– By Patrick Ochei
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing has commended a former Federal Lawmaker, Hon. Prince Ned Nwoko for the initiative to establish a Sports University christened STARS University in a local community of Idumuje-Ugboko in Aniocha North LGA of Delta State.
She gave the commendation when she visited the country home of Ned Nwoko at Idumuje-Ugboko on Wednesday, 22nd September, 2021.
Laing said Nigeria is blessed with human resources that should be harnessed as advantage for future advancement in multiplicity of areas of endeavours.
She noted that a Sports University would create the platform for Sports development and in turn bring economic gains as people would leverage on the dynamics of sporting business to invest.
She equally averred that it would engender specific learning in areas of knowledge that are specific, adding that the initiative is a formidable way of getting Sports inclined kids out of the streets.
She posited that Government in a bid to advance governance should partner with initiatives such as the STARS University for the purpose of getting the active segment of its populace more productive while making progress.
“The tragedy of Nigeria is corruption, otherwise the country is enormously blessed with human and material resources for the needed development”, she added.
Laing also applauded Prince Ned Nwoko for being dynamic in his approach to Tourism, saying that what she has seen on ground at Mount Ned Nwoko Resort is worthy of international recognition.
She equally gave her endorsement to the drive of the billionaire lawyer in making sure that Malaria is eradicated from Africa through the Ned Nwoko Foundation.
On his part, Ned Nwoko affirmed that he loves Nigeria and committed to contributing towards one Nigeria agenda.
He therefore proffered that Restructuring remains important aspect of efforts at getting out of the present quagmire Nigeria is faced with.
He said that his proposed Restructuring model focuses on two fold dimensions: Complete autonomy to Local Government and Total overhaul of INEC.
He explained that Local Government should be empowered by the Nigerian Constitution and be allowed to thrive, maintaining that the states are like bandits terrorising Local Government’s funds. He stated that in the UK, Local administrations are the hub of the system.
Nwoko insisted that if Local Government is given more funds and helped to organise itself, it should be able to take responsibility for security at that level.
The politician also posited that INEC should be overhauled and made to be truly independent. He said to do that, INEC’s budgets should not be made to go through National Assembly for deliberations and approvals.
He there and then, suggested that State Independent Electoral Commissions be scrapped and a Governing Body like an OMBUDSMAN, made up of different professional and trade bodies be created to conduct elections.
He maintained that this would be most necessary more than growing the economy, adding that it is better to have credible elections than a system of nominations and impositions that we are known for.