OBI, EBONYI SSG PLEDGE SUPPORT FOR FUNAI INITIATIVE
The immediate past governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi and the Secretary to Ebonyi State Government, Prof. Bernard Odoh have both pledged their support to the initiative of the Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State in developing creative minds that can champion the nation’s socio-economic development through their ideas and knowledge.
They made the pledge recently at the University during the grand finale of ‘Be Creative 1.0’ organized by the FUNAI Creative Writers Association to reward young Nigerian University and Secondary School writers in the South East geo-political zone of the country in the areas of poem and short story.
Welcoming the guests to the events, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba represented by the Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Prof. Mathew Edeoga said the University was poised to turning out graduates that would meet the demands of the 21st century knowledge-driven economy by equipping the students with critical minds and innovative spirits in their respective disciplines.
He further called on parents to help their children and wards discover their latent talents by allowing them to read their preferred course of studies and make their career choices instead of ‘forcing’ them into academic areas and professions where they have little or no interest in.
Speaking on the theme: “Hope for Africa: Birth of a New Age”, the guest speakers lamented the ‘baggage economy’ of most African countries and the poverty state of its citizens in spite of the vast natural resources at their disposal, adding that the political leadership was to blame for the lack of meaningful development in the African continent.
Obi in his submission explained that the political leadership in Nigeria is bereft of vision, ideas and innovation, relying more on guess work, nepotism and self-aggrandizements for public policies, which according to him, have left the masses in abject poverty and the country in a state of economic quagmire.
“There is no thinking in Government in Nigeria. This has led to continuous micro-economics instability in the country”, he stated.
He further decried successive Nigerian government’s over-reliance on depreciating asset-crude oil, in powering the nation’s development instead of following the foot-steps of the advanced nations of America and Europe that are improving the knowledge-base of their citizens and using same to drive their economy.
Citing the success examples of Apple, Google and Microsoft technologies, the former governor bemoaned the emptiness of our education system, noting that “the Nigerian education curriculum does not prepare anyone for success”, and therefore called on the Nigerian youths to reexamine themselves, follow their passion, be creative and train for new skills in other to be relevant in the 21st century economy.
Challenging the youths to take their destinies in their hands by being innovative and creative, Odoh in his speech noted that ‘ideas rule the world’ and ‘men of ideas shape the economies and future of their nations’.
“You cannot come to a competition as a spectator and expect to have a medal. Medals are meant only for those involved in the actual competition”, he said.
He further admonished the Nigerian youths to pursue functional knowledge and eschew mediocrity, adding that the success stories of the Tiger Nations has shown that the degree of a nation’s development was no longer dependent on the volume of their natural resources but on the quality and quantity of functional knowledge and sellable skills at the disposal of their citizens.
Earlier, the President of the FUNAI Creative Writers Association, Uchechukwu Agbo said the ‘Be Creative 1.0’ programme was initiated to redirect the attention of the Nigerian youths from social ‘attractions’ to worthwhile activities, adding that the youths have almost lost it by building their life styles on shaky foundations of mediocrity, get-rich-quick syndrome and the razzmatazz of show business instead on timeless principles of hard work, honesty and knowledge.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of monetary gifts to deserving winners of the writing competition in the categories of poem and short story for University and Secondary School students.