Nigerian leaders should be held responsible for the falling standard of education, especially technical education being experienced today in the country.
This is according to Professor Sabitu Ariyo Olagoke who spoke at the 30th Annual Shafaudeen In Islam stakeholders conference in Ibadan, Oyo State capital on Tuesday.
Olagoke, former Dean of School of Engineering Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro in Ogun State, who is also the founder of the Shafaudeen In Islam, organisation based in Wakajaìye Ibadan, in his lecture titled, “Shaping the future of Education in Nigeria,” argued that education has been relegated the background due to negligence of Nigerian leaders who, according to him, are not ready to give the best to the society.
He noted that Nigeria as a country is lacking in so many things because education, especially technical education, is not being giving the attention it deserves.
According to him, education “is the key to the progress of any nation because it removes ignorance and this helps the society to grow.”
He said that Nigerian youths should be motivated and encouraged to pursue technical education because by now, Nigeria ought to have been a cuntry driven by technology if her leaders, since Independence, had been paying adequate attention to technical education.
He lamented that, “Nigeria is a terrible country where leaders are not motivating the citizens to appreciate research and development.
He said, “Nigerian leaders over the years, have been paying lip services to research, which is not adequately funded”
He also blamed Nigerian entrepreneurs and industrialist for not investing on research that could help both their businesses and Nigeria. “Because by now, a lot of innovations, inventions are expected to have been coming out from private investors which would be beneficial to them and the entire country.”
He said it is time for Nigerian leaders, irrespective of their religion, political affiliations, ethnicity and otherwise, to assemble experts in various fields to work out adequate solutions to the problems of Nigeria.
According to Olagoke, “if the next president of Nigeria is unable to solve Nigeria’s problems which are multifaceted, “then I pity the citizens, while I will say that Nigeria is doomed.”
He said the only way to bring development to Nigeria is that whoever governs should do away with tribalism, religious sentiments and focus strictly on governance with the democracy of “justice and equity, to move Nigeria forward”.
Professor Olagoke, who expressed bitterness over the way education is being poorly funded in Nigeria, compared to other countries, even in Africa, took a swipe at Nigerian legislators for not doing their best in their legislative functions.
He said they are not emphasizing on areas that are beneficial to education, research and development but take interests in padding up aspects of the budget allocations that favours them and those at the corridor of power.
“Honestly, I am not impressed about the attitudes of Nigerian legislators towards education. They have bigger roles to play in improving the educational sector of the country but they have failed to discharge this responsibilities, which is very sad.
“What politicians, including the leaders, both in the executive and the legislature care about is how to keep amassing wealth without any consideration for the masses that voted them into power.”
According to him, even if a leader has the intentions of doing what is right and best for the people, the surrogates around him, would not allow it because of their own selfish interests.
He condemned the attitudes of wives of some leaders who don’t care whether their husbands govern well or not but care about showing off.
Some of them, he said, are guilty of this, as they only care about fashion rather than guiding their husbands to good governance.
“Today in Nigeria many First Ladies shark their responsibilities and some of them do a lot of things to mislead their husbands.”
He argued “rather than checking their husband’s misbehaviour towards the masses, they aggravate it due to unwarranted and unreasonable advises that often mislead their husbands
He said as mothers, First Ladies should be seen showing deep interest in child education to build a nation than some of the frivolous programmes they always ventured into.
He said no child is dull, as every child especially Nigerian students and youth are bound to make it in life if the atmosphere and the environments are well developed for it, while inter-connectivity of disciplines should be adopted to help a child in learning.