globalisation and the re-engineering process for the emergence of a peaceful and progressive world would not be achievable without due regard and attention to the developing world. And it is as a result of this that I salute the United States National Conference of Black Mayors for its pattern of engagements which promotes development and global peace.
Lastly, on behalf of myself, my family, associates and friends, I express my very profound appreciation to the organisers of this event for the honour done me. And in dedicating the honour bestowed on me to the PDP-the ruling party in Nigeria-whose flag I flew as governor of Osun State when our relationship was consummated, I promise to continue to serve humanity in my habitual unalloyed manner and be a purveyor of those sterling qualities that would promote global peace, understanding and total societal development.
Prince Oyinlola, former governor of Osun State and National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), delivered this address at the 38th Annual Convention of the United States National Conference of Black Mayors held in Atlanta from May 29 to June 3, 2012.Share