James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has lamented the fate of over 14 million out of school children in Nigeria, saying that lack of formal education and stagnated development are some of the biggest problems confronting the country.
Obasanjo said this while speaking as the Chairman of the second convocation ceremony of Chrisland University, Abeokuta.
The former President disclosed that about 14million children who ought to be in school are out on the streets, stressing that this should be a source of worry to whoever wanted the best for the country and Africa as a whole.
He said, “We have 14million children that should be in school and are not in school that’s more than the population of many African countries”.
He then urged the graduating students to remain focused in spite of the difficulties in Nigeria, adding that, there are still opportunities out there that they could make good use of to be great in life.
On his part, Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun represented by the Commissioner for Education, Prof Abayomi Arigbabu, commended the institution for its commitment to qualitative education, which he said was needed to produce manpower to address some of the country’s challenges.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof Chinedum Peace Babalola congratulated the 28 graduating students being awarded Bachelor degrees and professional certificates in entrepreneurship, saying that their training in the university had also equipped them with skills for self-employment.
Prof Babalola said that among the 28 graduates, five of them who are all females made First Class while Folashade Kikelomo Mary with 4.80CGPA from the College of Natural and Applied Sciences emerged as the overall best graduating students.
She said the university had instilled in the student’s entrepreneurial skills that would turn them into job creators and not job seekers.
She, however, added that the university management was proud of the number of graduates who have been part of the university’s history.
The guest speaker at the convocation ceremony, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, African Union,
Prof Sarah Anyang Agbor charged African leaders to have a strong political will to ensure sustainable growth and impact the people for good.
Delivering the convocation lecture with the theme “Leadership, Sustainable Growth, and National Building in Africa: A Reflective Perspective” Prof. Sarah Agbor explained that among the critical issues Africa faces today, is the bludgeoning youth population and with it, the challenge of youth unemployment saying that data from the National Bureau of Statistics here in Nigeria revealed that unemployment rate as at the second quarter of 2020 was 27.1%.
She said, “For us to achieve AU Vision 2063, change the glooming narrative of the African youth, the leaders must invest in good governance to achieve the goal. Good governance is a reflection of effective leadership and vice versa”.
“Show me a leader with a penchant to serve his people, meet the needs and aspirations of his citizens, and achieve collective growth for the populace and I will show you a leader who is result/performance-oriented and implements good governance.”