DELTA, OCTOBER 9, 2016 – Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said that many Nigerians are presently facing hard times because they are “helplessly dependent on government institutions” and are “nostalgically lazy people”.
Kachikwu said this on Saturday during the 2016 Convocation ceremony of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) held at the PTI Conference centre, Effurun Delta State.
He lamented that despite being one of the most educated people in the world, Nigerians have failed to maximise their potentials because they fold their arms and expect government to do everything for them.
He said a lot of people depend too much on their rich family members without doing anything to improve themselves, adding this had contributed to corruption in the country as politicians are forced to cater for their families and friends.
He, however, assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari was trying all he can to put in place programmes that will make the country come out of the recession, adding that “we will come out stronger.”
The minister noted that the president has been doing a lot to ensure that the country comes out of the recession even though the results may not be visible now.
He said, “these are troubling times and we are encouraged by the Federal Executive Council that troubling times demands very noble creativity.
“I am happy that the president, though he does not talk much, is spending a lot of time wondering what went wrong since he left office and propelled by this nostalgia, he is putting in place solid foundation to ensure that we do not go back to what we are facing today when we get out of it.
“Although it might not be visible today, please bear with us. We are working round the clock to make a difference.”
He said that it was important for the average Nigerian to change his attitude of consuming what he does not produce, and advocated for a transformation of behaviours which he said was needed for the nation to survive.
“Change is not all about budgeting. It is about individuals and how they run their lives and their communities. It is only in these sequential changes that you find a change that will happen to Nigeria,” the minister stressed.
He called on Nigerians to begin to own a family business that will enable them run their families without waiting for government to do everything for them, adding that “Nigerians need to take their destinies into their hands.”
He however said that for the new change to be positive, the government of the day has to provide the enabling environment for its citizens to improve their lives.
On the proposed dialogue with Niger Deltans, Kachikwu said that the process has not collapsed but added that the president was making sure that a strong and lasting solution to the problems in the region are reached.
He said, “What the president does not want to do is to place the whole dialogue process in the hands of those that failed four months ago. I have sent him a short and long term solution, which include engagement and inclusiveness of communities.”
He said the Niger Delta region has provided so much for Nigerians but regretted the people have failed them as there was nothing to show for the huge sums of money pumped into the region in the past.
The minister who was thrilled with the performances of the six best graduating students in the institute, announced that he will give scholarship to the three best OND graduands and give immediate employment to the three best HND students.
Earlier, the principal of the institution, Prof. Sunny Iyuke said the institute had continued to achieve giant strides in human capital development, contributing substantially to the Nigerian content capacity building in the oil and gas industry.
He said the institute will in the near future collaborate with Wits University, South Africa to commence a “post graduate diploma programme relevant to the oil and gas sector and also masters of science in programme in ICT in partnership with other international universities.”
He added that the school is embarking on an ICT project estimated at N120billion, just as he solicited support and collaboration from government saying that the ICT project will create jobs for the youths.