Muhammadu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano, on Wednesday, made a case for the voiceless in the society, challenging the privileged as well as politicians to protect them, in order to achieve peace and prosperity.
Sanusi is concerned that the Nigerian system does not see the plight of those, he described as living below poverty line or dollar a day, as a problem that needs to be addressed.
Speaking on the topic, ‘No Peace, No Prosperity,’ at the Union Bank plc event celebrating 100 years of heritage and service, Sanusi said, “How many of you who will become top bankers, top politicians have actually done anything for those children who are dropped out of school?
“Think of political programmes, all the debates that happen, governors seek elections, president seek election, senators seek elections, the topics that have been discussed, can you tell me when last you saw a debate where politicians talked about what they have done about child education, about forced marriage, domestic menace?
“Why are we surprised if on the street of Kanu, or Zamfara or the street of Sokoto, we see child beggars when we allow their fathers to marry three, four wives and have 22 children with an income that cannot support those families?
“You don’t have education, you don’t have public health, we have seen the numbers, infant maternity, child birth yet the state and the local government who are supposed to provide education and health care do not have the lion share of government revenue.”
Emeka Emuwa, CEO, Union Bank, who spoke on ‘Funding for Good,’ stressed the need for more Nigerians to be lifted out of poverty by providing basic food, decent education and vocational skills that would lead to economic empowerment and wealth creation.
“How can we raise a fund that will fund all activities from the private sector perspective that will eradicate those things that are limiting the number of consumers in Nigeria?
“If we all come together, private sector, whether you are manufacturing or whatever its when we come together we will be able to make much more impact. If we can achieve those goals we can eradicate poverty, we can empower women, we can educate children, we will be able to able to bring many, many more consumers and we will be able to achieve prosperity because prosperity is what we want to achieve,” Emuwa said.
He said the vision of bank for the next 100 years was to be Nigerian most reliable and trusted bank partner, and enjoined other stakeholders to support the idea of raising N100 billion fund for delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Other speakers, who spoke on different topics include, Chidi Odinkalu, lawyer and human rights activist, Saadatu Hamu, a lawyer, Misan Rewane, co-founder/CEO, WAVE Academy, among others.