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Total Parental Guidance Orphanage: Home Built on God’s Inspiration



By Eric Elezuo

In 2008, when Mr. Olusegun Ogungbe obeyed a divine call to float an orphanage home, many thought he was threading on an unknown ground, but little did anyone realise that when God ordains, he makes available the resources to put to work His divine assignment. And so it is with TOTAL PARENTAL GUIDANCE Orphanage Home, located at Oluyole Estate in Ibadan, where children of all ages are given the best of attention and care to give them a standard pedestal to compete favourably in the professional world.

With over 20 children of different age categories occupying the double bungalow of the home, standard has remained the watchword in addition to fear of God with attendant vocational superiority.

When The Boss visited the facility, the neatness of the entire environment was the first attraction. The home is maintained to squeaking cleanliness with passionate caregivers going about their duties with zeal.

Established 14 years ago, the Home, founded by Ogungbe, is run on a daily basis by someone you can call the administrator or matron, and you will not be wrong, Mrs. Grace Akpan, a down to earth person, who had held sway in the facility since November 2009. She is the only mother-figure the children have known, and they adore her to high heavens as a result of what they described as her unequalled kindness, devotion to their welfare and desire to see that the best happen to them.

It is not by accident that the Home, only recently produced its first graduate, Opeyemi, who was one of the first sets of children admitted into the home, from the prestigious Redeemers University. Another, by divine arrangement, has just been admitted by the Kings University in Ode Omu, and the rest of the children are graciously attended the best of schools in Ibadan metropolis, striving to become the best destiny has preserved for them.

The Boss chose to tell the story of the Home through the voices of the inmates. Here are excerpts:

We Have Reached Full Capacity, and Needs Expansion – Ogungbe, Founder, Total Parentage Guidance Orphanage.

Segun Ogungbe, Founder, Total Parental Guidance Orphanage

The Boss: Can you go down memory lane, and recapture how this Home to be

Ogungbe:  We are living in a building my dad and mum left when they died in 1999 and 2001 respectively. As the only child of my parents, I inherited the building. Initially, I tried commercialising the property because in this area, everything is mostly commercial. I was contemplating leasing it out as block of offices, but God intervened. I had gone for a church service in December 2002 in London when a certain preacher was ministering on supporting the orphans. That was when I heard a voice, ‘my son that’s what I want you to do’. When I looked around to know where the voice was going from, I saw no one. The voice came again. I obeyed, and asked God to direct me on whatever steps to take. With that, it was easy to locate contacts and the ministry to register with. We later got a solicitor to draft the contract, register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and then derived the capital to begin with.

It is pertinent to note that the preparation for this took about five years; between January 2003 and December 2008. The Home opened for operations on December 1, 2008, which has remained our Founder’s Day. It was approved by the Ministry of Welfare, which we carried along in every step, for us to conduct our activities from that day. The ministry provided assistance in advising on infrastructure, ratio of caregivers and every other requirements. We refurbished the whole place. And with our desire to make everything perfect, consulted other homes like Heritage Homes already in existence for guidance. We raised 18 months funds to help with operations before more funds would come in.

Ogungbe with some secondary school students of the Home

As we were working towards that, we realised we had to build a kitchen. There were originally twin buildings, all completed as far back as  August 1977. So we needed to have extra structures. I knew I couldn’t do half measures, that it is either I do it, or I don’t. With the help of God, I arranged all the furniture. We got the first matron, who left after sometime, but the present matron, Mrs. Grace Akpan has been with us ever since (November 2009).

The challenges we encountered were issues of transportation and schools the children will go. Then we had about seven children. Opeyemi, who just graduated from Redeemers University was one them. There is also another girl that has just been admitted to UNILAG; and the first set of twins, who are 13 years old at the moment. Other challenges had to do with wage bill and operations. But we have learnt as we trudged along.

The Boss: Running an orphanage home of this magnitude comes with tangible challenges. Can you itemise them?

One of the sleeping quarters for the children

Ogungbe: Some of these challenges lie with determining the health status of the children as they grow up. However, before any child is admitted here, we carry out some medical tests such as HIV and other major ailments. We also do background check on all our children to determine the status of their parents. If they are dead, what is the circumstance surrounding their death. This helps us to know how to care more for the child.

