by Adegunle Olugbamila
•Covenant Varsity clocks 14
Nigeria has enormous intellectual resources that can be marketed globally and the profit can help save the economy, rather than sale of national assets, Founder of Covenant University Ota, Ogun State, Bishop David Oyedepo has said.
The cleric said this in a keynote address at the university’s seventh inaugural lecture series, entitled: “Deconstructing the national development agenda: The role of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs)”, at the weekend.
The lecture was presented by a professor of Computer Science and immediate past Vice Chancellor of CU Charles K. Ayo.
The lecture also formed part of activities marking the university’s 14th anniversary.
Bishop Oyedepo, in his address, themed: “Sell intellectual capital, not national asset”, said Nigeria’s penchant for foreign goods and services, regardless of the quality, would continue to soar, except both the leadership and the led remain committed to the Nigerian project.
He emphasised that God has blessed Nigeria with enormous intellectual resources that could be marketed rather than the proposed sale of assets.
The cleric noted that governments have demonstrated lack of interest in funding public education, adding that the citizenry too have lost interest.
According to him, those who could not send their wards to study overseas, now choose neighbouring African countries, some which he said, were poles apart from Nigeria in standard of education.
“I have been to Ghana. Many of the schools they have there are glorified secondary schools; but Nigerians still go there because many have lost interest in our education and government is not helping matters,” Bishop Oyedepo said.
“We must admit that we have problems from education to health to governance. However, problems are like a sore, which keep enlarging if they are not attended to.
“The problems are obvious but God has deposited adequate resources to deal with them. Let us see these challenges as potentials to leap into the future that we all anticipate.”
“It is about time governments in Nigeria redirects their energies to education. Like the guest lecturer said, we need to open up more opportunities to Nigerians through Open Distance Learning. An educated citizenry can add more value to the economy.
“Even if government does not have up to N40 billion, let’s know what they have. But if they claim they have nothing, then there is no value because every developed society thrives on education that is well-funded,” the cleric said while alluding to Ayo’s recommendation of N40 billion to each public university annually to make them globally competitive.
He assured that CU would continue to set a benchmark in the deployment of ICT, financial efficiency and good governance.
Praising Ayo for the lecture, Oyedepo lauded him for espousing through his various researches and deployment of ICT solutions in addressing challenges of governance in Africa.
In his lecture, Ayo lamented that education has suffered perennial underfunding and resulting in vices such as cultism, examination fraud, system abuse and corruption.
Ayo alleged that today, “Nigeria produces less leaders, but mass produces miscreants”.