By Jessica Dogo
Gov. Yahaya Bello has expressed his administration’s commitment to the development of the education sector as the key to high-level human capital development needed for emancipation of the people.
Bello made this known at the conferment of Press Freedom Award given to him by the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) as a distinguished friend of the media on Tuesday night in Abuja.
”Even though I consider the economic sector to be important, it is no secret that I hold the education sector in high esteem in view of its foremost position in development.
“Quality and affordable education is the key to a high level of human capital development, which is, in turn, the access code to unlocking keys needed for a breakthrough in all other sectors,” he said.
He said that that higher institutions in Kogi now have uninterrupted academic calendar.
Bello said that the educational orientation that the people now have in Kogi today brought unity among the ethnic groups in the state.
He urged the Kogi people to keep educating themselves in words and actions, adding that education cannot be over emphasised.
”Education simplified the problems we inherited in Kogi. I want to use this opportunity to call on each and every one of us across this country to educate ourselves.
”If we educate ourselves well, leaders will lead well and followers will follow well. If we educate well, we will not instigate non-state actors to carry arms against the country.
”If we educate ourselves, we will not see any leader the will embezzle one naira not to talk of millions, billions or trillions because we know that when you take such moneys that does not belong to you, you are laying a foundation in crisis.
”If we educate ourselves, we should be able to criticise our leaders constructively rather than pulling our country down.
“Thank God students are here today testifying that we are having an uninterrupted academic calendar in all of our institutions. We did our best and we are still doing our best in the educational sector.
“We have been able to educate ourselves that any nation, who wants to have a future must be able to look inward and develop the younger generation,” he said.
Bello also said that any nation that wants to attain development and greatness, must look inward and empower the women and bring out the best in them.
He assured the NUJ leadership of guaranteed press freedom in Kogi and urged them to always draw his attention to anything wrong as constructive criticism was allowed.
Earlier, the NUJ National President, Mr Chris Isiguzo, explained that the “Role Model in Education Award” was a category award exclusively given governors, who have made outstanding contributions to the defence of press freedom.
Isiguzo said that the award was one that recognises revolution to any of the critical sectors of the economy in their states, adding that Bello promoted press freedom and brought revolution to the education sector in Kogi state.
On the path of security, he urged security agencies to step up their game in fighting insecurity and called on Nigerians to support them so that the country would be restored back to shape.
“Nigeria is our home, we have no other country to call our own. It is incumbent to join hands and end insecurity in our country.
“Peace and security must be restored across Nigeria for development to take place,” he said. (NAN)