The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has called for investment in the girl-child, saying that it will increase the visibility of the female gender in the political space and aid Nigeria’s economic growth.
This came as Nigeria joins the global community to mark the 2023 International Day of the Girl Child which is an annual internationally recognized observance on October 11 that focuses on the importance of girls’ education, their rights, and promoting gender equality.
The Deputy Speaker in a statement by his Special Assistant on Press Affairs, Udora Orizu, noted that the day is designated to eliminate gender-based challenges that girls faced around the world, such as child marriages, poor learning opportunities, violence, and discrimination.
He also noted that this year’s day of the Girl-child themed, “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being” is apt and timely as investment in girls upholds their rights and assures a more equitable and successful future.
According to him, the education of the gender encourages the Girl-child and opens them up to more opportunities in the social space.
Kalu recalled a recent visit from the Female Student Vanguard for Girl Child Education in Nigeria from Kano State, during which he expressed concern over the rising number of uneducated girl-child and pledged his support to the reduce the issue to barest minimum.
While urging the global community and relevant stakeholders to invest in the actions needed to make changes that could empower girls, the Deputy Speaker said education for the girl-child is education for the society.
He assured that the parliament will use legislative instruments to ensure that the resources necessary to invest in girls are provided for.
Citing the words of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the Deputy Speaker added that, ”women and girls can lead us to a fairer future. Let us amplify girls’ voices, and recommit to working together to build a world where every girl can lead and thrive.”
‘COP28: Obi tells Tinubu to stop the wastes, emulate China on Production
The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 Election, Peter Obi in a has admonished President Bola Tinubu to make Nigeria great by competing with China in the area of production and not on the size of delegations to a specialized conference of experts.
Obi in a series of tweets in his X handle on Sunday was reacting to the trending large number of Nigeria delegations to the United Nations, COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
He decried the waste and wrong imitation of a country dutifully pulling their people out of poverty.
Reports from Dubai show that Nigeria equals China with 1411 contingents to the conference, the highest in the global event aside from the host UAE.
But in a satirical response to the size of Nigeria’s contingent, Obi said “In a twist of sad irony, let me congratulate the giant of Africa, Nigeria, for matching the great China, with the same number of contingents at the ongoing COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Nigeria’s contingent to COP28 totaled 1411, the same number as the Chinese contingents.
Obi noted that While China’s budget for 2024 is about $4 trillion, about $2,860 per head; Nigeria’s budget is about $33 billion, about $165 per head. China has a high Human Development Index, HDI, with a ranking of 79 out of 191 countries measured, and Nigeria has a low HDI, with a ranking of 163 out of 191 countries measured. Nigeria has more people living in ‘Multi-Dimensional’ poverty than China, despite China having seven times our population.
“Most importantly, the vast majority of those in the Nigerian delegation to COP28 are either non-relevant civil servants or relations, friends, and hangers-on of high government officials. Most of them hardly understand or have anything to do with Climate Change.
“This huge contingent is at public expense and at a time when most Nigerians can hardly afford food and basic needs as a result of economic hardship. I pray earnestly that a day will come soon enough when we can focus on competing with China on productivity and the miracle of migrating the highest number of its citizens out of poverty over a relatively short time.
“As we have kept emphasizing, we must stop waste as an addition to our government and nation. We urgently need to cut the cost of governance and invest in production.
According to him, “We need to de-emphasize unnecessary ceremony and showmanship as a mode of government behaviour.We need to tie spending to necessity and national Priority pointing out that a New Nigeria is possible but we only need to do the reasonable and the necessary.
Alleged admissions racketeering in Law School uncovered
Fresh facts have emerged over allegations of admission racketeering involving the management of Nigerian Law School.
Multiple sources told the Newspoint that the process of entrance into the Nigerian Law School has been made so rigorous that university authorities pay huge amount of money, which they get through the parents of the students or the students themselves, so the paying university can get a high number of its undergraduates into the Law School.
A deputy dean from one of the South-West universities, who spoke on condition of anonymity said, ‘it’s an established fact that universities pay the Nigerian Law School huge amount of money to be able to give admission to the graduating Law students. These unfortunate acts have been going on for many years. ”
“It’s just sad that there is nothing anybody can do about it, the whole system is corrupt and if you don’t pay, some other universities will pay and take your slots and that will be to the detriment of the graduating students”, the university don lamented.
A parent of one of the graduating Law students who wouldn’t want their name mentioned added that, “I am surprised when my daughter asked for N1.5m for admission push into the Law School. I was shocked, I kept wondering if the people that are supposed to sanitise the law are these corrupt, then the profession is in trouble. ”
“I launched a private investigation through other families and colleagues and it was then I gathered that graduating Law students are made to pay from N1m to N4m each for entrance into the Law school”, the parent added.
Also speaking, a junior staff in one of the branches of the Law school told Newspoint that, its an open secret for the institution to collect money from univerisities and students, according to him, “you can hear the senior staff telling foreign Law students that, ‘you can pay dollars outside the country, we will collect ours too”.
For the record, admission racketeering in the Nigerian Law School can simply be described as money for admission. It is a practice or situation whereby persons, particularly staff of Nigerian Law School, demand money from prospective universities in exchange for admission.
This exchange can also be said to be willing extortion, given that the universities or, in some cases, parents/guardians of the students agree to the offer to pay money for the admission. Worst is, such students do not qualify for admission to study in the law schools but are asked to pay for such, thereby reducing the chances of those qualified to get placements in this institution.
