By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
Nigeria’s product for foreign good and services regardless of the quality or otherwise, will continue to soar, except both the leadership and the led remain committed to the Nigerian project, and be proud of her enviable values, Founder Covenant University Ota Ogun State, Bishop David Oyedepo has said.
Oyedepo spoke against the backdrop of capital flight especially in education and health in which he believes has, and still costing Nigerians millions of dollars in economic loss.
The fiery cleric delivered a keynote address at the university’s seventh inaugural lecture series at the weekend with the title: ‘Deconstructing the national development agenda; The role of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs). The lecture was presented by a professor of Computer Science and immediate past vice chancellor of CU Charles K. Ayo.
Interestingly, the lecture also formed a part of activities for the university’s 14th anniversary.
In his address themed: ‘Sell intellectual capital, not national asset,’ Oyedepo boasted that God has blessed Nigeria with enormous intellectual resources that can be marketed globally and which profit can help save the economy rather than the authorities proposed sale of national assets.
Unfortunately, since governments have demonstrated lack of interest in funding public education, Nigerians too have lost interest, while those who cannot send their wards to study overseas, now choose neighboring African countries some which Oyedepo said are poles apart to Nigeria when it comes to standard of education.
“I have been to Ghana. Many of the schools they have there are glorified secondary school; but Nigerians still go there because many have lost interest in our education and government is not helping matters,” Oyedepobegan.
“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,” Oyedepoadded while alluding to Ayo’s recommendation ofN40 billion to each public university annually to make them globally competitive.
As an itinerant Evangelist, Oyedepo said he has crisscrossed about 17 countries across Africa, deliberated with their leadership, adding that his discovery is the same story of bad governance and mismanagement.
Nonetheless, 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 also lauded him for espousing through his various research, deployment of ICT solutions in addressing challenges of governance in Africa.
In his lecture, Ayo lamented that the education has suffered perennial underfunding, and resulting in vices such as cultism, examination fraud, system abuse and corruption. Today, Nigeria produces less leaders but mass produces miscreants, Ayo further said.
And as long as the nation’s universities cannot offer admission to her burgeoning potential candidates, she will continue to suffer brain drain and capital flight, Ayo argued.
He canvassed eGovernance and eGov
“Generally, Ayo said, “eGovernment is about transformation and economic development, increasing transparency, sharpening accountability, increasing scrutiny, and delivering services effectively and seamlessly.
“It is about developing new forms of communication between government and the governed, and it’s about enhancing quality of lives through taking out hierarchies and changing work practices, cultures, behaviours, and radically changing power structure by making power more diffused and less concentrated among a small political and administrative elite.”