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‘Poor Leadership Responsible For Nigeria’s Under-Development’

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Nigerians have been told that it is impossible to develope under the conditions of poor quality leadership as well as living over the years with misconceptions of what constitutes development of a nation.
Speaking during the 41st Inaugural Lecture of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt, last Thursday, the Inaugural Guest Lecturer, a Professor of Development and Economics, Prof. Good Wilson, while delivering his lecture titled: ‘Nigeria’s Quest For Development: A Journey Without A Roadmap,  at the university, maintained that Nigeria instead of progressing alongside countries like Malaysia and Singapore was retrogressing.
Wilson attributed retrogression and underdevelopment of Nigeria to corrupt leadership that has bedeviled the country few years back, noting that this is the reason why the country is where it is today.
He stressed that if Nigerians don’t take a drastic action by choosing quality leaders, who meant well for the economic development and well being of the people, the country and her people will continue to remain poor, underdeveloped and impoverished.
He expressed dissatisfaction towards the conditions affecting the growth and development of Nigeria, adding that to confront the condition that perpetrates hardship and sufferings in Nigeria squarely, requires stronger self determination, the will power and sacrifices by all well meaning individuals to change all the bad leaders and enemies of Nigeria comes the 2023 General Elections.
He added that this was possible if all can muster courage, determination strong will and desire for positive change given the present circumstances that is confronting the country.
He opined that choosing quality leader, will encourage the emergence of a developmental state as well as applying the virtues of a road map that can help to achieve development and improve the living condition of her people.
Prof. Wilson stated further that if asked what he sees about Nigeria attainment of development and improvement in the life of the people years to come, he will say all he sees is a herculean task.

He defined development as the achievement of yearly increases in both the total and per Capita output of goods and services, noting that a country is said to be developing if the country is able to achieve on sustained basis, an annual increase in it’s gross national product (GNP) at a rate of between 5 to 7 percent.

He added that another economic indicator of development that featured prominently in the past was a rising level of industrialization, noting that if the share of industrial output in the total domestic output was rising as well then there was hope development.

Wilson stressed that in a normal setting where things are working development is seen as an economic phenomenon in which the increase in the overall and per-capita GNP would bring about more jobs for the people and a wilder distribution of the economic and social benefits of growth.

“It was believed that growth would lead to improvement in the living conditions of the people which is what development is all about. It was this kind of thinking that informed the United Nations’ declaration of the period 1960-1970 as it’s ‘First Development Decade’, in which it stipulated and advised that all less-developed countries should strive to grow at an annual rate of 5 per cent during the period”, Prof Wilson added.  Added.

He emphasised that a Road map is important to every development without which one cannot move to anywhere, saying that: “Development and road map changes can only be sustained on a basis and thus attain development.

“Looking at the various development levels in Nigeria attainment of Development and attendant improvement in the living condition of the people is a herculean task.

“We can achieve development by choosing quality leaders, encouraging the emergence of a development state as well as applying the virtues of a road map”, he added.

The Professor, who is also the Dean, Post Graduate School in the university, cited that Singapore and Malaysia started together with Nigeria, but regretted that today, these two countries have taken over Nigeria, pointing out that Nigeria lacks direction and good leaders, hence the reason why the country is still underdeveloped.

“In Singapore and Malaysia there has been consistency in their political calendar in which their governments were concerned and involved in the growth and development of their countries, but in our own case we are still borrowing, which is not a good practice for a developing country, like ours.

On his part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Okechuku Onuchuku said:, “Just as we have rightly heard from the inaugural lecturer, the only way towards development is choosing a good leader and that will only be possible if we vote wisely in the upcoming 2023 General elections”.

Onuchuku commended the guest Lecturer for the lecture put up as well as his efforts in X-raying Nigeria and the quest for development, adding that one basic solution is that Nigeria should adopt the paradigm of developmental states, where the states will lead the quest for development in the country.

The Vice Chancellor frown at the state of development in Nigeria, attributing it to corruption, which Nigeria leaders now called borrowing, remarking that basically corruption has shifted from oil to borrowing as seen ordinarily that there is nothing wrong with borrowing.

“Originally the essence why someone borrowed is as a result of lack of needed finance to needed to do something significant, but today people and leaders of this country, Nigeria have turned borrowing to stealing and mortgaged the future of Nigerians which will take the country so many years to develop.

“When we borrowed we put the money in our individual pockets instead of using it to address the general issue plaguing the country and it’s people, so it’s high time for our people to open their eyes next year as they choose their leaders during the 2023 General Elections that would ensure the economic of the country grows as well as the welfare of it’s citizens”, Prof. Onuchuku added.

