Nigeria lacks leaders with visionary ideas – Prof Olorunfemi
Prof. Jacob Folorunsho Olorunfemi, has said that many leaders in Nigeria are bereft of visionary and good leadership ideas.
He stated that Nigeria’s challenges will be addressed with good leadership.
He spoke while delivering his valedictory lecture titled: “Revisiting the why and how of what is where” on Thursday at the University of Ilorin, UNILORIN, Kwara State.
He said, “We have the problem of leadership which has become a major issue in Nigeria. I remember when a former leader of this country said that money is not a problem but what to spend it on. As at that time, we had no electricity and pipe borne in many villages. It means that we have been very unlucky as we have had many leaders who, oftentimes, are bereft of ideas. It is very detrimental to the country.”
“You can only be given what you have. We had a national leader who after his tenure, went back to school. Education is very important. Unfortunately, we have toiled with the quality of education.
“We have not even seen the repercussion. Our great-grandchildren will see the negative effect. They have destroyed education; the commitment is no longer there. You are forcing people to go to classes and you have not paid them. Whereas, to reconfigure BIVAS within few days, the court took a decision but how long has the case between the Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Federal Government dragged on? They have forgotten about it. And you think you are helping your country. No! It is destruction. We are just pretending that everything is okay, while it is not okay. It is the peace of the graveyard.”
The Prof who was of the Department of Geography and Environmental Management Faculty of Social Sciences, UNILORIN called for concerted efforts to rebuild and develop tertiary education in Nigeria.
Prof Olorunfemi said, “The right of all and sundry in an organisation must be assured, guaranteed and protected. If otherwise, and the concerned takes a step to fight for that right, such should be appreciated and commended rather than condemned; as much as practicable, unnecessary politicking and bias must be avoided in purely academic matters.
“Promotion should not be based on sentiments and appropriate criteria should be advertised far ahead of time, such that staff members can do a self-assessment. The university should likewise return to competitive recruitment and appointment of staff. (In as much as there is nothing wrong with offers of temporary appointments, to simply regularize without proper advertisements and competitive reassessment of candidates is neither in the interest of the university nor favourable to the achievement of the institutional goals. For a fact, at the inception of this university, I remember the case of an expatriate with a Ph.D. whose temporary appointment was not renewed because of nonperformance at a competitive interview).
“Admission of students should be based on merit (any admission request to the Vice Chancellor from even the Minister of Education for that matter to any university, if entertained, is illegal, if we must strictly adhere to the quota/distribution policy. There is even no provision for discretion, and that subsists until the rule is changed);
“Geography be reintroduced as one of the six (6) compulsory core courses at the senior secondary level, because of its utility;
“Geography be retained in both the faculties of Science and Social Sciences to provide additional entry opportunities for potential students;
“Geography be immediately introduced to the Police Academy, Wudil, Kano because of its importance and relevance to the training of police and other security officers;
“The 25% quota for educationally less developed states be jettisoned (there is no state without a state-owned university in Nigeria (NUC, 2022);
“Catchment area be modified to include all the states that are contiguous to the state of location of the university. The university Senate should not under any circumstances abrogate its role in the development of curriculum for the university; admission into universities be separated from those of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education; and applicants to tertiary institutions be given the choice of at least three institutions with the second and third choices from institutions located in the other two major ethnic groups of Nigeria.”