Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, on Saturday, expressed disappointment over the exclusion of federal roads in the state from the list of roads to be reconstructed and rehabilitated under the 2022 federal budget.
Bello expressed his displeasure while responding to questions during the Media Roundtable at the 29th edition of Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA) at the Government House, Lokoja.
The governor decried why the federal roads in the state were repeatedly considered as non-viable economically in spite of the strategic location of the state.
NAN reports that the governor also decried lack of commitment to the revival of the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL), in spite of several efforts by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He noted that the Abuja-Lokoja road alone was strategic, but had defied completion since the administration of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The governor highlighted some efforts that his administration had made to ensure the completion of the road and other federal roads within the state.
According to him, he had visited the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, several times to draw attention to the state of federal roads in Kogi, which were key to the economic growth of the nation.
The governor further decried the seeming lack of commitment to the revival of the Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited (ASCL), stressing that efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari’ to make real impact on the lives of Nigerians should not be sabotaged.
Earlier, the Chairman of the NMMA BoT, Dr Haroun Adamu, noted that the objective of the roundtable was to enumerate the achievements of the NMMA over the years and consolidate on them.
Adamu stressed that the media industry remained “a venturous“ with journalists not sure of their fate when on duty.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Keynote Speaker, Prof. Umar Pate, had earlier delivered a lecture entitled ”The Media and the Challenges of Nation Building,”
Pate, who is the Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State, urged Nigerians, particularly those in leadership positions, to make deliberate attempts at ensuring national integration.
He said that it was imperative that leaders at all levels displayed exemplary leadership in unifying the citizens rather than promoting ethnic and regional interests.
He explained that the various problems confronting the nation were as a result of a departure from the ideals that unite the people.
He noted that ethno-religious crises, insurgency, terrorism, corruption, poor governance, improper management of the multi-cultural setting in the country were affecting nation building.
He stressed the need to respect the diversity of the people and urged government to address squarely issues of social injustice, corruption and strengthen structures that promoted national cohesion.
He noted that fake news and hate speeches were undermining the process of national integration.
He called for the promotion of media literacy, especially among the youth, as they spend much time on the social media as well as a qualitative and quantitative improvement in the living standards of the people.
The don also enjoined journalists to encourage debates on national issues on their platforms, as well as promote media literacy among the youth through innovative ways offered by media convergence.