The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, has called on Nigerians to embrace the National Values Charter (NVC) as springboard to build a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.
Idris made the appeal at the presentation of the blue print of NVC to him by the Ministerial Committee on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, the event marks another milestone in the evolution of Nigeria as a nation, bringing the various sub-national values together to create a national culture that speaks to our common destiny.
He explained that since the birth of Nigeria through amalgamation by the colonial British Government in 1914, the different peoples that make up the country have been grappling with the question of identity.
Idris added that the search for identity has been a challenge over the decades by real and imagined ethnic, linguistic and cultural differences.
“While there is nothing wrong in recognising these differences, we must not allow them to rob us of a strong sense of appreciation of our collective destiny.
“Our differences and diversity should be seen as strengths rather than weaknesses.
“What we are doing now is building on what has come before. Most importantly, we are serious about learning from the shortcomings of the approaches of the past, and ensuring that what we do stands the test of time and outlives us.
“We are determined to define and document the core values that will guide all of us as Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, religion, social and economic status and all other real or imagined barriers and differences.
“The premise of the NVC is that the government, as represented by elected and appointed representatives, must fulfil basic non-negotiable promises in return for fundamental commitments from the citizens.
“I called on Nigerians at all levels to embrace the NVC as a springboard, in line with the Renewed Hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu to build a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria, that will take her rightful place in the comity of nations,” he said.
The minister noted that the NVC contained seven core promises of the Nigerian state to the citizens, followed by the seven commitments of the citizens towards their country.
According to him, this is a significant difference between past efforts and the present.
“Another vital improvement on earlier efforts is that the implementation strategy is comprehensive, as it considers the various ways the values can become engrained in the hearts and minds of every citizen.
The Charter also takes into full account the fact that we are a youth-centric and technology-driven world.
“On account of these, we are determined to ensure that the young people of Nigeria own this social contract, and are allowed to take the lead in using it to build, in concert with older generations, a better country, and a better world.
“Let me also say that we shall shortly be announcing a date on which President Tinubu will formally unveil the Charter to the public,” Idris stressed.
The minister commended the Director-General of National Orientation Agency, Malam Lanre Issa-Onilu, and the committee for accomplishing the nationalistic task.
Earlier, Issa-Onilu said the NVC is a catalyst for national unity, adding that it will involve people with a commonality of characteristics, aspirations and a sense of nationalism and pride for their country.
According to the NOA boss, to move from our national divide, we need to promote shared values that reflect our differences and at the same time unify us.
He added that we must build a nation where values are same and common sentiments underpin national aspirations.
“Establishing the Charter is essential in this critical journey of renewed hope. The NVC prescribed roles for both leadership and followership in a symbiotic relationship that exemplify rights and responsibility.
“The NOA under the guidance of the Minister of Information and National Orientation will roll out the various socialisation strategies and ensure that the Charter becomes engraved in our psyche as a people.
“The NVC is a social contract between the country and its citizens,” Issa-Onilu stressed.
Meanwhile, Dr Mohammed Haruna, the Chairman of the Ministrial Committee that drafted the NVC, appreciated Idris for the confidence reposed in his members and the opportunity to involve in a nationalistic endeavour. (NAN)