Monday, 29 September 2014

THE AMBASSADORS SUMMIT 2014




PRESS RELEASE
THE AMBASSADORS RADIO SHOW AND GLEEHD FOUNDATION AND TO JOINTLY IMPACT THE LIVES OF YOUTH THROUGH A LIFE TRANSFORMING SUMMIT
SEPT, 29, 2014.
[Yaba, Lagos]

Imagine a summit like never experienced, where Nigerian youths and especially students from the higher institutions in Lagos state such as Lagos State University (LASU), Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Federal College of Education Technical (FCET), Yaba College of Technology (YCT), and the first choice institution, University of Lagos (UNILAG), as well as some selected senior secondary school student participants, would all be converging at a life-transforming summit of the year 2014.

The summit also known as “THE AMBASSADORS SUMMIT” will be held in the main auditorium of the University of Lagos. This will take up nothing less than two thousand (2,000) Nigerian youth (mostly students). The Ambassadors, a Youth Empowerment Initiative, is a brainchild of ‘The Ambassadors Radio Show’ on Nigeria’s First University Radio Station, Unilag 103.1FM which is aired live on Sundays by 5pm to 6pm. This initiative was established by Prince Joshua Oyeniyi, a multiple award winning speaker, writer, University of Lagos Ambassador and radio host, to provide solutions to the challenges of unemployment, unemployability, lack of marketable skill set, poor business skills and entrepreneurial powers, low self esteem, amongst many other encountered by the youth population through seminars, symposia, forums, conferences and workshops powered by highly experienced, skilled and successful Nigerians referred to as ‘THE AMBASSADORS’. This summit will be part of a nationwide effort to draw attention for the good of the Nigerian youths with a theme of the year tagged “You can be more!” The set theme serves to motivate every participant to do their parts in further impacting every other Nigerian youth, so that they can as well get inspired and equipped in the 21st century. According to the planned concept of the summit, over two thousand intelligent and educated youths from higher learning institutions in Lagos state as well as senior secondary school students will be spreading words about the important role of great acts of an individual to be more.

One of the very great things to note is that THE AMBASSADORS SUMMIT will be majorly partnered by a standard and viable organization which is both a locally and internationally recognized African Youth Impacting and empowerment foundation called “GLEEDH FOUNDATION”

GLEEEDH FOUNDATION, one of the nation’s reputable standard nongovernmental organization founded by Mr. Dayo Israel, has affirmed to collaborate with THE AMBASSADORS of the first University Radio station, Unilag 103.1FM to organize a first of its kind AMBASSADORS SUMMMIT 2014 which will come-up on the 2nd October 2014 by 9am.

 As a notable question one may ask, what then is the big deal about THE AMBASSADORS SUMMMIT? There are a whole lot! The core essence of this event extends beyond mere camaraderie to include;
        Inspiration and Motivation of the participants with success stories of guest speakers.
        Practical enlightenments on entrepreneurship and business development through sectorialized workshops
        Access to start-up funds for young viable businesses.
        Evolution of a new breed of young leaders who will be ‘AMBASSADORS’ of integrity, transparency, accountability and patriotism.
        Raising high quality intellectuals with possession of holistic skill set for favourable global competitiveness.
During the event, several preplanned arrangements are set in place to ensure that:
        Internship opportunities are provided for some selected participants,
        Job opportunities are created in favour of some selected participants,
        Scholarship awards are granted to some selected participants.
A thinker may want to ask, how sustainable will the impact from this summit be. Good one! There shall be post summit evaluation strategies to ensure effective values and continuity of the above stated arrangements.

Expected Special guest speakers include Oba of Lagos, Oba RilwanAkiolu II (Royal Father of the Day, First Lady of Lagos State, Dame Mrs AbimbolaFashola (Chairperson of the day), Prof. Rahman Bello- FNSChe, FNSE (Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos and Chief Host of the Summit), Prof Pat Utomi, Toyosi Akerele (Founder, RISE Networks),  Joseph Benjamin (MTNProjectFame West Africa Host), Detoun Ogwo(HR Expert), Bowale Oyindamola (13 years old National Winner of the 2014 Pi Presentation Competition), Koffi Da’Guru, THE IGWE TWINS (Titus and Tobias IGWE), (Young and successful multiple-award winning entrepreneurs), Dr Hallowed Olaoluwa (Africa’s Youngest PhD holder with five degrees at age 24), Mr. Segun Oloketuyi (Group Managing Director of WEMA Bank Plc), Teju Babyface (Television Show Host and Comedian as well as the Dean of Student Affairs of the University of Lagos, Professor Olukayode Amund, The National President of the University of Lagos Alumni Association (Host), amongst several successful Nigerians and Speakers.

