Posted by News Express | 29 May 2017 | 2,425 times
Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Hon. Emmanuel Jime, has saluted Nigerians on the occasion of the 2017 Democracy Day celebrations, saying with 17 unbroken years of civilian rule, Nigeria was gradually coming of age as a vibrant democracy.
Jime also used the occasion to call attention to the historical necessity of a Buhari presidency just as he urged Nigerians in public service to see themselves as stewards of public trust and midwives of a genuine change.
Speaking via a statement issued in Abuja Sunday, the managing Director said in a country where democracy has hitherto suffered many setbacks, it was incumbent upon all Nigerians to find ways of deepening the roots of democracy and making it more answerable to the yearnings of the people.
The statement signed by NEPZA’s Head of Corporate Communications, Simon Imobo-Tswam, reads further: “Today, from all walks and stations of life, we are celebrating Democracy Day, but beyond the celebrations, we can also see May 29 as a day of sober reflections and introspection.
“It is my belief that God does not bless us for nothing. If our generation has been favoured with 17 consecutive years of democratic rule, He intends that our generation should go beyond talk shops or tokenisms, and give our people democracy dividends in the forms gainful employment, job-creation, improved service delivery, new or improved infrastructure, etc.
“For us at NEPZA, we are determined to make a difference; not just symbolically, but significantly. We want to make our Free Trade Zones (FTZs) work optimally. We want them to compare or rival those of China, Singapore, United Arab Emirates (Dubai), etc. If the FTZ concept has birthed the Asian Tigers, we envision Nigeria becoming an African Lion in no distant future, and this via the instrumentality of a rebranded and repositioned NEPZA.”
Harping on the historical necessity of the Buhari Presidency, Jime recalled: “In 1942 when Muhammadu Buhari was born, the Nigeria Reconstruction Group (NRG), was formed, with the goal of x-raying the nation’s problems and proffering solutions to same. In that group were Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, M.A. Balonwu, M.E. Okorodudu, I. A. Onajobi, and E.E. Esau among other nationalists.
“But the year 1942 also has international import too: for it was in 1942 that 26 countries came together and agreed to create the United Nation (UN) so as to save the world from incessant wars and upheavals.”
According to Jime, “The challenge before Nigerians today, therefore, is to decide whether we want genuine change or symbolic change; whether we want to become a dominant lion or a crawling giant; whether we want to keep democracy at the level of slogans or whether we want to rally behind the visionary Buhari presidency to make Nigeria the country of our dreams. To me, this is the major challenge of Democracy Day, 2017.”
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