By Chukwuma Umeorah
Former British prime minister, Boris Johnson, has called on Nigerian government to deepen its ties with the United Kingdom.
Acccording to him, Nigeria is blessed with all the natural and human resources needed to attain desired prosperity.
“We could do much more in terms of investments, trade and several other sectors to achieve long term prosperity. Let us stick up with the ideas that unite us,” he said.
Johnson made the call, yesterday, in Lagos while delivering a keynote address at the 16th edition of the Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation lecture tagged: “Rehumanising Human Experience.”
He called on the Federal Government to harness its wealth of human resources by creating an enabling environment for its citizens to achieve their full potential while contributing to the growth and development of the nation.
According to the former prime minister, every individual possessed a unique set of skills and talents, however, the right opportunity to utilise the potential was lacking largely due to the negligence of the people in power.
While noting that the problem was not peculiar to Nigeria as it is experienced in other parts of the world, he noted that government needed to do more.
“There are lot of unexplored talents in the country, it is the job of the politicians to create the conditions in which those people can unleash their potential. Not only is that morally right, but it also gives everyone the chance to express the talents that the law has given them,” he said.
He said human beings have the natural instincts of performing well given that they are provided with the required opportunities and enabling environment. While proffering solutions to tackle what he described as a mismanagement of human resources, Johnson specifically drew his suggestions based on the Nigerian political and economic landscape.
According to him, for Nigerian citizens to realise their full potential some factors need to be properly addressed, including equity and freedom under the law, quality basic education, good transport systems to aid mobility, and above all security of lives and property.
“You need equality, security and freedom under the law. Even that alone is not enough for urban success given the challenges we face.”
Coordinator General of the Foundation, Charles Anyiam-Osigwe, said the annual lecture series in collaboration with Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) was a well thought event to elucidate ideas and ways to address fundamental human challenges while striving to realise a better world.
“Man is the organic factor in giving direction and determining the depth of development. While the world is assumed to have vastly improved developmentally, the poverty scale, inequality gap, crises of poor management of the environment, economic structures of ownership, wealth distribution within the group mind compass, labour and productivity, remains fundamental points of disputations.”
While the world is faced with the many challenges, he added that, “It is essential that we rehumanize the human experience – connected to the divine essence within us – for a better and more humane world.”
NIIA Director General, Eghosa Osaghae, joined his voice in calling on the government and people in power to act on the strategic and practical deliberations from the lecture to ensure the growth of its citizens and contribute to the development of the country.