While it may seem like a new practice, this newspaper learnt that admission racketeering in the Nigerian Law School undoubtedly has been silently “normalised” as it has been going on for decades, and by extension, impacts the country itself as the quality of lawyers produced annually begs for question.
Also, many of these lawyers are incapable of navigating the tough realities of the legal profession or in the words of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, “unlawyerable” thereby preventing the country from developing legally.
Similarly, in 2022, the Ministry of Justice, in a publication, stated categorically that the caliber of lawyers graduating from the Nigerian Law School might not be able to handle the intricacies associated with the legal profession.
The Nigerian Law School, established in 1962, plays a pivotal role in the legal education system of Nigeria. It serves as the final bridge that transforms law graduates into full-fledged legal practitioners.
All efforts to reach the spokesperson of the Nigerian Law School have proved abortive as text messages and calls were not responded to as at the time of filing this report.
Culled from Newspoint
President Tinubu: Stunts Of The Salesman
By Abdulaziz Abdulaziz –
IT was pin drop silence. All heads turned to his side of the hall listening as the man gently, but firmly, made a case for his country to this crème de la crème of the Saudi Arabian economic bureaucracy and business community. He grabbed attention with an off the cuff speech that exuded confidence, authority, assurance and truthfulness. It was a little wonder his audience followed through and nodded all through!
The setting was the Saudi-Nigeria Business Summit and the speaker was President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It was a forum held on the sidelines of the recent Saudi-Africa Summit held in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.
President Tinubu went into the meeting hall at the JW Marriot Hotel in upscale Riyadh as the President of Nigeria. By the time he picked the microphone he quickly wore the garb of a chief salesman for a product he is excited to market.
It was an effortless exercise in sophisticated arts of marketing and advocacy. It was a presentation from the heart that was as unpretentious as it was unscripted. He spurned out the facts and the figures, reeled out the justifications and tickled the boardroom chiefs where it mattered without appearing weak or pitiable. It was a classic case of economic diplomacy and salesmanship at the highest level.
Since the beginning of his campaign for office, one of the most frequent words on his lips has been “prosperity”. President Tinubu is a prosperous man. His life is tinged with footsteps of prosperity, from the corporate world where he was a successful businessman to the prosperous political career that was capped with his election to the highest office in the land.
It had not always been rosy for him. He had told his story again and again to motivate the younger generation and inspire the country. He had toiled to reach the top. He knew the pains of want and starvation, and the sweetness that comes with economic liberation and prosperity. It is the latter that President Tinubu is desperately working to see that all Nigerians have tested.
He had the lifelong ambition to lead his fatherland. He has fulfilled this ambition. He could, if he chooses, stay back and enjoy the pecks that come with it and pass the time in office. But because the ambition was not a vain one, President Tinubu is up and doing. “I campaigned for it. I begged for the job. I even danced to get elected. There is no excuse!” That is his mindset and the philosophy of leadership for him, and it is for this mindset that he is willing to go to any length to ensure that he bequeath to Nigerians a prosperous country that everyone desires.
It was in his quest for this objective that the President chose to use his time in Riyadh to address the country’s top boardroom chiefs. It turned out to be not just another meeting or a boring address from just another President. It was dazzling interaction that stole the minds of almost everyone in the room, by their own admission.
“We came with high expectations but you have exceeded them,” said the Saudi minister of investment, Khalid Al Falih, who moderated the three-hour session, after the rousing applause that greeted President Tinubu’s address to the Saudi business community. The minister had in his welcome address spoke about how they had followed President Tinubu’s campaign promises and how he started off with the “boldest economic reform agenda in decades” for Nigeria, likening it to happenings in Saudi Arabia.
Mohammed Abunayyan, Chairman of Saudi’s ACWA Power confessed to being “inspired and motivated” by the President promising to see how his company can make foray into Nigeria. In the same vein, Abdulrahman Alfaqiq, the CEO of Saudi oil trading company, SABIC, promised to upscale their business relationship with Nigeria due to the assurances he got from the top.
They were just a few of the many who spoke in glowing terms about the President and in optimistic sense of the new business environment being created by President Tinubu for domestic and international investors.
This was not the first time and certainly not the last. In September, the President’s participation at the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, was a potpourri of achievements. He maximally used the time to network with the right people and seek out investments for Nigeria.
It was, in every sense, a bumper harvest for the country as the President came back with a basket full of goodies amounting to billions of dollars in investment pledges. Most of the commitments are in areas dear to the heart of the President and at centre of our quest for development. These include the $3 billion promised by Jindal Steels for iron ore processing to aid Nigeria’s drive for industrialization, Skippersells’ plan to invest $1.6 billion in the power sector by building 2000MW power plants across the country in 4 years, Indorama’s pledge for $8 billion expansion of their petrochemical facilities in Rivers State, a billion dollars secured by the Defence Industry Corporation Of Nigeria (DICON), among others.
The President’s last trip to Germany for the G20 Compact with Africa Summit also garnered as much fruits with the signing of the $500 million gas and renewable energy pact with the German government, among others.
As a young man, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was trained as an accountant. He was a very good student, his records show, who finished from the Chigaco State University with flying colours. In the aftermath, he pursued strings of career opportunities in Accounting and Auditing.
He left his job on his own volition and ventured into politics. But in his new job President Tinubu is demonstrating that beyond his training in Accountancy, as omo iyaloja he has imbibed not a few skills from his revered mother and notable businesswoman to apply in his bid to market Nigeria to investors and the larger international community.
Abdulaziz is Senior Special Assistant to the President on Print Media. He’s on X @AbdulFagge
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