Here, because we are not just running a business as most people do, getting the best of staff becomes a challenge as we have to go for the very best. Ours is a cause to better humanity, and we can’t afford to get it wrong. We look out for those who have the heart and passion for the job and those sent by God to do it.

The Boss: Apart from the divine inspiration which prompted your setting up the home, are there any other reason behind this enterprise

Ogungbe: It’s important to note that my mother use to have a daycare centre around here. I have had a soft spot for children ever since, and I don’t like to see children suffering. More so, when God picks you for a role, there is no saying no, or going back. Originally I resisted the call, and was busy praying for breakthroughs in other areas, but God told me “look, I have already given you a job”, and I have to advise myself. This orphanage is divinely inspired, and that is why God is helping us.

A cross section of the children with the matron, Mrs Akpan

But the major challenge is funding. We have used our God-given wisdom to raised funds. God has intervened divinely in many ways and on many occasions. I must not fail to mention a particular God-sent benefactor, who consistently paid money to assist in running the home. He knows himself, and wouldn’t want his name mentioned.

But how did it all begin? At a point sometime in 2007, God instructed me to go to Nigeria. At this time I had no money, and so I resisted. But God insisted, and gave me directions. Long and short of the matter, of the names I was directed to pen down, one called me just as the time of my travelling got closer. I came, and he signed a cheque for me. Shortly after, another cheque came in from another benefactor, and that was how it continued, and lo and behold before the day of the trip, I had about three thousand Pounds and N1.5 million from donors including Pastor Femi Faseru. So, I came to Nigeria and did so much on the orphanage to put it in shape.

In the same vein, kindhearted Nigerians have been donating items and money to sustain the home. We are even privileged to have donors who gave us either full or half scholarship for schools.

Mr Ogungbe with primary and nursery pupils


As at the moment, we are at full capacity with over 20 children, with all getting the best of attention and attending the best of schools. This is where we need the much need assistance to continue to give out the best of tutelage we have been known for since 2008. Now, the foundation of this house is meant for a two story building, we need to expand the building to create more sleeping areas, library and recreational facilities. This will help us give the much needed humanitarian service. We need two, two storey buildings here. As the children are growing older, much spaces are required even as new ones are joining. So we really need to expand.

We also need an inverter to complement generator services in order to ensure that power remains constant for the children to excel in their academics. We need more computers for the children to enhance their vocational abilities. Our children are really excelling in their work, and this has shown in some of the exhibitions we have had, as well as training programmes conducted. With additional support, they can go places. We are blessed with an easy to find location already, and so we appeal for kind Nigerians to help the expansion of this great humanity-based institution

Who are you looking at to help with this expansion you talked about

I know Nigerians are very kind people and don’t like children suffering. Specifically, we are calling on captains of industries such as the effervescent Michael Adenuga Jnr., Mr Femi Otedola, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and many others.

The dinning area

Is this Institution registered and recognised

Sure, we are registered with the Association of Orphanage Homes, which our dear matron, Mrs Akpan, is the treasurer for the state. This association is saddled with the responsibility of inspecting orphanages. Most times, they have visited us on impromptu basis, and never found us wanting in any area, be it cleanliness, availability or otherwise.

In the last years, what can you say are the strengths of the Home in terms behavioural pattern of the children, academic performance etc

We are committed to excellence in every area. In academics, the documents are there to prove their abilities. Here, apart from the schools they go, we provide extra moral lessons at home. There is also pastoral care for them. We undertake complete welfare of every area of their lives, and to the glory of God, standardization has remained the watchword of the Home. In fact, we submit report to the Ministry of Welfare on a monthly basis. We are all round, and with the little help we seek, we are sure to reach the zenith..

Do you have any plan of establishing a school so as to make the children school within

Yes, the plan is already drafted, waiting for execution. All we need are people who share in our dreams to key into the project and they will be glad they did.

Taiye and Kehinde Yisau, the first set twins in the home, now 13 years old

We Do Everything to Ensure Total Safety of Our Children – Mrs Grace Akpan, Home Matron

Here at Total Parental Guidance Orphanage Homes, we give total attention and care to vulnerable children ranching from shelter, food, education, tutelage and pastoral care

What is the idea behind the establishment of this home

The home is a product of vision given to the founder by God himself. And that is why the home is quite different from every other home. It is not an NGO, which most people open to raise money. This home is in total obedience to God by Mr. Segun Ogungbe. He started by faith, and God took over. I have been here for 13 years. I joined just before the one year anniversary of the home, and God has been faithful

My qualifications are not educational, but passion and talent. I am a total mother, who has singlehandedly raised five children since the death of my husband. To have raised five well behaved children alone is enough qualification. I discovered that I have this penchant for loving and caring for children, and I have utilised them to the later. So it was not difficult for those who interviewed me to see these qualities, and offered me the matron job, and 13 years down the lane, God has used me and the Founder to turn around a lot things here including providing this particular office I have now, which among other things, have served as a place to pray to God.

