Discussant Response to “Re-Positioning Education in Nigeria for peace and Development” by CHIEF PHILIP C.ASIODU, CFR, CON, HLF

Delivered byEmeritus Prof. Njidda M.Gadzama, OFR, FAS, HLF

Discussant Response to “Re-Positioning Education in Nigeria for peace and Development” by CHIEF PHILIP C.ASIODU, CFR, CON, HLF

Discussant- Emeritus Prof. Njidda M.Gadzama, OFR, FAS, HLF

PROTOCOL

Let me kindly abide by the protocol of the speaker-the Superior Chief, besides being a very Noted Super Perm. Sec. and a true patriot of Nigeria. Since I am not an Excellency or a Chief, let me settle for the Distinguished Gentlemen thing, because all those carrying HLF after their names are all very Distinguished in the service of Nigeria. I am very proud and honored to belong to this special group.

GENERAL REMARKS

In 14 pages, this great man has delivered what needs to be said, in positive terms, for Nigeria to move forward. If I could gate crash to see Mr. President –His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, despite the Cabals, I would present this paper to him as something most credibly fresh and urgent for serious discussion at the Executive Council for early action. This paper must reach Mr. President!

Abandonment of Planning and Disciplined Implementation Plans

The Chief has not spared us of the down side, as when you read the first paragraph of page 2, one is worried that revolution is currently erupting in Nigeria. But he has also provided cogent reason for the down side as “the abandonment of planning and disciplined implementation” of any good plans.

  • What happened to the 1975 plan and subsequent ones?

  • What happened to War Against Indiscipline (WAI)?

  • What happened to Vision 2010 that the Chief and I worked so hard to develop?

  • What is even happening now to the Vision 2020?

I agree that disintegration of Nigeria is not the solution to our problem; in fact disintegration will create more problem than what we have today. It will definitely be a major mayhem in all directions; no State will be spared. The good performance of Nigerians at national and international levels, the size of Nigeria both in population and geography earns respect, if not fear. But with the level of corruption in Nigeria, the powers of the cabals, the ethnic nationalisms and visible religious bigotry, where will we find the nationalistically charismatic leader to unite this country? Maybe as Ghanaian author-Ayi Kwei Armah wrote, “the beautyful ones are not yet born “. May Nigeria give birth to many beautiful ones for future advancement.

National Vision and Agenda 2040

As a lecturer, this section appeals to academic people instantly and brings out the most positive proposal for turn around situation. If “the essential element in the National Vision 2040” on page 5 has been listed in chronological order of importance, then I would place “Eradication of Corruption in all Facets of National Life” as no.3. It is suggested that Nigeria Diaspora should be massively involved in its implementation.

Universal Compulsory Good Quality Education up to the age of 18”; this should be followed by compulsory military service to the nation for two years by the recipients.

The Federal Government should agree on a program to ensure that within 7 years, starting with these ten, the Universities of Ibadan, Lagos, Ife, Zaria, Nsukka, Benin, Ilorin, Jos, Maiduguri, and Port Harcourt, should be made to achieve good international standards” (on page 12). To this regard, there is a Report of Federal Ministry of Education Committee which I had the honor to Chair, recommended to Federal Government to fund and develop six Universities (one each from the six national zones of the country) to international standard. But it was shelved for establishing more Federal Universities; these new Universities could not reach acceptable local standards and depended heavily on over burdened staff from other more developed Universities as visiting lecturers. States should do more in developing their Universities to reasonable standards so that these could carry out research on the problems of the States similar to the functions of the Land Grant Universities in the United States of America. NUC should be more firm in maintaining quality standard in the Universities. In the cases of Malaysia Singapore and South Korea, quality education is quality progress, indeed. A system that relegates technical education to the background cannot advance technically. Nigeria, according to Chief Asiodu, is not achieving the UNESCO 25% budgetary allocation for Education; the present 7% allocation cannot achieve much in developing quality education at primary, secondary and at tertiary levels. Nigeria must urgently manage population growth!

Let me end this brief response to this most wonderful paper by our most patriotic Chief Asiodu CFR, CON, HLF. I still however own the view that the paper should reach His Excellency, the President soonest.

Thank you and God bless.

Prof. Emeritus N.M. GADZAMA, OFR, FAS, HLR

Discussant

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *