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Debating ethnic composition of political seats is a misplaced priority – Sanusi

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, Sanusi II
Sanusi Lamido

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Muhammad Sanusi II, has called on the Federal Government to channel its focus on implementing the core vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal, rather than current ethnic composition of political seats.

While celebrating Nigeria on its 60th anniversary, Sanusi II,who also was  the 14th Emir of Kano State and UN SDG Advocate, spoke on pathways to sustainable progress.

Making this call at a virtue event ‘The Platform’, tagged ‘ ‘Nigeria at 60’, he said “If we are to enhance Nigeria’s upward economic mobility further, our constitution will need to address diversity by gender and age, and not just by religion or ethnicity. There is no proof that being from one part of the country in Government does not necessarily translates into a better life for that part of the country.

“We need to build institutions that keep people in various offices in check and also start assessing them transparently, so they all understand that you only deserve to remain on a seat if you have served well.

“These are the conversations we should be having rather than debating ethnic composition and distribution of various political seats. Religious and ethnic sentiments should not overshadow us. We all need to start asking the real questions about the people that can do the actual work and what they want to offer Nigeria to achieve its maximum potential.”

He explained that “As a country where more than half of its current population is female, it is time we had a constitution that is more inclusive and addresses diversity also by gender and age and not just ethnicity and religion. For example, why can’t we have a constitution that provides a maximum of 60 to 70 percent of ministers from one gender? This constitutional review will at least compel the Nation to have 30 or 40 percent of each gender in the cabinet.

“I firmly believe that there should be more women in senatorial positions, House of Representatives, State House of Assembly formulating policies for our country. We all must understand that if we do not start raising issues about women and have them in the decision-making processes, how then do we address the issues of the girl-child? Also, we have to understand that this is the 21st century, we have so many young people that are technologically advanced and are more prepared for the Fourth Industrial Revolution compared to my generation.”

Meanwhile, Sanusi launched an SDG Challenge aimed at finding equitable, cost-effective, and innovative ideas that provide opportunities to improve access to quality and gender-responsive education for women and girls in crisis, conflict, and fragile situations.

The project is aimed at inspiring and catalyze innovative community development activities that support the achievement of the SDGs, particularly quality education and gender equality.

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