Enthusiasm, hard work and the quest for knowledge were rewarded as the prestigious Joseph Ayo Babalola University held its ninth convocation ceremony on Thursday, January 24, 2019.
The Convocation Lecture, with the title “Educational and Agricultural Value Chains for Industrialization of Nigeria” was delivered by Professor Wale Omole at the main auditorium of the institution.
Professor Omole, a former Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife emphasized the need to pay special attention to the production of food in order to make life easier and bearable for the people. He posited that agriculture is the centre of survival of the people.
Speaking further during the lecture, Professor Omole noted that “Calabar was the first capital of Nigeria which gave birth to the industrial revolution experienced in 1709 when they brought the curriculum that Nigeria has been using from then till date”.
He lamented that the young minds of today lack the ability to engage themselves in critical thinking. Nigeria, according Professor Wale Omole needs a curriculum review over the years because there has not been seriousness of thought and thinking. “Nigeria has also continued to be a place where they consume rather than manufacture”. He urged that Nigerians must not allow such attitude to linger for so long.
Professor Omole stressed the need for the Nigerian educational system to be coherent. “What we see in Nigeria today when we visits the beer parlours, are those engaging in discussions how they think Nigeria can be run. For education to be effective, the use of medium is very crucial and important”.
The former Vice Chancellor pointed out that by medium; he meant the language which he said should be the modicum and the solutions. He made references to the progress and achievements India has made as a result of the adoption of their mother tongue. He drew the attention of the graduating students to the need for them to help themselves by thinking and being creative, thereby solving a lot of problems around them.
“It was the brain that was also called the mind. The mind is a spirit till today according to peoples’ beliefs. People tend to study the brain more because it is the house and the centre of analytical and critical thinking”, he said. Professor Omole condemned the attitude of those cramming instead of studying and achieving creative thinking through what they read, see and hear. “One of Nigeria’s greatest problems is lack of deep thinking”, he averred.
“When students are taught English Language in Yoruba Language, our mother tongue; and assessed in English, they tend to perform better than those taught in English Language and also assessed in English”, Professor Omole stated. He affirmed that those taught English Language in Yoruba Language and assessed in English some years back are doing very well up till today.
He used the opportunity of the lecture to call on the Federal Government and other critical stakeholders in the Nigerian Educational sector to allow mother tongues to be used as a medium to communicate and teach in schools. Speaking further, he said “in the past, many of the projects previously built in Nigeria were done with the proceeds from the Agricultural sector. Some of these projects include the Liberty Stadium in Ibadan, Cocoa House in Ibadan, the UCH in Ibadan, University of Ibadan (U.I) and a host of others.
“If our focus is shifted to the Agricultural sector from the oil and gas sector, Agriculture will make our education stronger and also enable us pay our children’s school fees without stress. It is an established fact all over the world that Industrialization came into existence through the collective efforts put into the Agricultural sector”.
He therefore charged Nigerians to wake up from their slumber and discover what is happening to them. He said the need and the time to return to Agriculture was the basis of his Inaugural Lecture 36 years ago. He encouraged Nigerians to build their houses in the farm and live there to enable them pay more attention to farming business and become more successful and end the disposition disconnecting Nigerians from their source which is Agriculture.
As part of the ceremonies, Chief Mrs. Titi Amina Atiku Abubakar and Mr. Fadeni Oladapo, the MD of Energy GMT Energy Resource bagged honorary degrees at the convocation ceremony on Friday, 25th January.
Mrs. Titi Abubakar appreciated the institution’s Governing Council and counseled the graduating students on being self-reliant and good ambassadors of JABU outside the institution.
Chief Mrs. Atiku Abubakar frowned at the way the current government has been running the country. “This is not the democracy we voted for. And I will say to you, we are in a military era. The current government is not working, I urge you all here to vote them out”. She thereafter made an endowment of N5 million to the Entrepreneurship Department of the University.
Dr. Seinde Fadeni Oladapo, while making his own remarks promised to build a library for the Institution. He also gave a reward of $10,000 to the best graduating student and another N10 million endowment for the Entrepreneurship Department. For each of the graduating students with a CGPA of 3.50 and above, he promised to give a computer.
The Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), a private Nigerian University located in Ikeji-Arakeji in Osun State was established by the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) Worldwide and named after the first Spiritual leader of the church, Prophet Joseph Ayodele Babalola. The University offers courses in the following colleges; Agricultural Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Humanities, Law, Management Sciences, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences.
Packaged by Emmanuel Adeniran