One thing becomes obvious immediately one walks into this place, and that is how clean the environment is. Tell us more

I don’t compromise with squalor and dirtiness. I am by nature a very clean person, and anyone that knows me can testify. This is one of my very qualities, and I am reciprocating it here. I go around everywhere to ensure cleanliness. This place is used as a reference point for neatness in the whole of Oyo State.

I met six children when I joined, but by the grace of God, we have 22 children now. When I joined, all our children were attending public schools, but through God’s grace and my effort, we gained places for them in private schools.

Mrs Akpan with members of staff

How do you derive funding for their education

God has been helping us. I appeal to our benefactors, and ask for scholarship, and God is helping us. The Founder has been putting major efforts, and I know that I have to support with own drive effort. Schools like Adedunke Group of Schools at Ososanmi give our children 100 per cent scholarship. There is another one called Great Kiddies Porch, which gives us fifty per cent scholarship. There is also New Realms and Brainchild Care, which also give our children 100 per cent scholarship

What are your challenges in the process of doing your job here

Yes, there are challenges, but the major one is more of spiritual. Sometimes, you don’t know what has taken the lives of the parents of some children, and you are standing in the gap to rescue the child. We fight more of spiritual battle than physical. I do sometimes dry fasting to see that our children are safe. On the physical basis, money is the thing we need. With money, we can do everything we want. I call therefore all well meaning Nigerians to come to our aid. Someone just gave us a huge deep freezer, another at PG changed our chairs. I believe God will touch the hearts of those he has put substance in their hands to elevate this home to assist us.

Can you comment on their attitudinal and academic performances

With all sense of humility, I will say that our children are performing optimally in both academics and morals. We have just graduated one child from the university, and another just got in. We are training them in the way of the Lord.

What categories of children can be admitted here

This is a home run on Christian background and principles. But we admit anyone so long as you agree to the fact that we will train in the Christian way, take them to church and generally admonish them in the way of Christ. We have Muslims here too, but every tutelage is Christian-oriented.

How do you scout for your children

Most of our children come in while they were babies, but we take as much as the facility can handle, and that is the more reason we need assistance to expand.

The Home's school bus

At Total Homes, We Don’t Leave Anything to Chance  – Jumoke Olawale, Reporting Officer

So let me know your experience as a reporting officer for this home

I have been working here for past four years. And being a reporting officer has given me the privilege to meet the vulnerable children. In my experience so far, I have had a closer relationship with the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs and more. So, this gives me the opportunity to know the Association of Orphanages, and OVC operators in Nigeria.

What else does your job entails

Yeah. Apart from giving the reports for the home, I give report to the Ministry of Women Affairs, as I said earlier. I give report to the Association of Orphanages and Home Operators. I learnt a lot through this, as it allows me to move with vulnerable children, new people, visitors, donors, and others.

Another sleeping area

What has it been like in your four years working for Total as regards management of the children, their upbringing and why somebody should choose this home instead of another one?

I use to think that it’s only children that have parents that have the benefits of going to school, and the cool things in life. But working in this orphanage has made me have a rethink. Having seen the way we are training the children, it really shows that it’s not only children with parents that have privilege of going to school, or have a good, solid education.

What do you do here that is not prevalent and not very common out there that make your children outstanding?

The way we bring them up; it is quite different from others.

\What is that magic you inject in bringing the children that makes better? 

It’s not really magic but God because we can’t train them on our own strength. God makes it easier for us. We have different types of children here, so its only God that gives direction.

Thank you very much.


Total Home Has Taught Me to Give without Restriction – Opeyemi, First Graduate

Home’s first graduate, Opeyemi


For Opeyemi, who has completed studies at the Redeemers’ University, the Home has tutored him in love, and bequeathed the virtue of giving to him. A graduate of Sociology, awaiting NYSC call up, the young man, who looked every inch aristocrat, share his experience in the Home he came into 13 years ago when he was just nine.

