By Ayo Ajayi
A judge of the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division, Hon. Justice Olubunmi Oyewole has said that ethical values and good governance are a must before the nation-building efforts could come to fruition.
Hon. Justice Oyewole made the assertion on Monday while delivering the 33rd Convocation Lecture of the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.
Speaking on “Ethical Values, Good Governance and Nation Building,” at the College campus, Oyewole, who was the Guest Speaker affirmed that nation-building was the efforts geared towards harnessing the collective human and material resources the people have been endowed with, for the evolution of a national identity and culture, to ensure optimum development.
“I, therefore, propose that for our nation-building efforts to come to fruition, ethical values and good governance must be imbibed,” he explained.
Good governance, he noted, has eight major characteristics including participatory, consensus-oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive as well as follows the rule of law.
Oyewole assured the audience that despite various challenges facing the nation, Nigeria, he said, is not a bad country. “We are not bad people and our land is certainly not cursed. What we need is to never give up on us. We are not here by chance or accident.
“Our primary duty is to ennoble our society to make it a much better place than we met it. Whether we are in some leadership position or whether we have been placed for service, ennoblement we must achieve.
“We have been endowed with the capacity to make this happen, we need self-belief. It is the task of our generation, we must fulfil and I verily believe that we shall fulfil,” he charged.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of the occasion and 55th President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mazi Nnamdi Okwuadigbo, FCA, noted that the topic spoke directly to the yearnings of Nigerians and other stakeholders in the economy. “Even though the subject is global, the peculiarities of our political, social and economic structures make it particularly germane to us as a nation,” he added.
The Rector of the College, Engineer Obafemi Omokungbe in his address noted that it was the desire of all Nigerians that we have a nation that would be the pride of. “We, therefore, consider this topic very important, noting that it is the very basis on which our nation can thrive in all fields or endeavours. It is the basis for genuine national development through good governance and nation-building.”