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At Bello’s colloquium, experts urge governments to increase funding for education

By Victor Gbonegun
14 December 2018   |   3:00 am
Governments at all levels have been urged to increase funding for the education sector and prioritise technical, vocational and professional education in the country. According to pundits at a leadership colloquium in honour of Col. Sani Bello (rtd.), there is need to change the fundamentals of the educational system to move Nigeria from third to…

Col. Bello, the former Nigerian ambassador to Zimbabwe, is the father of Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State.

Governments at all levels have been urged to increase funding for the education sector and prioritise technical, vocational and professional education in the country.

According to pundits at a leadership colloquium in honour of Col. Sani Bello (rtd.), there is need to change the fundamentals of the educational system to move Nigeria from third to a first world nation.

Col. Bello, the former Nigerian ambassador to Zimbabwe, is the father of Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State.

Adding that emphasis must equally be placed on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in line with the new world of work, they advised governments to create enabling environment for Nigerian professionals, rather than transferring their expertise needed for national development abroad.

Principal consultant, Lonadek Inc., Dr. Ibilola Amao, posited that Nigeria, as a matter of urgency, must invest time and effort in career counselling, industry awareness and youth empowerment as well as set up STEM hubs to train professionals and entrepreneurs.

At the event, which is the 47th in the Leaders Without Title series organised by Centre for Vales in Leadership (CVL), she urged government to deepen efforts at diversifying the economy from dependency on the oil sector to agriculture, investment in teacher training, and regular payment of lecturers.

She maintained that alumni associations of universities must do more in terms of financial support for their alma mater.

Expounding the theme of the colloquium, ‘Professional Evolution: Changing Career Change in Changing Times’, a senior partner with Nevitt Consulting, Victor Femuyibo, said that self-determination of career direction, choosing a role model and deliberate preparations were necessary to attain professionalism in all fields of endeavour.

The human resources strategist said: “Most parents have made a big mistake in determining the career path for their wards, as statistics revealed that about 60 per cent of university graduates end up not using the skills they acquired in school. Career choice should be more about passion and how to turn passion into vocation. Parental intervention should come as a guide and not as a matter of compulsion.”

For Mr. Tola Shobo, a lawyer and the founder of H. Pierson Associate, unemployment is the biggest problem in the country, which has increased the rate of other anti-social behaviours.

To move forward, the duo called for re-orientation of the school system to focus more on entrepreneurship as a practical way to deal with the economic menace.

In a video address, the founder of CVL, Prof. Pat Utomi, observed that as the world enters the fourth industrial revolution, ‘change’ has become something that has to be managed with dexterity.

According to him, developed economies are already implementing initiatives and applying STEM as a driver of respective economies at a time Nigeria’s educational system is yet to develop a blueprint with regard to the application of STEM as a component of national development plan.

In his remarks, Col. Bello lauded the leadership role of the CVL, especially for grooming the youth with core competencies required to lead in all spheres of life.