Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole at weekend said until leadership in Nigeria changes from the arrogance of power, perpetual infighting, accommodating corruption and impunity and finding excuses for failure to meet popular expectations, most educational institutions, private and public, would never meet world standards.
The Governor who was the Guest lecturer at the 2013 convocation ceremony of Benson Idahosa University in Benin City spoke on the title: Education and National Development, expressed surprise that no one was in jail over corruption in Nigeria, saying “if, with a leadership from the South South, we have not made appreciable progress on the conditions of the Niger Delta, the East West Road, and the coastal railway, let us continue to hope because we are used to hoping , the elasticity of hope in Nigeria is limitless.”
Represented by the Secretary to Edo State Government, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, Oshiomhole said “Nigerians spend over N80 billion annually on medical tourism and treatment overseas just as we put our kids in foreign and African universities and this is with over N2 trillion lost to the fuel subsidy cartel, not to mention how much is lost annually to oil thieves.
“The list of imperfections, failures, problems and contradictions can go on and on. The important issue today is how we can relate these issues to the importance of education and therefore national development. Fleetingly, about people, it is, in the first instance, about cars, skyscrapers, money in the bank, huge bureaucracies and those things that may be symptoms of growth rather than development.
“Our idea of development revolves round interest and exchange rates, import-export ratios, GNP per capita, even GDP and foreign reserves. These may show that growth and maybe accumulation are occurring; they do not show that development, that is people-focused, people-based and people-driven is occurring.
“Major companies like Unilever and Dunlop are closing down, setting up shop in Ghana and throwing thousands of families into unemployment, hunger and social presures. I believe we should just leave the issue of power for another day after we fully understand what the GENCOS, DISCOS,and TRANCOS are doing.
“With an unstable, non-hegemonic and unreliable state, frequent policy changes, an economy in crisis, and leaders that use power and public funds for personal aggrandizement; the university must prepare to engage the negative forces in a changing global order and a reforming Nigeria.
“When education takes citizens in the opposite direction of these values then it becomes dangerous to societal development. Infact, an educational system that produces election riggers, intimidators, looters of the treasury, bad drivers, disregard for communal values, lazy public servants, kidnappers, inefficient and ineffective workers, political opportunists, thugs, and bad politicians that visit pain on the people and contaminate and undermine institutions of society cannot be regarded as positive education.
“Today, it is safe to say that our educational system has produced 10% that think, 10% that think they are thinking, 30% that do not want to think at all about anything and 50% that would rather die than think.”
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