The Wednesday 10th January 2024 edition of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC) Abuja’s Weekly Subject Experts’ presentation was held at Hall C, TY Buratai Block, and Abuja. Unlike last Monday’s edition, there were two presentations. They were made by Major General OO Adeleke (rtd), the Subject Expert on West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea and Major General JA Orokpo (rtd), the Subject Expert on the Republic of China, respectively.
The first presentation was by the Subject Expert in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, Major General OO Adeleke (rtd). His presentation focused on the Benin Republic’s removal of the suspension of transiting goods to the Niger Republic against the ECOWAS resolution passed sometime back as part of measures against the military junta in Niger. According to him, on 27th December 2023, Benin Republic lifted its suspension of imported goods transiting to Niger through the port of Cotonou. He further stated that the Port’s Director General made this known following five months of sanctions on the coup-hit country. Recalling that the West African regional bloc, ECOWAS had imposed sanctions on the Niger Republic following a military coup on July 26, 2023, which ousted the democratically elected Mohamed Bazoum.
In his analysis and Lessons for Nigeria, Maj Gen OO Adeleke (rtd) noted that a prominent scholar, Henderson, sees national interest as the collective aspiration of a state on a worldwide scale. Whereas Ebegbulem believes that foreign policy is a mechanism through which nation-states attempt to protect and preserve their independence and security, as well as the pursuit and protection of their national interests. Speaking further, he said according to Morgenthau, no nation can have a true guide as to what it must do and what it needs to do in foreign policy without accepting national interest as that guide.
Based on that he recommended that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) should use its influence within ECOWAS to press for a review of the sanctions against the Niger Republic, taking cognizance of Nigeria’s core national interest and the human sufferings in both Niger Republic and Nigeria because of the sanctions.
The second presentation was made by Major General JA Orokpo (rtd) the Subject Expert on China. His presentation discussed China’s release of New Patriotic Education Law for all Schools in the country. The law is set to put a squeeze on British schools in China as Beijing steps up its efforts to tighten control of what is taught in its classrooms. China’s new patriotic education law which came into effect on 1st January 2024, further tightened the screws on Western-style of teaching by private schools in the country.
In his analysis and lessons for Nigeria, he noted that the education sector in Nigeria has experienced growth in recent decades, largely driven by the proliferation of private schools at the primary and secondary levels. He added that with more than 90% of the schools in Nigeria being privately owned, private schools have become fundamental in providing educational opportunities and access to education for millions of Nigerians.
He therefore recommended that the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) should strengthen regulations to monitor and enforce standards in both public and private schools in the country particularly at the primary and secondary school levels. He also called on the three tiers of Government to increase investment in public schools and education to address the decay in infrastructure and quality of education.