Africa’s richest man- Aliko Dangote, President of African Development Bank- Akinwumi Adesina, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations- Anima Muhammed, Former Imo State governor, Sen Rochas Okorocha, Mega entertainment guru- Obi Cubana and Grammy Award Winner-Burna Boy are among those that were featured in a new book titled “The Beauties of Nigeria,” (Projecting Nigeria’s Unique Selling Points), which was unveiled Thursday, October 7, 2021 at the Nigeria Air Force Conference Centre, Abuja.
The 320-page book, written by a Nigerian journalist, Bonaventure Phillips Melah was unveiled by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Barr. Boss Mustapha, in the presence of the Minister for Defence, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovations, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chief of Army Staff who were all represented at the occasion as well as Chief Olakunle Moses Johnson.
While unveiling the book, the Special Guest of Honour and Nigeria’s SGF, Boss Mustapha, urged Nigerians to desist from deliberately refusing to see anything good in the government’s efforts to better the lives of the people, adding that there are many beautiful things in the country that citizens should be proud of.
Mustapha who was represented by Ms. Veronica Agugu, the Director, Public Affairs Department, Office of the SGF, said that the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to ensure that truthful and genuine information about Nigeria was put out there for the world, cannot be drowned by the deliberate lies dished out by s section of the media, especially through the social media.
He stated that most of the stories published in the media currently about the country, were either half-truths, out-rights or totally fabricated falsehood and in the process, attempt to mislead the world about Nigeria.
According to the SGF, the idea behind the book included what should guide the lives of Nigerians, adding that the book celebrated the positive attributes of Nigerians.
“Most importantly, it showcases to the world that Nigeria is a country that will rise beyond its present challenges and provide the needed leadership to the Black Nation.”
He said that Nigeria was undoubtedly a blessed nation with abundant human and natural resources underpinned by a very rich socio-cultural diversity which need to be positively harnessed for the benefit of the generality of Nigerians.
The SGF added that the book would be a reference document for the Diaspora community and anybody from any part of the world seeking genuine and truthful information about the country.
”The book presentation today further demonstrates the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that truthful and genuine information about Nigeria is put out there for the world.
”This book is about writing and telling our story in a way that Nigerians should be able to transmit to the rest of the World.
”For us to continue telling our own story, we should desist from deliberately refusing to see anything good in what the Government is doing to better the lives of its people.”
He congratulated the author for putting together an amazing work, which was a historical compendium that would become a reference document for Nigerians.
In his own speech, the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovations, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, advocated greater emphasis on innovation through research and development to drive Nigeria’s economy.
Represented by the Director General, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr Dan Azumi Ibrahim as the Keynote Speaker, Onu said the world is moving from resource to a knowledge-based economy and Nigeria cannot afford to lag behind.
He commended the federal government for increasing the allocation for R and D from .2 percent of GDP to .5 percent of GDP, adding that developed nations spend more than 5 percent of their GDP on R and D.
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While speaking to journalists earlier, the author, Bonaventure Phillips Melah, urged Nigerians not to be discouraged by the current socio-economic and security challenges challenging the country, adding that- “There are so many positive and beautiful things about Nigeria and Nigerians.”
He said that writing about Nigeria at this period is to let the people, Nigerians in the Diaspora and the international community that Nigeria is not finished that there is hope for the country.
According to him- ”There are beautiful things about our country. On the side of government, the book is also a wake-up call for the government to look into other areas like creative industry, art and culture and invest more.”
The author said the book is a celebration of the several Nigerian positives including its fantastic weather, honest people, its many citizens occupying leadership positions across the world, Nigeria’s music, Nollywood, cuisines and the nation’s enterprising men and women.
The Beauties of Nigeria is divided into 36 chapters. While Dangote, Akinwumi Adesina, Amina Muhammed, Tony Elumelu, Innocent Chukwuma and others made it as Nigeria’s Pride, Obi Cubana, Chief Olakunle Moses Johnson and others featured in the
Chapter on Indefatigable Nigerian Spirit of Enterprise, former governor Rochas Okorocha, Late Chief MKO Abiola, late Prophet TB Joshua and Hajia Gambo Sawaba were featured among top philanthropists.
Nigerian literary icons, legendary footballers, award-winning musicians, Nollywood actors and actresses, among others made it in the book spiced with classical pictorials.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, endorsed the Beauties of Nigeria, as a strategic publication and document for Nigeria’s perception management as well as for showcasing investment opportunities in the country.
The author of the book, Mr. Bonaventure Phillips Melah, said the work has taken him five years to put together before the public presentation, adding that the launch would be followed by series of activities which he plans to collaborate with relevant authorities to showcase.
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