Babcock VC sets agenda for national development

  • Warns there may be a merger of universities

 The Vice-Chancellor of Babcock University, Professor J. A. Kayode Makinde has urged development stakeholders in Nigeria to be sensitive to the future of unborn generations.

Delivering the keynote address at an annual colloquium to mark the beginning of the 2013/2014 academic session in the University last week, Professor Makinde urged that sustainable development is that which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

In his words, “sustainable development is a reflection on the past, improvement on the present and a projection into the future.”   

Makinde noted that for Nigeria to achieve sustainable development, leaders must lead by example. He said that teachers must practice what they want other to learn.

In his characteristic philosophical twist, Makinde said that when rules go out to exempt the ruler, immunity becomes impunity.

He lamented that while Nigeria is good at creating new fads, the nation has failed in sustaining what is created. “Feasibility is prized above sustainability,” he averred.

The Professor of Religion and Political Philosophy noted that the Nigerian economy is moderated by the band-wagon effect where everyone dives into a venture without a second thought for its sustainability.

He recounted how the eras of popcorn, pure water, and banking boom came and went; now the country is exporting religion and Nollywood.

Makinde noted that within 14 years of the licensing of the first private Universities, there are over about 130 universities in the country with over 50 of them owned and operated by private investors.

With many of these universities – both public and private – not having a clear sustainability framework, he warned that the fate that befell the banks, where many of them had to merge or be liquidated, may befall the tertiary education enterprise.

Makinde also urged that African nations should quit bemoaning how Europe underdeveloped Africa and rise to the occasion of exploiting the vast opportunities extant in their nation.

The VC stressed that while Nigerians are jetting out of their country in search of greener pastures, other nationals, especially of the developed world, are coming to Nigeria to exploit her rich resources.

 “The reason the world is coming to Nigeria is that there is superior wealth. The cry of poverty in the land is not of materials, but of ideas,” he quipped.

 He noted that for any nation or institution to achieve a sustainable vision, it must prioritise, recognise and reward creative genius that is driven by godly inspiration and anchored on integrity.

He noted that institutions that are not anchored on integrity experience attrition, fruitlessness and demise. “But when you are fruitful, you will multiply; when you multiply, you will dominate,” Image

Further, he urged that excellence is not a destination, but a direction; because those who think they have arrived soon begin to decline.

Story by: Chigozi Eti, Lecturer in Writing and Media Language, Babcock University. 

Feedback: chigoeti@gmail.com.

Caveat: Please note that this article was not commissioned by Babcock University. The author takes full responsibility for the accuracy or otherwise of the content.

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