The forth coming AMBASSADORS SUMMIT 2014 shall be highly ICT-driven with the involvement of various media partners and live streaming on the internet that will cover the day as well as various brand exhibitions of goods and services, thus, reaching the global community. The possible means to be a participant are through notification SMS, free online registration at eventbrite media use, and even open registration on the main day.

For some more information on THE AMBASSADORS SUMMIT 2014, Please visit the GLEEHD FOUNDATION Lagos office at Anthony (GLEEHD OFFICE ADDRESS) or the Ambassadors Radio station on UNILAG 103.1FM at the 7th floor of the senate building of the University of Lagos. The contacts numbers that can be reached are;

08164847800 – Joshua
08097069198 – Victor
08166765045 – Dayo

Friday, 8 November 2013

RAPE CONVICTS DESERVE DEATH PENALTY - Joshua Oyeniyi (Published by THE NATION and DAILY INDEPENDENT Newspapers on 6th November, 2013)


I had just alighted from the bus, on a return from a trip, and proceeded to the vendor stand to get a copy of my favourite national daily. I flipped through the first four pages, in an apparent rush to catch the interesting headlines before settling down for proper reading, and staring me in the face were stories that sank my spirit into deep sullenness. Sitting on the third and four pages were horrible, appalling accounts of acts of rape in different dimensions, with one causing the premature death of its nine year old victim, a primary three pupil. A few weeks before this, I had also read of varying reports of the incidences of rape and in a bid to have a break from these distressing news, I logged on to the internet for some ‘better’ news. But no sooner had I started surfing the internet than I saw a video of another rape case. In this video, the young woman was tied by the hands, stuffed in the mouth with a napkin, apparently to stop her from shouting for help, raped and then buried alive. This happened on Bonny Island, Rivers State, Nigeria. The military, however, got wind of the nefarious act, apprehended the perpetrators and forced them to exhume the corpse before the lens of video cameras. It was no less a morbid scene!
Fast forward to the day I bought this newspaper. The story was told of a 14 year old boy, Onyi Adimabua, who allegedly raped a nine year old pupil. Worse still, he committed the act five times with the threat to kill her if she opened up to anybody. However, the poor victim started complaining of pains below her abdomen and when questioned, she exposed to her parents how she had been defiled by her proprietor’s son. Sadly enough, the primary three student died of complications arising from vaginal injuries and forced sexual intercourse. I almost sobbed! Still seething with anger from the story, I proceeded to the opposite page to see yet another rape story. In this case, a vigilance group chief, Liasu Oyedele, had accosted a female student of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, and forcefully had carnal knowledge of her. Even after discovering that the victim was menstruating, Oyedele continued, allegedly for close to two hours, before passers-by came to the rescue of the already exhausted lady.
Rape isn’t just an offence; it is a crime against humanity with sore consequences on its unfortunate victims. It derobes its victims of their human dignity, body sanctity and innocence with its transcendent consequences of exposure to self-absorption, acute depression, resort to prostitution and or outright death. As much as no reason is justifiable for rape crimes, the underlying causes must be pin-pointed. In the case of 14 years Onyi, he had confessed to being obsessed with pornographic films. It is no longer seen as a misnomer when these sellers of movie CDs and DVDs openly display adult movies to the eagle sharp eyes of children and minors. Our house is on fire and we sleep, seemingly unperturbed. A large number of movies churned out by Nollywood shamelessly glamorise sex scenes and our unwary wards get ‘hypnotized’ and excited to try out ‘evil stunts’ by carrying out forced sex on the little girl next door.
Our society is no more a safe haven for our women and female children. Demons, in human flesh, now prowl our streets, abducting women and ripping them of their self-pride. Moreover, the ever-increasing hustle and bustle of city life have made our parents to shift the care of their female wards to ‘caretakers’, ‘tenants’ and ‘big brothers/uncles’. Resultantly, these undisciplined men take advantage of the female kids. For the umpteenth time, I ask that we cease attributing the rise in acts of sexual acts and rape to poor fashion culture of our female folks. It is a lame excuse! As much as I concur that our women ‘show too much flesh’ in the name of fashion, an evil in itself, it will take a demented man to let loose his libidinous urges because of a woman’s sense of dress. This craziness has to stop and this evil monster, tagged rape, quickly brought to a halt.
I propose a capital punishment for convicts of rape crime as it would serve as deterrent to those contemplating it. This, I believe, will help, in no small way, to drastically reduce the high incidences of rape of different dimensions – and no more will the act be seen as a cheap means of sexual gratification while desecrating the bodies of its victims. It is high time the legislative arm of government enact a capital punishment against rape as quickly as they want their bogus salaries paid. Otherwise, apart from losing our sisters and female friends to harsh deaths, decent men, like me, may never get a virgin for wife.
Parents must regularly check up on their female wards. Mothers must take out time to be alone with them and know what transpired during their day at school. It is, however, sad to note that even fathers now lead the pack of rapists, with some producing children through their daughters – an abomination indeed! Our mothers should be most concerned and discerning.