You are a child of Total Homes. Can you tell us your experience during your stay there?

It’s has been great, filled with lots of lessons, time tested advice, and without the Matron and Founder of this home, I won’t be here today. They have invested a lot in me.

You were nine years when you were admitted here, and today 13 years after, you are 22. What can you say is your takeaway from here 

The biggest thing I’ve learned in this home is be a giver. I have realised that if the founder is not a giver, I won’t be who I am today. I won’t be a graduate. And I don’t know what would have happened to my siblings. So the biggest thing I’ve learned and one thing I will keep holding on to is the act of giving.

What was the relationship like between you and your younger ones in the home

We were brought up in good and lovely environment with love, and that has formed the basis of our relationship. They use love to bring us up and we use love to relate with one another.

How will you remember here when you eventually make it big in life

One thing is certain. I can never forget this home because any river that forgets its source will dry up. My matron tells me that every time. So, I can’t forget where I was brought up. Though I’m out of here, I still have other siblings here that need care. I can’t forget this home. There will always be a payback time, I’m sure.

Mr Ogungbe and Mrs Akpan

There must be a message you would wish to give those who seek a desirable orphanage home concerning this place.

Very simple! That Total Parental Guidance is a very lovely home. It’s a home to keeps ones mind be at rest because children are empowered here with something tangible.

Without iota of doubt, this place need more facilities in addition to the one it has already. So what would you say to government and kindhearted Nigerians

They should help the home to maximise its potential. The founder has done and is doing so much already, and needs the assistance of all and sundry to further produce great children that will build Nigeria for the better. The facility here can expanded so that more homeless children out there can further be accommodated.

The standard the Home dishes out to the public has made it a cynosure of all eyes, and seems to draw volunteers to home to offer one service or another, pro bono. One of sure volunteers is Olateju Oladipo, who took up the function of driving the children to and fro schools on a daily basis.

The common room

“Actually, it has been amazing because getting to work with kids is something that I did not have the opportunity to do before, but now it has shown me that wow, there’s so many things that I did not know and that I needed to know. And being with them taught me so much about even myself because I got to take them to school bring them back. It has been an amazing experience basically,” he said.

He rated the home, management and the children 10 over 10 in all areas, saying the kids have been groomed to be very respectful. He added that he has taken up the job of unpaid of PR person for the school because their services are comparable to the best.

Caregiver, Mrs Edith Eze

The Home is blessed with passionate caregivers, led by Mrs Edith Eze, who gave assurance that everything, including their remuneration is topnotch. According to Eze, we give the children the best of care and attention, and ensure they feel at home at home. We correct and rebuke when necessary, and perform general motherly duties.”

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Tinubu’s ‘Lagosnisation’ of Nigeria




By Eric Elezuo

While Nigerians had bargained a clear departure from former President Muhammadu Buhari’s subtle agenda of cronyism, nepotism and fulanisation, the present crop of administration is replete with something worse than that, considering the policies and appointment decisions of the substantive President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

While a large chunk of the president’s appointment has concentrated on the South West, his native Yoruba origin, observers have said that though the appointees  ear Yoruba names, but their their appointments do not reflect the region but favours a certain group known as the Lagos Boys, a clear indication that Tinubu is on a short run to create a theory of Lagosnisation of Nigeria.

The agenda, which has become so obvious even as Nigerians have started to complain, has in its wake men and women with whom a respondent says Tinubu had used to hold bound Lagos in over 24 years of return to democratic rule.

“The intention of this Lagosnisation principle is not far from caging the country as he did Lagos since 1999. Nithing good is coming out of it. The administration is just a transfer of the Lagos boys to Aso Rock, Abuja,” the respondent told The Boss.

Another noted that apart from.the mandatory one state per minister althea constitution prescribed, other appointments have tilted to the South West, notably the cronies from Lagos.

It is important to note that all the juicy ministerial, agencies and parastatal positions, especially as refers to revenue and economy have gone to the boys from Lagos.

Among the cronies are:

Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff

The immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Gbajabiamila has been with Tinubu since the days of Alliance for Democracy, and has been elected for six consecutive terms to represent the people of Surulere 1 Federal Constituency of Lagos in the National Assembly.

Under Tinubu’s tutelage, he contested and lost the speakership of the 8th assembly, but was elected on his next try as the 9th assembly speaker.

