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Friday, September 29, 2023

CAPPA urges Tinubu to prioritise human rights, sustainable economy, environmental stewardship

To set the nation on the path of peace and sustainable growth, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu must adopt an economic framework that will wean the country off its over-reliance on fossil fuel, promote sustainable energy sources, safeguard human rights, and improve public services, along with a total overhaul of the nation’s security architecture, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has said.

Bola Ahmed Tinubu
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria

In a statement issued in Lagos, CAPPA said that the transition of power on May 29, 2023, is not merely the advent of a new administration, but a defining moment in Nigeria’s battered history. It is a call to action for the Tinubu administration to not only strive to rebuild the crumbling walls of national unity but also commit to tackling and prioritising urgent national issues such as security, education, and public health, among other key interests.

‘‘Our country’s economy grapples with formidable challenges as we stand at critical crossroads. It’s a moment that demands bold and visionary leadership to inject new vitality into our economy and nationhood,’’ CAPPA submitted in the statement endorsed by Akinbode Oluwafemi, the Executive Director.

CAPPA drew attention to Tinubu’s campaign manifesto, which promised to work to revive the country’s ailing economy through job creation, initiatives promoting food security, and a holistic sector rejuvenation. In particular, the President pledged to work in concert with global green energy trends and promote environmental justice by diversifying Nigeria beyond oil and moving the country out of the uninspiring ranking among the world’s top ten flaring nations.

“Indeed, we agree with this vision and believe that our natural resource wealth, and strategic position on the global stage grants us ample leverage to spearhead global discourse on green energy, climate change and environmental sustainability. We thus urge President Tinubu to prioritise green energy policies that will decentralise Nigeria’s reliance on fossil fuels and demonstrate to the world at large that economic prosperity and environmental stewardship can coexist.”

Continuing, the group noted that the COVID-19 pandemic poignantly underscored the critical importance of robust and accessible public health services, even as it urged the new administration to give public health the attention it deserves, with special emphasis on access to clean water for the millions of Nigerians currently without it – an essential commodity and fundamental human right that is indispensable for preserving public health.

“Given President Tinubu’s campaign promise to establish a national potable water campaign that aligns with this need, we eagerly anticipate seeing this pledge come to fruition.”  

CAPPA said it would hold Tinubu to his manifesto to implement an effective pro-health consumption tax that will be dedicated to funding public health and reducing consumption of products like sugar, alcohol and tobacco which are linked to rising cases of non-communicable diseases.

The group added: “Education is another paramount area demanding immediate attention. A country is only as good as the quality of education bequeathed to its citizens. Yet, Nigeria has consistently struggled to prioritise education in its budgetary allocation, falling short of the recommended global benchmark of a 15-20% allocation of national budgets to education.

“We therefore call on the Tinubu administration to step up to upgrading national education quality and standards by allocating more funds to education and implementing across all levels of the system, advanced pedagogical infrastructures that foster critical thinking, creativity, digital literacy and the acquisition of practical skills vital to improving national development and securing our spot in the global economy.

“As the President commences his tenure, we further appeal to him to fortify Nigeria’s democracy by safeguarding human rights, upholding the rule of law as promised during his campaign, and nurturing a government that is transparent, accountable, and immune to corruption and nepotism which have become the bane of our national progress. This is particularly important in the wake of the President’s bold move to eliminate fuel subsidies and ‘re-channel funds towards the improvement of public infrastructure such as education, healthcare and jobs that will materially improve the lives of millions’. We strongly advise President Tinubu to work to cushion the impact of subsidy removal on Nigerians and righteously manage the nation’s commonwealth to inspire a prosperous, sustainable, and inclusive future for all.

“Ultimately, the hope of Nigerians lies in President Tinubu’s capacity to restore the country’s lost glory. CAPPA, alongside the Nigerian populace, will extend unwavering support to this mission. We remain hopeful about the future and stand ready to support the new administration in nurturing a culture of transparency, accountability, and public participation.”

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