ASUU STRIKE: JUST FOR MR PRESIDENT'S EARS - Joshua Oyeniyi ( Published by Several topnotch Nigerian Newspapers and newsportals including THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER (Sept. 9th), THE NATION, INFORMATION NIGERIA et al)

Mr. President, please do not mistake this piece for an attack on your person because it is not. Neither would I want you to see me as one of those attention-seeking people because I am not. Of course, Sir, I am also not the son of any governor, senator,  local government chairman or any political office holder, otherwise, I would have no business writing such an open letter to you because it is against my family’s ethics to ‘talk while eating’. I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness of educational misery, saying, “Prepare the way for either a future of political stability and economic boom or prepare for worse than what religious extremists are meting out to our country now”.
As I write on this sultry day, I am completely at a loss to know what to make of my future from here. If this were just the case, it would, probably, be an insignificant reason to go on the rampage with the sword of the pen. But, I write on behalf of the millions of dreams that are getting squashed by the day as the total shut-down of our universities persists. I write on behalf of the future of the several hundreds of thousands who have been privileged, amidst the stiff competition for admission, to grasp tertiary education but may end up worse than their disadvantaged counterparts, since they may never finish, much less finish on schedule their educational pursuits. The handwriting on the wall, clearly now, more than ever before foretells a dangerous twist to the continuing imbroglio between your administration and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). I do not know if the public keeps the date as much as we do but it is well over 65 days already and I cannot help but wonder if anyone really cares what becomes of our street-wandering undergraduates. If I had a next life, I hope to never be a Nigerian or be born with a silver spoon because the poor are really just ‘on their own’ as long as our government is concerned. Mr President, in three simple words, “We are tired”. We, the students in the federal universities, are always at the receiving end of every impasse between ASUU and the government and all I can ask for now is that you and your think tank reconsider your stand on the matter. We can only bear this much!
I am not ASUU’s spokesman but it is only logical that I expect your administration to honour the 2009 agreement with the Union so normalcy can return to our campuses and of course, our disenchanted academic lives. Personally, I have spent more years than is required to have my first and second degrees and yet I am grappling to take a Bachelor’s degree out of an institution that only recently had an internal strike because you would have our name ‘rebranded’.  Mr President, every day this strike continues, more dreams die and more future riff -raff are born. It is my firm belief that children still do bear the sins of their fathers and even when you are no more, posterity will remember your progenitors for good or ill based on how you handle this national educational crisis we suffer now. It goes without saying that for 14 years that your party has held sway over the affairs of this nation, we cannot boast of a Nigerian university (not a single one) amongst the first 2000 in the world. This is more than enough reason to release the requisite fund for the upgrade of our educational infrastructure as well as the welfare of the future’s moulders. It will only be emphatic to say that we can get out of our educational system as much as we invest in it and though investment in educational is long term, it is also long-rewarding. Your administration will only be breeding poor intellectuals, who will, in turn, produce another generation of mediocre graduates and in 10 years, what do we have, sir? A national carnage! Our unborn children are in jeopardy of being societal scum even before their conception. But you can change all of this!
The greatest weapon of mass destruction is to put a teacher who knows nothing before the students. This will be the case if your administration does not honour the 2009 agreement with ASUU such that lecturers’ welfare gets taken care of.
Mr President, the one second of your time which I asked for is almost up but I am optimistic that if you give utmost diligence to putting an end to the incessant strikes that have been plaguing our tertiary educational system as much as you do to security matters or party issues and conventions, we would not be where we are today: struggling to maintain peace in our land.
I reiterate my advice, sir. Honour the 2009 agreement with ASUU so we may return to our lecture rooms and pick up the pieces of our scattered semesters. So I can round off my first degree programme and go on to patriotically serve my fatherland.  So, I can focus on growing my baby company to maturity and provide jobs for the teeming unemployed youths. So, I can get married, give my mother her first grandchild and keep my late father’s name as his only son. So, I can fulfil my dreams of helping young people reach the zenith of their potential through my writing, public speaking and role-modelling. Mr President, help me and my fellow undergraduates live decent lives even if our parents are not among the top one per cent who squander our national earnings in the name of political office holders. Would you do this for me, for us, for Nigeria’s future? I hope you do. Thank you, sir, for giving me a second of your time.

