Kufuor urges African governments to let wealth benefit citizens
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has appealed to African governments to let the wealth of their nations benefit the entire citizenry to ensure social cohesion and harmony.
“Good governance to which we all aspire could mean very little to the person who has no job or is unable to feed himself and his family. National harmony is enhanced when the citizenry feel they are part of the national wealth,” he said in a statement issued by his Spokesperson Mr Frank Agyekum.
Former President Kufuor was delivering the keynote address on Tuesday at the 4th Annual Forum of Laureates of the Nigerian National Order of Merit at the Merit House Complex in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
The Merit award is given every year to Nigerians who have contributed outstandingly to national development in the fields of Science, Medicine, Engineering/Technology, Huamanities including Arts, Culture, and other fields of endeavour.
The award winners are chosen by an independent body of professionals who assess the presentations made by candidates. Since its inception in 1979, it has conferred awards on 65 people in the various fields.
This year five personalities will receive the awards at a ceremony to be presided over by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa on December 01. This year’s awardees include two from last year when the ceremony was not held because of the general election.
President Kufuor said: “Good governance can only thrive if the people are in one accord with the government and this can only be achieved if citizens believe that they are included in and are an integral part of the state mechanism.”
He said extending the nation’s wealth for the benefit of all did not mean curtailing individual entrepreneurship.
“Rather it means that the wealth so generated should be spread out in such a manner as not to benefit only its immediate creators but also the general society which provides the general milieu for its generation.”
The former President said although Nigerians are counted among the richest people in the world, their wealth does not reflect on the general well-being of the people and called for measures to ensure their welfare as well as the creation of social safety nets to take care of the handicapped.
He said Nigeria had the potential to join the emerging nations of the world and appealed to them to submerge their individual differences in favour of national unity to enable them to achieve their potential internaionally.
Former President Kufuor arrived in Abuja, Monday and met in closed doors with President Jonathan at the Presidential villa.