From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
British High Commissioner to Nigeria Catriona Laing has commended a former member of the House of Representatives, Ned Nwoko, for the initiative to establish a Sports University, christened STARS University, in his local community, Idumuje-Ugboko in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.
Laing who gave the commendation during a visit to Ned Nwoko at Idumuje-Ugboko, also endorsed the malaria eradication initiative of the former lawmaker
She noted that a Sports University would create the platform for sports development and in turn bring economic gains as people would leverage on the dynamics of sporting business to invest.
The British envoy averred that it would engender specific learning in areas of knowledge that are specific, adding that the initiative is a formidable way of getting Sports inclined kids out of the streets.
She posited that government in a bid to advance governance should partner with initiatives such as the STARS University for the purpose of getting the active segment of its populace more productive while making progress.
Laing also applauded her host for being dynamic in his approach to tourism, saying that what she saw at Mount Ned Nwoko Resort is worthy of international recognition.
On his part, Ned Nwoko affirmed that he is committed to contributing towards one Nigeria agenda.
He insisted that restructuring remained an important aspect of efforts at getting out of the present quagmire Nigeria is faced with.
Nwoko proposed that restructuring should focuse on two fold dimensions of complete autonomy to local government and total overhaul of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He explained that local governments should be empowered by Constitution and be allowed to thrive, maintaining that the states are like bandits terrorising local council funds.
Nwoko insisted that if councils are given more funds and helped to organise, they should be able to take responsibility for security at the local level.
On INEC, the former lawmaker said the commission’s budgets should not be made to go through National Assembly for deliberations and approvals.
He suggested that State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) be scrapped and a Governing Body like an OMBUDSMAN, made up of different professional and trade bodies be created to conduct elections.
He maintained that this would be most necessary more than growing the economy, adding that it is better to have credible elections than a system of nominations and impositions that we are known for.