The President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, has said that an enhanced national value system will help in tackling insurgency, promote good governance and engender appreciation of integrity by the citizenry.
The President said this in Abuja, when he declared open the 7th Annual Forum of Laureates of the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM), with the theme: “The National Value System,” organised by the Governing Board of the Nigerian National Merit Award (NNMA).
President Jonathan noting the pivotal role, value orientation plays in national development said, “Government is determined to deliver to Nigerians, particularly the youths, an enhanced value system that promotes peace, unity, patriotism, hard-work, integrity and love for one another, a value system, on which we can build a stronger, vibrant, indivisible and united Nigeria of our dreams.”
Dr. Jonathan, who spoke through Vice President Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, stressed that government’s doors were always open to valuable suggestions.
He praised the laureates of the NNOM for their contribution to national and world development, saying no nation could survive without the input of its intellectuals, therefore encouraging them not to relent in the path they had chosen, of excellence and development.
The President further commended the Governing Board of the NNMA for a job well done, saying the NNMA had proved itself to be responsible unbiased and upright in the performance of its core functions.
While appreciating the need for the formation of the Policy Group of the intellectual class the President also disclosed that government was considering the establishment of the Nigerian National Research and Development Fund and also increasing the financial provision for the Endowment Fund.
The Arch-Bishop of the Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, who delivered the keynote address, which centred on the National Value System, stressed the importance of religious values to the development of any society.
Bishop Kukah decried the absence of collectivism as factor militating against the nation’s development, urging politicians and the generality of Nigerians to put national interest ahead of personal interest.
Earlier the Chairman of the NNMA Governing Board, Prof Etim Essien, said that the theme of the 7th Forum was expected to produce recommendations that would identify key issues required to transform the nation’s value system and in the process create a value orientation among the people.
He remained the President of the need to establish an NNMA Policy Group, a special fund for centrally administered Research and Development, as well as increasing the capitalisation of Endowment Fund of the NNMA as provided for in the enabling law establish the agency.
The Forum of Laureates is part of activities leading to the investiture by the President of the 2014 awardees of the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM). The Forum was formed in 2007. The NNMA is an Order of Dignity given to deserving Nigerians for outstanding intellectual and academic attainment that contribute to National endeavours in Science, technology, medicine, the humanities, arts and culture and any other field of human endeavour.
FOR: UMAR SANI (SSA MEDIA AND PUBLICITY TO THE VICE PRESIDENT)