The 20th Convocation Lecturer, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi
The immediate past Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and Pro-Chancellor, The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Professor Oladapo Abraham Afolabi, has decried the alarming rate of poverty and underdevelopment in Nigeria despite the country’s rich endowment in human and natural resources.
Professor Afolabi said this while delivering the 20th Convocation Lecture of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta titled; “Nigeria Still Crawling After Fifty Years of Independence? Is Leadership Deficit the Issue?
The Lecturer, while analyzing the historical development of the nation, observed that its contemporaries, like Singapore and Malaysia, which were developing at the same pace with Nigeria in the 1960s, had greatly surpassed the latter and can hardly be referred to as developing countries.
The former Head of Service called for a change in the orientation of the nation’s leadership, stressing that a transformational leader, who is ready to face reality and make sacrifices, is what Nigeria need, to get out of her present predicament.
Professor Afolabi also called for a review of the country’s constitution and policies, noting that key areas to be addressed include democracy, education, industrialisation and mentoring.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Occasion, Chief (Dr.) Kola Jamodu, pointed out that the way forward for the country is to support the engendering of good leadership that believes strongly in integrity, discipline and transparency.
Chief Jamodu commended the outgoing Vice-Chancellor for being one of such leaders while commending the University for the smooth process instituted in appointing its new Vice-Chancellor.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun said the Convocation Lecture was part of the University’s social responsibilities to its immediate and external community in setting agenda, sharing quality opinions and proffering solutions to important national and global issues.
Professor Balogun said, “As a responsive institution, I wish to assure the nation that the University will not shirk her responsibilities of generating and propagating knowledge that will bolster our societies”.