StandTall Africa Initiative, a non-governmental organisation fostering reading culture and fact-based research, held an event Saturday to welcome fellows, senior fellows, and researchers.
The programme, held in Abuja, was put together to recognise and confer some Nigerians with fellowship status. The group also unveiled its newly established research centres, one of which was named after the Emir of Dutse, Nuhu Sanusi.
The host of the event said the research centres will attend to research needs in Africa, especially researches capable of improving the qualities of life and education of the populace.
In his opening remarks, the country representative at StandTall Africa Initiative, Ogah Emmanuel, said some of the challenges facing Nigeria can only be addressed through the establishment of strong and functional institutions.
He said the institute has built 52 libraries fully equipped with books and relevant reading materials across institutions and schools in Africa. According to him, the institute has also placed over 1000 undergraduates on study scholarships while over 2,500 students and pupils were given annual scholarships renewable every year.
He added that the institute has given research grants to 150 lecturers and trained over 5,000 teachers.
Mr Emmanuel said members who were conferred with fellows and senior fellows of the institute must consider the honour as a call to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of the institute’s core values and objectives — raising the standard of education in Africa and Nigeria.
A total of 14 people were appointed fellows while 12 others were appointed senior fellows.
The institute also unveiled the Centre for Research on Green Economy and Protection Against Desertification and Climate Change. The centre was built in honour of Nuhu Sanusi, the emir of Dutse, Jigawa State.
The Centre for Research on National Security, Intelligence Gathering and Surveillance was named in honour of a former Chief of Army Staff, Abdulrahman Dambazau.
On the other hand, the Centre for Research on Quality Leadership, Good Governance and Human Rights was unveiled in honour of Adamu Baba-Yunusa, the Ona of Abaji.
“These three noble Nigerians automatically become the patrons of their respective centres and chairmen of the boards accordingly,” Mr Emmanuel said.
StandTall Africa Initiatives hopes that the centres will engage in transformative projects on the green economy, promote quality leadership, policy formulation and implementation for good governance, protection of the African people and improve efficiency of human rights in Africa.
Earlier in his remarks, the governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru, appreciated StandTall Africa Initiative for honouring the Emir of Dutse. He said the recognition is a win for the monarch and the entire Jigawa State.
Mr Abubakar said he is confident that the emir will bring positive changes to the institute, most especially in the green economy.
He said the monarch is dedicated to supporting every project aimed at nation-building.
In his submission, the Sa’Karuyi of Karu Chiefdom, Emmanuel Yepwi, said insecurity has hampered industrialisation and sustainable development in Nigeria. He said the unprecedented incidences of insecurity has culminated in the allocation of the country’s meagre resources to the protection of lives and properties.
It has also made the government divert resources meant for development purposes to security, Mr Yepwi said. He added that as the menace persists, investors will remain scared about investing and committing their hard-earned resources to lucrative businesses in Nigeria.
He said the security challenges are severely hampering economic growth, leaving the country to face escalating youth unemployment.
To address this malady, Mr Yepwi said the government must provide “quality employment opportunities, improve political stability, and recognise the need for adequate sensitisation of the people through government agencies.
“Government should also embark on policies and programmes that will lead to human capital development: de-radicalization process of repentant terrorists and bandits alongside skill acquisition and education to enable self-sufficiency,” he said.