Press Conference On Getting Nigeria Working: Water And Education Challenge: By Mr. Peter Obi

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Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my unwavering commitment to identify and tackle critical issues impeding our nation’s progress. Today, I am pleased to provide updates on my interventions in two pivotal areas: water and education, and to present an empirical foresight on the way to resolve them, earnestly appealing for much-needed intervention.

Water Challenge:
During my recent nationwide tour, particularly in some states in Nigeria, I witnessed firsthand the continuous dire need for access to water, which costs about 5 million Naira each. In response, I have initiated efforts to provide water by undertaking the drilling of boreholes in various communities. Recognizing Nigeria’s vast population and the unequal distribution of wealth, I appeal to the goodwill of 0.1 percent of our population, approximately 200,000 individuals, to sponsor the drilling of one borehole per year in any suitable location of their choosing. I have personally initiated ten borehole projects and will ensure their functionality. Additionally, I commit to overseeing the drilling of ten more boreholes, addressing the critical issue of water scarcity.

Education Challenge:
Furthermore, I acknowledge the pressing issue of out-of-school children across Nigeria. Yesterday, I had the privilege of visiting the Madarasatul Hidayyatul Auladi Muslimima Almajiri school in Kawo, Kaduna State. During the visit, like others, I had the opportunity to interact with the young people. I also spent time immersing myself in Quranic learning alongside. Witnessing their enthusiasm for Quranic education reaffirmed my belief in the untapped potential within these young students, proficient in Arabic reading and writing. I am convinced that these students possess the capability to excel in various fields, from medicine and architecture to engineering, artificial intelligence, and beyond. I envisioned a future where they would become professors, doctors, lawyers, economists, captains of industries, and competent political leaders. I see the same potential in those on the street selling.
With a firm belief in their promising future and significant contribution to our country, I strongly advocate for an educational approach that brings formal schooling directly to them on-site. This involves providing qualified teachers in English language, mathematics, social studies, environmental sciences, and Quranic Arabic studies, among other essential subjects.

Looking at the cost implications, it will cost about 10 million annually for each center for 50 people each. By investing 10 million if you decide to do 100 of that scattered around the country it will cost a trillion Naira which will be about 5 million each. With 200 thousand volunteers, that’s achievable.

Through these methods and others that go beyond conventional educational learning, we can draw millions of out-of-school children into the educational system, thereby transforming our society. Inspired by the potential I witnessed during my visit and to further my advocacy, I supported them with 10 million Naira towards their educational endeavors. This will go a long way in the development of our society. I equally appeal to the government to match this effort and cut waste, especially in the area of education.

It is unacceptable that a significant portion of our youth is deprived of access to education. Through our engagement with communities, particularly in Northern Nigeria, I have witnessed the transformative power of education in shaping young minds and securing a brighter future for our nation. Therefore, I propose a collaborative effort to address this challenge. By leveraging the resources and goodwill of 0.1 percent of our population, we can collectively fund the education of out-of-school children. With just a fraction of their resources redirected towards this noble cause, we can ensure that every child receives the education they deserve.

Path Forward:
In the next 5-10 years, Nigeria has the potential to thrive as a developed nation if we collectively address these challenges and change our mindset. By mobilizing well-meaning Nigerians to invest in water provision and education, we can lay the foundation for a prosperous future for all. The indices are clear: with the support of 200,000 individuals, we can annually provide for the needs of 5,000,000 pupils, enabling access to education, clean water, and basic necessities.

In conclusion, I urge all Nigerians to join hands in this endeavor. Together, let us work towards a Nigeria where every child has access to quality education, clean water, and a brighter future.

Thank you.

Peter Obi

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