TRENDS ON NIGERIAN CAMPUSES - Joshua Oyeniyi (Published by THE PUNCH NEWSPAPER on 14th October, 2013)

I recall vividly a debating competition I won during my 200 level days. During the competition, all the contestants had to speak impromptu on randomly selected topics and I was asked to speak briefly on “Social activities on campus as a major source of distraction for undergraduates”. I did my best in supporting the motion but my opponent made some punchlines in his retaliatory response. “The university”, he said, “is a place for self-discovery and not necessarily for sitting tight with books”. He went on to make allusions to the possibility of students finding out who they really are and what they were born to do. This, therefore, threw up the mind-boggling question: Are the social activities on campus doing more harm than good?
Having spent over four years in a federal university, I have attended a series of events cutting across the academics, career development, human capital development, music shows, talent hunts and so on. Truth be told, these activities are designed to bring to the fore the innate potential of our undergraduates and the organisers deserve lots of kudos. But how much is too much? One particular type of social events is the talent hunt shows now trending on our campuses nationwide. This is spreading like wildfire throughout the length and breadth of Nigerian institutions of higher learning due to the generous acceptance that greeted their introduction. Whether it is a musical talent show, where the new Tufaces, DBanjs are expected to rise from, or beauty pageants where another Agbani Darego will spring from or a comedy talent hunt from which another Ali Baba, Basket Mouth or Seyi Law could emerge, is another matter entirely.
There has always been an ever-increasing excitement amongst undergraduates about the above-mentioned social activities. Does it not pose a concern that so many Nigerian students in tertiary institutions are turning to these shows and events as a means of escaping academic rigours and finding quick fame and riches?
The thrills and frills that fill the air during such shows speak volumes for how much of an attraction they are. The other day, I got talking with Allen Ekwuru, an undergraduate of the University of Lagos, who won a Macho contest on campus and eventually went on to win the Mr. Universe Nigeria Pageant. He said, “I have been receiving calls from fellow students as to how they can get to where I am.” He even bared his mind on the challenges he has had to confront, one of which that is his receipt of anonymous calls from women asking to be visited with promises to pay for his return tickets.
This writer once attended a musical and theatre art talent show on campus and was mesmerised by the confusion that many undergraduates have about what really their talents are. It is absolute futility to try to be what you are not or venture into a career because someone else has made it via the same route. It was obvious that many of these contestants had no business with music, singing or acting but only wanted the fast lane to stardom.
However, many beautiful talents are being discovered by the day at these shows and the bearers of these talents were born to use them to get to their point of greatness. Another Nigerian undergraduate only recently made Nigeria proud by clinching the spot of World Miss University Africa in far away South Korea. Your guess is right – Tobi Phillips was discovered at a social event competition on campus and the list is endless.
The fact remains that this trend has been a distraction for many undergraduate students who have nothing in common with talent hunt shows.  Perhaps, those in this category need be reminded that their primary responsibility on the campus still remains their academic work and full concentration must be given to this. Each one needs to know what his/her talent is and work diligently  towards developing same for their benefit other than blindly attending one campus event after another to the sore detriment of their studies. There is no worse path to frustration.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

EXCELLING IN UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP APTITUDE TESTS: MY EXPERIENCE (Part 1) - By Joshua Oyeniyi




