NOGALSS: Welcomes King Diete-Spiff, Calls For More Support


By George Ozalla

A prominent group: Non-governmental Association for Literate Support Services (NOGALSS), an umbrella body comprising of multiple NGOs that promotes literacy and its support services at the maiden visit of Chairman of NOGALSS Council of Elders For Literate Nigeria; His Royal Majesty, King Alfred Papapreye Diete Spiff in Abuja Thursday, has called for increased support, more reforms and policies to further enhance and achieve higher literacy level amongst citizens.

This call was made during the maiden visit of HRM King Diete-Spiff and attendant interactive session with large turn out of members of NOGALSS and other critical Stakeholders.

The National President of NOGALSS, Comrade Noah Emmanuel
in his welcome address, part of which was the expression of gratitude to HRM King Alfred Diete-Spiff, the Amayanabo Twon-Brass in Bayelsa State and his entourage to the momentous occassion to celebrate the establishment of the NOGALSS Council of Elders for a literate Nigeria.
Comrade Emmanuel further stated that: “never before have elders in a nation come together with such a united purpose to assist the government in elevating the educational standards of its people”. He stressed further that Nigeria faces significant literacy challenge, with millions of our citizens lacking basic reading and writing skills. This educational gap perpetuates cycle of poverty and inequality, hindering national development. Recognizing these challenges, NOGALSS has taken a bold step in establishing the Council of Elders to provide strategic direction and advocacy to address these critical issues”.
Comrade Emmanuel concluded by appealing to the august body: NOGALSS Council of Elders to engage in high-level advocacy to influence educational policies and reforms, network and mobilize resources, carry out appointment of NOGALSS Grand Patrons and to equally facilitate full establishment of the Council.

In his contribution, the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education NMEC, Professor Simon Ibor Akpama stated that: “literacy is not merely the ability to read and write; it is the foundation of lifelong learning, critical thinking, and active participation in society”. Yet despite the significant strides we have made, there remain substantial gaps. According to recent statistics, a considerable number of adults and youths in Nigeria are still unable to access basic education, limiting their potential and perpetuating cycles of poverty and marginalization.
Professor Akpama further stated that in order to achieve literacy goals, a multi-faceted approach is necessary, listing increase investment in education, promoting inclusive policies, leveraging technology, engaging communities and strengthening partnerships as panacea for greater achievement in higher literacy level amongst citizens.
In the same vein the Executive Secretary of National Commission for Colleges of Education, Professor Paulinus Chijioke Okwelle added his voice to call on various stakeholders in education sector to galvanize resources and work harmoniously with a view to achieving higher literacy level.

HRM King Alfred Papapreye Diete-Spiff expressed delight for the wonderful initiative of NOGALSS in promoting education and support services and pledged to support the ideals of productive education, early career choice and guidance, he laid emphasis on the need to embrace bi-lingual education both formally and informally as well as teach our children in our languages too, because those francophone countries surrounding us often take advantage of our inability to understand and speak french language, King Diete-Spiff opined.

The reverred King who is very passionate about education for a very long time and has offered numerous scholarships to a lot of scholars- particularly the indigents also used the occasion to call for more private sector participation in supporting education initiatives in collaboration with government and other critical stakeholders.

Dr Stephen Onyekwere, the NOGALSS focal person in UNESCO, who represented Mr Diallo Abdulrahman, UNESCO’s Head of Office and Country Representative stated that: “active collaborations amongst strategic stakeholders will further improve higher literacy level amongst the populace, he said that his organisation has always been very supportive of such initiatives”. Dr Onyekwere praised King Diete-Spiff for finding time to visit in spite of his busy schedules, promising more strategic partnership and collaborations going forward.

Other various speakers and many who delivered goodwill messages commended NOGALSS’s patriotic zeal and called for more funding support to continue to promote and scale up literacy level
amongst the citizens as well as enthroning strategic partnerships.

Some of the dignitaries who spoke and graced the occasion included some members of the Board of Trustees of NOGALSS/Council of Elders, His Royal Majesty’s entourage such as: a reverred elder statesman; Major General IBM Haruna Rtd., Mrs Faustina Egbunike, Amb. Gimbiya Hanatu Usman, Prince Michael Diete-Spiff, Barrister Clara Ndive, HE.Dr Onwubuya J.A Abraham Breakforth, Alhaji Usman Baba Gwoza, Lady Pamela Chukwu, Mrs. Amaka Okwudili, Mrs. Rosemary Osikoya, Engr. Ferdinand Onoja, Barr. Madonna Corosi among others.
The Deputy National President of NOGALSS, Engr. Isaac Adaje while giving the vote of thanks specially applauded everyone that attended the advocacy meeting to welcome the King and to rub minds.

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