Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that Nigeria has the capacity to overcome the many challenges the country faces.
According to him, human development index, education, healthcare and the welfare of citizens are some of the ways the country can overcome her challenges.
Osinbajo said this when he spoke to State House Correspondents after a special service to mark the Children’s Day at the Aso Villa Chapel, Abuja.
“The truth of the matter is that there are always challenges everywhere in every nation of the world. But I am convinced that we have the capacity to surmount all of the challenges as there are,” the Vice President said.
“And the key feature for me, one of the key features of government and governance, is the human development index, education, healthcare and the welfare of our citizens.”
The Vice President said that for the first time in the nation’s history, the federal government, through the social investment programme, was paying more attention to children, with 8.2 million now being fed a hot meal every school day in 24 states.
“For the first time we are feeding 8.2 million children every day in 24 states,” he said
“And that is because we are concerned about the nutrition of the children, we are concerned about the fact that children if they are not well fed, become stunted, even mentally.”
According to Osinbajo, those are key priorities of the administration adding that “and we are doing them and we have to keep expanding, keep working, keep building, spending more and more”.
The Vice President described Nigerian children as special “because the future of our nation belongs to them and they have all that it takes to give the country a great future.
“They are very bright, they are very energetic, and they are very innovative and very creative.”
Osinbajo noted that by watching the drama and listening to the music rendered by the children at the service it was obvious they were a bunch of talented, innovative and energetic.
“And so I am completely convinced that our nation’s future is extremely bright because of all of the children that God has given us, the talent he has given us,” he said.
Osinbajo observed that the day was also a moment “to reflect on the responsibility both government and adults have to ensure that “we give to these children the very best that we can.
“And that is why the commitment of our government is to that bottom of the pyramid: those who cannot afford education and cannot afford healthcare.
“Our focus is on trying to get the very best for them; and we are going to even do more of that.”
On his part, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, urged Nigerian children to have faith in Nigeria as the government was preparing so much for them and their future.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Vice President and all the administration work so hard to preserve the future of Nigerian children,” Enang state.
“Everything we are doing today we have them in mind because we know that we have finished living for today we are living to prepare for them tomorrow.”
Pastor Seyi Malomo, the Pastor in charge of Aso Villa Chapel, said that he sees great hope for the children.
“A day like this, as we celebrate the Nigerian child, helps us to reassure the children that there is hope and future for them and particularly under this administration,” he said.
“I am always enthused and happy when I see pictures of the President; he is always surrounded by his children and grandchildren.
“And like the children mentioned in the service they presented a gift to Mr. President and Vice President acknowledging that their labour and service is not just for them but for the children coming.
“So I believe there is hope for the children; they should be rest assured that the future will be brighter and they will enjoy it.”
Earlier in his sermon, titled “Lessons from Children”, Malomo had advised Nigerians to imbibe the lessons which Christ used the children to teach.
He said children easily made friends and always say what is on their minds.
He advised Nigerians to be humble like children so as to be accepted by God.
The Executive of the Nigerian Christian Corpers Fellowship, children of the African International College, Abuja, and those of the School for the Blind, Jabi, Abuja all rendered special songs.
There was also a stage play by the children to discourage early exposure to the internet and social media to children by wealthy parents.
A representative of the children, Gbemisola Owoeye, a JS 1 student, thanked the President and Vice President for their relentless service to the nation, adding that the children would continue to pray for them not to relent.