Wow! It has been a while I featured in this segment, I have been down with many responsibilities of late. However, I am back with something good for the readership of this column. It is very intriguing to discover the high number organizations and corporations who now offer scholarship opportunities to undergraduate students in higher institutions of learning across Nigeria. For many a student, it has been a major lifeline for him to maintain a fair equilibrium between needs and surplus. No soonerhad I gained admission into the University than I discovered that it can be pretty easy to apply for several scholarships and not get one. Reason being that many undergraduates mistake mere application for the real deal and forget that securing an undergraduate scholarship requires adequate preparation. Much more, the list of credentials requested by these organizations might be burdensomefor students and they eventually end up fumbling with the style and documentation of presentation. Worse still, when asked to write an accompanying letter to back up an application, many undergraduates end up writing out of context and hence, lose out in the race.
Over the years, brands have strengthened efforts in their corporate social responsibility towards supporting undergraduates in higher institutions of learning by granting annual scholarships which can be maintained throughout the undergraduate programme upon meeting laid-down requirements. But while all the applicants, perhaps, meet up with requirements, some seem to eventually be clinching two, three or more scholarships from different companies while others do not even get invited to write the aptitude test. What could be the secret these few have? You might ask. That is why I have taken time out to write this so you could help yourself, that first year student or the sophomore undergraduate to clinch the next scholarship opportunity that comes his way.
Here we go. First, take quality time to read the adverts of such scholarship opportunities. A real story was told of an aptitude test conducted by an organization. Sixty questions were given and only five minutes allotted. It was practically impossible to finish. Many who did not take enough time to read the instructions rushed into the questions. At the end of the test, only one person passed. The instruction was: Write your full name, answer questions One and Sixty and submit. You see why you must read and understand instructions. The company giving out scholarships might have restricted the courses to some faculties and departments and would adhere strictly to that guideline. Applying as a student outside those selected courses automatically disqualifies the applicant.
Also, the scholarship-giving organization or company could have specified the number of distinction grades required to apply for the award. Distinctions, in this sense, are grades in the A’s and B’s categories of ordinary level examinations (SSCE/GCE O’levels). Most times, it could be a stipulated number of five distinctions. Applying with four distinctions is a waste of time. In addition, when asked to submit Curriculum Vitae, it is important to note that there is a slight difference from the type that is submitted for job application. In the case of application for a scholarship grant, you do not need to include job experiences as these are not necessary. Give your full bio-data including phone number and email address. Also, give your home address (if specifically requested) as a letter mail might be dispatched to your home, inviting you for the aptitude test. I got one of such letter posts inviting me to an aptitude test and if had not carefully supplied that information; I would have lost that golden opportunity since it was the only means through whichI got the invitation.
Along with your application letter, you would be asked to submit documents like a stipulated number of passport photographs, photocopy of your 0’level result, school statement of result, jamb result slip, birth certificate and certificate of origin from your local government area in your home state. It is pertinent for me to state here that you might lose your slot in the aptitude testlist if you go ahead to submit a certificate of origin from a liaison office and not from your local government in your home state. The later bears the original signature of your local government chairman and his seal, hence, is more valid when claiming to be an indigene of that state. Every one of these information is to be supplied painstakingly before final submission is made in order to increase your chances of winning a slot in the call-up list for the aptitude test. For students in their second year of study, the scholarship-granting body could request for your first year cumulative grade point average, with attestation by your head of department or registrar. Ensuring your transcripts are correct and duly signed gives you yet an improved chance of getting a call-up for the scholarship test.
I will be focusing on preparing for the aptitude test in the next edition of ‘My Campus My Life’. You will need to know what you are required to have learnt and how smartly you need to work in order to beat the examiners to it. Mind you, aptitude tests of this type are quite different from what you have been used to in conventional examinations.
Till then, keep reading!

Monday, 8 April 2013

American Top Speaker, Wille Jolley, adopts Prince Joshua Oyeniyi as First Nigerian Protege

Wiilie Jolley adopting Prince Oyeniyi as his first Nigerian student protege at Unilag recently.
What a day it was when on 26th February, The FirstBank Youth Excel Series debuted in Unilag; a youth empowerment cum motivational session. The highlight of the event was the opportunity that Akokites had to be mentored by Guest speaker Willie Jolley, an international celebrity speaker, singer and author. Willie, a recipient of the 'Speaker Hall of Fame' Award five time WAMMIE Avan-Winning singer, international best-selling author and syndicated radio show host on Siriusxm channel 141, was voted one of 'Top 5 Outstanding Speakers in the World' by TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL.

After his powerful motivational talk in the Capacity-filled Main Auditorium of the University of Lagos, he had to answer three questions from students. Prince Joshua was one of them. Moved by what he believed to be a show of persistent courage and self-drive, Willey Jolley congratulated me on stage with a warm handshake. He asked me, "Do you want to be successful?".I said "yes". He asked again, "Do you want to be rich?" And one again, I replied affirmatively. "This is what I'm gonna do. Here's my card - it is your direct link to me. Contact me because you are now my PROTÉGÉ." That was it!!! me? First Nigerian student protégé of American speaker, Willie Jolley. I couldn't have asked for a better day. All Glory to God and Thanks to the FirstBank Brand for this innovation.(See Pics Attached)

#A protégé is a younger person who is mentored, guided and trained to be successful by an older, influential and accomplished person# CU@DTop.

