Launch Of Nasarawa State Infectious Disease Diagnosis Centre

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The Nasarawa Infectious Diseases, Diagnosis and Research Center is a landmark achievement. There is no question at all that anywhere in the world, this type of achievement deserves to be celebrated. But I think that perhaps for me, the underlying lessons to be learnt from this very important achievement are about three things. The first is vision; vision is critical, especially in development and money is not everything. As a matter of fact, if you have the funds and you do not have the vision, you will achieve nothing. But if you have the vision, you will most likely attract money.

Nasarawa State is not by any means the wealthiest State in the country. In fact, if you look at what Nasarawa State earns and what is allocated, it certainly does not come anywhere near the top one-third, but with the vision, the State has proven that vision is even more important money.

I want to commend His Excellency, Former Governor Tanko Al-Makura, who conceived of this place as properly acknowledged by His Excellency, Governor Abdullahi Sule. He conceived of this idea and started the project.

But perhaps the second lesson to learn is that vision itself can be killed if your successor does not have a big enough mind or if your successor is small-minded. If your successor is small-minded, vision means nothing. Continuity is not just one party succeeding another, it is the very notion that when you succeed someone, you develop all of the great ideas that they started. You build on the vision and I think His Excellency, Governor Abdullahi Sule has proved that by building on the great vision of former Governor Tanko Al-Makura, he has got us to this place today that we are able to celebrate a notable scientific and technological achievement.

The third and perhaps most important lesson is that this country has everything it takes to be the best anywhere in the world. We have the talents, we have men and women of vision, and we have all of the resources that it takes to be just as good as any, anywhere in the world.

As we have heard, the centre here comprises a bio-safety level three laboratory, a molecular biology laboratory and infectious diseases isolation unit, and an epidemiology unit as well. We are told that these are top of the class, first-rate facilities that you could find anywhere in the world. This is not just some mickey mouse, tiny little achievement, this is a phenomenal achievement in technological terms, and it has been done and fulfilled by Nigerians and done here in Nigeria.

I think we should congratulate ourselves and that we should really hold our heads up high. For those of us who are as tall as the Governor, we can walk tall, for those of us of more modest in height, we can tell you the long and the short of the story. All of it is good, but I want to really commend His Excellency, Governor Abdullahi Sule and his team for seeing that this project actually came to fruition and fulfilment and for making sure that they did it in grand style. I also want to commend Governor Abdullahi Sule for acknowledging the leadership and the vision of his predecessor. This is as it should be and this demonstrates his own personal capacity and his own humility and vision as well.

I want to thank you all for this and to say that everything that we’re able to achieve, every little bit adds greatly to the greatness of our nation because our nation is a great nation.

We must never despair because of what has happened in the past few months with COVID, the economic circumstances, the figures and some issues of security. I can assure you that just as the scripture says that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. I’m very assured and continually assured by the people of this country, by the kind of leadership that we have in President Muhammadu Buhari, who is focused, that the dawn for this country is coming.

Our greatness is only hidden slightly now by the clouds, but these clouds will clear. What we will see for ourselves is a great nation, the nation that God has purposed us to be and one of the things that tell us that so eloquently is what we are here to commission today.

It is my very special privilege and pleasure to officially commission the first-rate, best-in-class, first-of-its-kind in West Africa, and perhaps even in Africa, the Nasarawa Infectious Diseases, Diagnosis, and Research Center.

God Bless you.

Thank you very much.