Olayemi Michael Cardoso, Givernor, Central Bank of Nigeria

Cardoso served as the first commissioner/cabinet member for Economic Planning and Budget for Lagos State when Tinu was the governor. He has also served on the board of several leading companies including Texaco and Chevron Oil Plc.

Dr. Yemi Cardoso is a financial and development expert with over thirty years of experience in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors.

He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Citibank Nigeria.

Dele Alake, Minister of Solid Minerals 

Alake served as Commissioner for Information and Strategy of Lagos State between 1999 and 2007 when under the administration of Tinubu as governor.
Wale Edun, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy 
Edun was appointed the Lagos State Commissioner for Finance in 1999 by then governor, Bola Tinubu. He was in office till 2004.
Hakeem Muri Okuola, PPS Personal Physician to Tinubu 
In the run off to the 2023 general elections, speculations were rife that Muri-Okunola, a one time Personal Assistant to Tinubu (2003 – 2005) during his governor days in Lagos State, would be replacing Sanwo-Olu as Lagos State Governor. However, rumors had it that Tinubu, as the Lagos kingmaker, later changed his mind after considering some variables.
He was later made the Executive Secretary to the Governor, Land Use and Allocation Committee, and afterwards, promoted to the position of Permanent Secretary in the Lagos State Public Service in 2011. He resigned as Lagos State Head of Service a few days ago.
Tunde Rahman, Special Assistant to the President on Media Affairs

Rahman was appointed the media adviser to Tinubu In 2016 to replace Sunday Dare, who was appointed commissioner in the Nigerian Communications Commission. He has since remained in the shadows of Tinubu, and today merits a mention as he relocates to Aso Rock to continue his stewardship.

Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, SA, Sustainable Development Goals

A former deputy governor of Lagos State from 2011 to 2015, Orelope-Adefulire was appointed the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation of Lagos State from 2003 to 2011 by Tinubu. She retained the post even after Tinubu left.

A loyalist of Tinubu to the core, she was known to have abandoned his principal, former governor Adewunmi Ambode, when it rumored that Tinubu was no longer in supported of his administration. In 2016, Buhari appointed her  Senior Special Assistant on Sustainable Development Goals.

Gboyega Oyetola, Minister of Marine and Blue Economy

Oyetola has always been touted as a crony of Tinubu, and that paved the way for him to rise to the governorship position of Osun State after serving as Chief of Staff to Rauf Aregbesola, a former Commissioner for Works under Tinubu in Lagos State. He may not have served directly in Lagos, but is believed to have the flow from the Tinubu, especially as his former immediate boss, Aregbesola, was supposedly taking orders from Lagos.

Observers are also of the opinion that Tinubu also had the same level of stranglehold on Osun as he has of Lagos, prior to the emergence of the incumbent governor, Ademola Adeleke.

This is not forgetting the fact that Oyetola is Tinubu’s nephew.

Lola Ade-John, Minister of Tourism 

Having spent all her career in finance and technology sector, Lola was appointed Tourism Minister. She had worked with Shell Petroleum as a systems analyst. Then she proceeded to work with Magnum Trust bank, Access Bank, United Bank for Africa and Ecobank.

After her stinct at the banking sector, she founded Novateur Business Tecchnology Consultants in 2013.

On 16 August 2023, she was appointed minister of Tourism by President Bola Tinubu. She assumed office on 21 August 2023

Mutiu Are – Member Of North-East Devt Commission

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Secretary of the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC), Mutiu Are is one of the eyes if Tinubu watching over the governor(s) of Lagos.

Toyin Subair – Senior Special Assistant (Domestic) to President

According to a report, Toyin’s relationship with Tinubu dates back to early 2000s, as both operate a father-and-son relationship.

Toyin Subair founded the now-rested HiTV, a digital satellite TV channel in 2007. It was created to rival the DSTV monopoly and was the first television platform in Africa to deploy Hypercable, a terrestrial pay-per-view TV decoder system. The collapse of the project made him.leave the country, it was reported that Tinubu was there for him, and nursed him back to life

Kayode Egbetokun – Inspector General of Police

The present IGP is another crony of Tinubu, who served as his Chief Security Officer as Deputy Superintendent of Police in 1999.

In that capacity, he coordinated the security of the entire state while reporting to the governor. Observers say that rewarding his with the highest office in the Police Force is a testament of favoritism.

