Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State said on Sunday that natural resources alone could not launch Nigeria into prosperity.
The governor, who spoke during a Church Service marking the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Aremo, Ibadan, said education and human capital development would be top priorities of his administration.
According to him, no country of the world became prosperous by merely relying on natural resources.
He said, “Knowledge is power and that is why, in this administration, education will still remain top priority.”
Noting that the Nigerian Armed Forces had made supreme sacrifices for the peace and unity of Nigeria, he said, “I want to appreciate the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces because you have done well for this country. Your colleagues had 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 contributed to peace in the world.
“We know you have taken a lot of risk on behalf of all of us and we just want to say thank you.”
The governor stated further, “As I was listening to the Archbishop, I picked certain things from his statement. 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 utilise 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 gave to them, developed 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. This is how they were able to take themselves out of poverty.”
Makinde charged Nigerians to emulate the Armed Forces by organising themselves and doing the right thing at the right time, saying we should utilise the talents that we have inherent in us as individuals, because that is what can take this 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.”
“On this note, I want to wish the members of Nigerian Armed Forces and their families a happy celebration. We are with them always.”
Earlier in his sermon, the Archbishop of Ibadan Province, Most Reverend Segun Okubadejo, appreciated the members of the Nigerians Armed Forces for their roles in protecting the lives and properties of the citizens.
He admonished them to always put God first in their dealings, even as he said members of the Armed Forces were indispensable in the society.
The cleric urged Nigerian leaders to manage the nation’s natural resources well so that poverty could be alleviated.
Those in attendance on the occasion included the wife of the governor, Mrs Tamunominini; the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun; Deputy Chief of Staff, Mojeed Mogbonjubola; General Officer Commanding 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Major-General A.B. Omozoje; Commander 2 Division, Garrison, Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General O.O. Soyele; Chairman, Nigerian Legion, Oyo State Command, Deacon Micheal Fajimi; military officers, members of paramilitary organisations and other top government officials.