Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, on Sunday said education and human capital development would remain the top priority of his administration, adding that natural resources alone cannot take Nigeria to its desired prosperity.
Makinde, who spoke at a church service to mark the occasion of the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration, held at Cathedral of St. Peter, Aremo, Ibadan, said no country in the world became prosperous by merely relying on natural resources.
In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary(CPS) to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, Makinde stated that knowledge is power and that is the reason education will still remain top priority for his administration.
The governor said the effective management and usage of the nation’s natural resources by the leaders of the country is the only thing that could take “us out of the poverty in Nigeria.”
He said: “God has blessed us a lot in this country but the leadership has only been managing poverty. That is actually true but I also beg to differ slightly, because natural resources alone can never take any country or society out of poverty.
“The only thing that can take us out of poverty is how we can organise ourselves and how we utilize those natural resources. We can have an abundance of it and we still waste it. As a matter of fact, if we look at the trajectory of countries that have been successful, for example, Japan, they barely have any natural resources but when we look at their people, they utilise the brain God has given to them, developed it and utilised it. Even, they take natural resources from other countries, refine them and sell it back to the countries they got it from at a high cost. So, this is how they were able to take themselves out of poverty.”
The governor further stated that the Nigerian Armed Forces has sacrificed heavily, including making supreme sacrifices for the peace and unity of the country
“I want to appreciate the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed forces because you have done well for this country. Your colleagues have made supreme sacrifice for the unity of this country and for peace of the world because we have a record of members of the Armed forces that actually fought in the World War. So, they have contributed to peace in the world.
“So, we know you have taken a lot of risk on behalf of all of us and we just want to say thank you.
“And on the occasion of this celebration, when I came in, as I was listening to what the Archbishop was saying, I picked some certain things from his statement,” the governor said.
Makinde charged Nigerians to emulate the Armed Forces by organising themselves and doing the right thing at the right time, adding that we should look beyond the natural resources God has given us and utilise the talents that we have inherent in us as individuals, because that is what can take the country out of poverty.
“One of the things that is fascinating to me is how the Armed Forces have been organised. When you go to their function, I cherish the way they carry themselves,” he said.
The governor wished the members of Nigerian Armed Forces and their families a fruitful celebration and pledged the continuous support of his administration.
Earlier in his sermon, the Archbishop of Ibadan Province, Most Reverend Segun Okubadejo, appreciated the members of the Nigerian Armed Forces for protecting the lives and properties of every citizen in the country.
He admonished them to always put God first in all their dealings, even as he maintained that members of the Armed Forces were known to be indispensable to the society.
The Archbishop called on leaders in the country to manage the nation’s natural resources well, I’m order to alleviate poverty in the land.
Dignitaries that attended the service include wife of the governor, Mrs Tamunominini Makinde; the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun; Deputy Chief of Staff, Hon. Mojeed Mogbonjubola; General Officer Commanding, 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Major-General A.B. Omozoje; Commander, 2 Division, Nigerian Army Garrison Command, Brigadier-General O.O. Soyele; Chairman, Nigerian Legion, Oyo State, Deacon Micheal Fajimi; military officers, members of paramilitary organisations and many top government officials.