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Nigeria’s situation not hopeless, Ooni tells youths

By Muyiwa Adeyemi and Ayodele Afolabi, Ado Ekiti
22 October 2022   |   4:03 am
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has appealed to Nigerian youths not to lose hope in the country, saying the current challenges confronting the nation would be surmounted.

Oba Enitan Ogunwusi

•Babalola Bemoans Low Budget For Education
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, has appealed to Nigerian youths not to lose hope in the country, saying the current challenges confronting the nation would be surmounted.

Oba Ogunwusi advised youths to be creative, focused, deploy their God-given talents to develop the country and take it beyond its current abysmal position, maintaining that Nigeria would rise to be stronger and better.

Also, the founder of Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), bemoaned the six per cent allocation for education in the 2023 budget as against the 26 per cent recommended by UNESCO, pleading for better funding of public universities by the Federal Government.

He also urged youths to work assiduously and halt the drift in the education standard in the country, saying no nation progresses beyond the qualities of its productive population.

Both Oba Ogunwusi and Babalola spoke at ABUAD, yesterday, during the 10th Convocation Ceremony of the institution at its Ado Ekiti campus.

At the ceremony, no fewer than 1,673 graduates bagged different degrees, with 121 of them decorated with First Class honours.

Also at the event, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Garba El-kanemi, former governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni and a legal icon, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), were conferred with Honourary Doctorate Degrees of the institution.

In his admonition to the graduands, Ooni said: “I want you to go out there and apply the positive knowledge you have garnered here to better your lives and this our nation. There are no other places we can run to.

“Don’t lose hope in our country; be courageous and use your brains and energy to help our governments to develop wherever you find yourselves.

“You are very lucky to have attended ABUAD, a university that combines learning with character. You have also learnt one skill or vocation here that you can apply to be employers of labour rather than job seekers. So, I congratulate all of you and your parents.”

On his part, Babalola stated that the fact that the university was ranked first in Nigeria and 321 globally by Times Higher Education Impact Ranking signposted that something good and meritorious could still happen in Nigeria.

He warned the federal and state governments against proliferation of universities when the existing ones are underfunded and lack the requisite facilities to offer quality education.

“The future of this country is certainly in private universities. By the time ABUAD was founded in 2009, there were only 33 private universities in Nigeria.

“But between 2009 and now, we have 77 private universities. The strict conditions like conducive learning environment, provision of teaching facilities, structures, laboratories, libraries and qualified personnel with which ABUAD was subjected to are no longer there anymore.

“What we have mainly today seems to be constituency projects to satisfy the yearnings of some governors and legislators.

“It is inconceivable that a newly established private university is allowed to run Medicine, Engineering and Law in the first year. We should not allow undue proliferation of private universities to destroy quality and functional education,” Babalola said.

He said the university has expended a total of N1,149,500,000 billion on scholarship awards to students and staff, describing the gesture as the needed tonic to motivate them to give their best in their services to the nation.

The legal luminary disclosed that the university had offered trainings to about 1,000 students in Nigeria and Republic of Benin in agric-based vocations and 894 of them provided with start-off facilities to checkmate unemployment and the attendant crimes.

The nonagenarian also disclosed that out of the total number of best students in the university, 90 per cent of them are females, wondering what distracted their male counterparts.

The university also presented cash gifts to all students who bagged First Class, and the teaching and non-teaching staff that have distinguished themselves in their various fields.