Others with similar affiliations are:

Adekunle Tinubu – Personal Physician

Damilotun Aderemi – Senior Special Assistant (Private Secretary)

Toyin Subair – Senior Special Assistant (Domestic).

Demola Oshodi – Senior Special Assistant (protocol)

Tope Ajayi – Senior Special Assistant (Media & Public Affairs)

Jide obanikoro – Special Assistant, Education

Tunji Alausa – Minister of State for Health

Observers and the Nigerian public have complained aloud that the sustaining of cronyism in the Tinubu administration is akin to monarchical system where government is run by family, and gradually leading to what is obtainable in Lagos, which Tinubu is accused of holding captive for 24 years and counting.

Nigerians are hoping that the fulanisation of Nigeria, which Buhari was accused for eight years does not transcend to Lagosnisation of Nigeria as is gradually unfolding.

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Just In: Tribunal Nullifies Kano Gov’s Election, Declares APC Candidate Winner




The Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has sacked Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf, declaring the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the March 18 election.

Yusuf, who contested on the platform of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), was declared winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

While Nasir Gawuna, his APC rival congratulated him, the party proceeded to court.

On Wednesday, the three-man panel ordered withdrawal of certificate of return which INEC presented to Governor Yusuf and directed a certificate of return to be issued to Gawuna.

The court deducted 165,663 votes from Gov Yusuf total as invalid votes, stating that the ballot papers (165,663) were not stamped or signed and therefore declared invalid.

Daily Trust

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Tinubu Addresses 78th UNGA (Full Text of Speech)




Nigeria’s president, Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday addressed the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, ongoing in New York.

Read full speech below:


Mr. President,

Heads of State and Government, Secretary-General,

Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mr. President,

On behalf of the people of Nigeria, I congratulate you on your well-deserved election as President of this Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

We commend your predecessor, His Excellency, Mr. Csaba Korosi for his able stewardship of the Assembly.

We also commend His Excellency, Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, for his work seeking to forge solutions to humanity’s common challenges.

This is my first address before the General Assembly. Permit me to say a few words on behalf of Nigeria, on behalf of Africa, regarding this year’s theme.

Many proclamations have been made, yet our troubles remain close at hand. Failures in good governance have hindered Africa. But broken promises, unfair treatment and outright exploitation from abroad have also exacted a heavy toll on our ability to progress.

Given this long history, if this year’s theme is to mean anything at all, it must mean something special and particular to Africa.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, nations gathered in an attempt to rebuild their war- torn societies. A new global system was born and this great body, the United Nations, was established as a symbol and protector of the aspirations and finest ideals of humankind.

Nations saw that it was in their own interests to help others exit the rubble and wasteland of war. Reliable and significant assistance allowed countries emaciated by war to grow into strong and productive societies.

The period was a highwater mark for trust in global institutions and the belief that humanity had learned the necessary lessons to move forward in global solidarity and harmony.

Today and for several decades, Africa has been asking for the same level of political commitment and devotion of resource that described the Marshall Plan.

We realize that underlying conditions and causes of the economic challenges facing today’s Africa are significantly different from those of post war Europe.

We are not asking for identical programs and actions. What we seek is an equally firm commitment to partnership. We seek enhanced international cooperation with African nations to achieve the 2030 agenda and Sustainable Development Goals.

There are five important points I want to highlight.

First, if this year’s theme is to have any impact at all, global institutions, other nations and their private sector actors must see African development as a priority, not just for Africa but in their interests as well.

Due to both longstanding internal and external factors, Nigeria’s and Africa’s economic structures have been skewed to impede development, industrial expansion, job creation, and the equitable distribution of wealth.

If Nigeria is to fulfil its duty to its people and the rest of Africa, we must create jobs and the belief in a better future for our people.

We must also lead by example.

To foster economic growth and investor confidence in Nigeria, I removed the costly and corrupt fuel subsidy while also discarding a noxious exchange rate system in my first days in office. Other growth and job oriented reforms are in the wings.

I am mindful of the transient hardship that reform can cause. However, it is necessary to go through this phase in order to establish a foundation for durable growth and investment to build the economy our people deserve.

We welcome partnerships with those who do not mind seeing Nigeria and Africa assume larger roles in the global community.

The question is not whether Nigeria is open for business. The question is how much of the world is truly open to doing business with Nigeria and Africa in an equal, mutually beneficial manner.