By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana & Adline Humhrey

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Education

Kenpoly Partners NSE On Improved Engineering

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In a bid to improve Engineering practice and learning in Rivers State and Nigeria in general, the management of Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori, has approved its collaboration with the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Port Harcourt Branch, to enhance Engineering practice and academic learning.
The Rector, Kenpoly, Dr. Ledum Suanu Gwarah, stated this when the Executive of NSE, Port Harcourt Branch, paid a courtesy visit to the management of the institution.
Gwarah, who expressed delight over visit, said knowledge sharing is very important to improved learning for the students and members of the society.
Assuring that Kenpoly under his watch will collaborate with NSE, Port Harcourt Branch, to enhance academic learning and Engineering practices, he said “It is good to practice Engineering both on paper, and in the field”.
He commended the leadership of NSE, Port Harcourt, for establishing Eleme Branch in the state to boost the practice.
Kenpoly, he said, has five schools in Engineering studies and currently has over 25 departments.
The institution, the Rector continued, “is moving forward with màny of its Departmental courses unbundled”.
Earlier in her speech, Chairman, NSE, Port Harcourt, Engineer Idaeresoari Ateke, said the society was on the visit to seek greater collaboration between the two bodies to enhance learning and practices.
Engineer Ateke said her visit shows the importance the NSE places on collaboration and partnership between the two esteemed bodies.
“Our visit today shows the importance we place on collaboration and partnership between the two bodies”, she said.
According to her, Kenpoly serves as a beacon of excellence in promoting the advancement of the Engineering practice, education and research across Nigeria.
“Engineering lecturers at Ken Saro-Wiwa have a long standing reputation for academic excellence and innovation in Engineering education.
“We believe that by joining forces and leveraging each other’s strength, we can achieve great strides in advancing the field of Engineering.
“As lecturers, we can mentor the students in the Engineering Department to excel higher”, she stated.
She said further that “NSE is working together to advocate the policies that promote the growth and development of the Engineering profession. We can contribute to the continuous learning and development of our peers”.
The Chairman appealed to members of the society to pay their outstanding dues to improve the NSE practice.
She also urged members to attend NSE activities in the state and assist to develop local contents.

Chinedu Wosu

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Education

Former VC Advocates Drug Test For University Lecturers

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Prof. Muhammad AbdulAziz, the immediate past Vice Chancellor of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi state, has advocated drug tests for lecturers to sanitise the university system.
Mr AbdulAziz stated this in a valedictory speech to the Senate of the University at a handing-over ceremony to his successor, Prof. Sani Kunya, the new acting Vice Chancellor of the institution.
While commending the decision by the Federal Ministry of Education to introduce drug tests for students seeking admission to all universities, he said such tests should be extended to lecturers.
According to him, it would further sanitise the university system and promote sanctity and academic excellence.
“We have discussed with the Federal Ministry of Education and they want to introduce to all universities that before any student would be registered in the universities, he or she must undergo drug tests.
“If students should undergo drug tests, I believe that even some of us, the lecturers, need to undergo the same test so that we know our status.
“We also have to volunteer ourselves to have this test done on us because we have to sanitise the university.
“If the students are to be subjected to drug tests to determine their mental health status, nothing is wrong if the lecturers too are subjected to the same test.
That is the only way to check excesses in the university system,” he said.
Mr AbdulAziz said the modest achievements recorded during his tenure were in the areas of infrastructural development, academic content development and community services.
He said the achievements recorded could not have been made possible without the support of all stakeholders in the system.
He appreciated the federal government for the support rendered to the University through the Federal Ministry of Education and its various agencies like the National Universities Commission and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.
Read Also:Students to undertake drug test before admission UniAbuja
Also speaking, the new acting VC of the university expressed gratitude to the Senate for finding him worthy of the honour and to the federal government for his confirmation.
“I want to assure you that I will justify the confidence reposed in me by not disappointing you all.

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Education

Don Seeks 20%Increased Budget Allocation To Education

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A  Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Social Sciences University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Prof Willie J. Okowa has called on government at all levels to increase her  Education  sectorial budgetary  allocation to twenty percent of their annual budget , saying that such efforts will improve the development of education in the country.
Okowa said each government wether local, state or federal governments should devote an increased proportion of her annual budget to education such that in the next five to ten years , so that we can see at least 20 percent of her budget to the education sector.
He made this call while presenting the 42nd convocation lectures at  the just concluded Iaue convocation ceremonies held at the university auditorium in port harcourt, recently.
He posisted that the economy has a nexus with sustainable higher education to the effect that a robust economy plays a key role in the sustainability of higher .education , while a sustainable higher education plays a supportive economic growth and development
“On the hand,a failing economy can hardly support a sustainable higher education”.
According to him ,a growing economy easily provides the finances to fund sustainable higher education while a education provides the relevant skills and the manpower needs required to propel economic growth and development,”of course, The Inadequate provision of higher educational facilities will fail to the manpower needs required by the economy to support its growth and development”
“The ability of an economy to adquately find higher education also depends on the rate of the population ,the higher the rate of growth of population, the more the number of the people that require higher education .Hence ,a rapid population growth puts more pressure on the ability of the economy to adquately fund higher education, irrespective of its performance.”
“Population growth , economic growth and the adequate funding of higher education are therefore intricately interlinked.The adequacy of the funds that an economy provides to finance higher education also depends on how well the managers of our education institutions manage such funds.
If people who lack character , integrity and merit are appointed to helms of affairs institutions,then funds can hardly be adequate .on the other hands ,if people of character, integrity and merit are given such appointments ,then the outcome will be much better” he stated.
The erudite scholar opined that Nigerian universities and colleges are also passing through strange times and outlined outdated laboratories , inadequate classrooms, adding that many students involved in drugs and prostitution.

By: Akujobi Amadi

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