Direct investment in critical industries, opening their ports to a wider range and larger quantity of African exports and meaningful debt relief are important aspects of the cooperation we seek.

Second, we must affirm democratic governance as the best guarantor of the sovereign will and well-being of the people. Military coups are wrong, as is any tilted civilian political arrangement that perpetuates injustice.

The wave crossing parts of Africa does not demonstrate favour towards coups. It is a demand for solutions to perennial problems.

Regarding Niger, we are negotiating with the military leaders. As Chairman of ECOWAS, I seek to help re-establish democratic governance in a manner that addresses the political and economic challenges confronting that nation, including the violent extremists who seek to foment instability in our region. I extend a hand of friendship to all who genuinely support this mission.

This brings me to my third crucial point. Our entire region is locked in protracted battle against violent extremists. In the turmoil, a dark channel of inhumane commerce has formed. Along the route, everything is for sale. Men, women and children are seen as chattel.

Yet, thousands risk the Sahara’s hot sand and the Mediterranean’s cold depths in search of a better life. At the same time, mercenaries and extremists with their lethal weapons and vile ideologies invade our region from the north.

This harmful traffic undermines the peace and stability of an entire region. African nations will improve our economies so that our people do not risk their lives to sweep the floors and streets of other nations. We also shall devote ourselves to disbanding extremist groups on our turf.

Yet, to fully corral this threat, the international community must strengthen its commitment to arrest the flow of arms and violent people into West Africa.

The fourth important aspect of global trust and solidarity is to secure the continent’s mineral rich areas from pilfering and conflict. Many such areas have become catacombs of misery and exploitation. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has suffered this for decades, despite the strong UN presence there. The world economy owes the DRC much but gives her very little.

The mayhem visited on resource rich areas does not respect national boundaries. Sudan, Mali, Burkina Faso, CAR, the list grows.

The problems also knocks Nigeria’s door.

Foreign entities abetted by local criminals who aspire to be petty warlords have drafted thousands of people into servitude to illegally mine gold and other resources. Billions of dollars meant to improve the nation now fuel violent enterprises. If left unchecked, they will threaten peace and place national security at grave risk.

Given the extent of this injustice and the high stakes involved, many Africans are asking whether this phenomenon is by accident or by design.

Member nations must reply by working with us to deter their firms and nationals from this 21st century pillage of the continent’s riches.

Fifth, climate change severely impacts Nigeria and Africa. Northern Nigeria is hounded by desert encroachment on once arable land. Our south is pounded by the rising tide of coastal flooding and erosion. In the middle, the rainy season brings floods that kill and displace multitudes.

As I lament deaths at home, I also lament the grave loss of life in Morocco and Libya. The Nigerian people are with you.

African nations will fight climate change but must do so on our own terms. To achieve the needed popular consensus, this campaign must accord with overall economic efforts.

In Nigeria, we shall build political consensus by highlighting remedial actions which also promote economic good. Projects such as a Green Wall to stop desert encroachment, halting the destruction of our forests by mass production and distribution of gas burning stoves, and providing employment in local water management and irrigation projects are examples of efforts that equally advance both economic and climate change objectives.

Continental efforts regarding climate change will register important victories if established economies were more forthcoming with public and private sector investment for Africa’s preferred initiatives.

Again, this would go far in demonstrating that global solidarity is real and working.


As I close, let me emphasize that Nigeria’s objectives accord with the guiding principles of this world body: peace, security, human rights and development.

In fundamental ways, nature has been kind to Africa, giving abundant land, resources and creative and industrious people. Yet, man has too often been unkind to his fellow man and this sad tendency has brought sustained hardship to Africa’s doorstep.

To keep faith with the tenets of this world body and the theme of this year’s Assembly, the poverty of nations must end. The pillage of one nation’s resources by the overreach of firms and people of stronger nations must end. The will of the people must be respected. This beauty, generous and forgiving planet must be protected.

As for Africa, we seek to be neither appendage nor patron. We do not wish to replace old shackles with new ones.

Instead, we hope to walk the rich African soil and live under the magnificent African sky free of the wrongs of the past and clear of their associated encumbrances. We desire a prosperous, vibrant democratic living space for our people.

To the rest of the world, I say walk with us as true friends and partners. Africa is not a problem to be avoided nor is it to be pitied. Africa is nothing less than the key to the world’s future.

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