Friday, 5 April 2013

A PANACEA TO NIGERIAN GRADUATES' GLOBAL IRRELEVANCE - By Joshua Oyeniyi (Published in the The Nation and Businessday Newspapers on 1st and 2nd, April, 2013 respectively).



Robert Kiyosaki in his book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” asked the question, “Does school prepare children for the real world?” “Study hard and get good grades and you will find a high-paying job with great benefits”, parents used to say. But gone are those days! There has been a paradigm shift from focus on paper qualification to skills acquisition in the last couple of decades. But rather unfortunately, Nigeria and other African nations are awaking to these realities rather too late. It is absolute disillusionment for a twenty first century student to have a mind-set that a first class degree is sufficient to land him that plum job when he knows next to nothing about how real corporations are run. It is a saddening reality that prompts me to address this anomaly as leaving the status quo spells doom for the Nigerian future.
The University of Lagos only recently had its convocation ceremony where over six thousand graduates received degrees in different categories. This writer could not but wonder what these graduates would be doing as jobs. In a discussion with one graduate, Bisi Gbadegeshin, she pointed out that she would be resuming work barely a week after her convocation but how about the 5, 999 graduates. Every year, our ivory towers of higher learning churn out tens of thousands of graduates into the labour market which is already heavily saturated. It is no news that job availability is a mirage but even if there were more jobs than job seekers, the quality of these job applicants leaves more to be desired, constituting one of the main challenges of employers. According to a recent publication by a newspaper, the rate of incompetency displayed by a fearsome number of Nigerian graduates is an outcry against the poor quality being delivered by our dismal educational system. A yearly event, PLATFORM, organized by the Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos, features eminent Nigerians who are worried about the spate and are taking it upon them to arrest the imminent doom that awaits a nation with a crippled and ineffectively trained labour force as ours.  In one of such events, startling statistics were revealed by Adetoun Ogwo, a human resource professional and social advocate on the quest to build Impactful solution to Nigeria’s huge skill gap and employability challenges. She pointed that a huge portion of Nigerian graduates are simply not employable. As embarrassing as these revelations might appear, they are a wakeup call to the relevant stakeholders to arrest this surge. How does one explain away an interview scenario where an economics graduate cannot give the basic definition of economics? If the human factor of economic drive is defective, then our fate might just have been sealed as a nation. We must reposition our educational system for global relevance and competitiveness if vision 20:2020 is anything to talk about; assuming it is a realistic goal.
So much noise has been made to have our educational policies reviewed. The ministry of education has been incessantly called upon to embark on a comprehensive overhaul of our curricula and make them relevant to the real world of work. Our students in higher institutions cannot see the gap between what our lecturers teach and what prospective employers would require from them. Hence, they just sit tight with books of the 1950s and ‘60s with no bearing on post-recession economy. The quality of academic staff in these ivory towers is another conglomerate of disturbing issues. As a public speaker put it, “the most destructive weapon of mass destruction is to put a teacher who knows nothing in front of a class”. It is a pathetic situation!
So much as I concur that the bulk of the restructuring lies on the government, we cannot sit put and wait for a government that it took over a decade to come any close to the UNESCO’s prescribed twenty six per cent education budget allocation. The private sector has got to come to the rescue because standing aloof would only be to the detriment of their future business concerns. Many thanks to corporations and organizations which have invested relentlessly to salvage the menace of skill gap existing in our graduate set. It is high time we shifted to a sixty-per cent-practical, forty-percent-theory system of teaching. This would avail our students in higher institutions the exposure to application of learnt theories to real life situations. It is my belief that the present administration is aware of the defects in the educational system more than any before and should be better poised to living up to its responsibility. And this responsibility involves the upgrading of the theory-focussed system to one with a healthy balance between theory and practical applications. This cannot be overstressed if we are serious about curbing the out-bound tendencies of Nigerians to foreign schools as well as reducing the flight of skilled labour from Nigeria.
 Moreover, more emphasis should be laid on making the average Nigerian graduate a potential job creator on his exit from the university. He should be armed to think creatively and progressively rather than walking the streets in search of non-existent white collar jobs. Need I mention that the agricultural sector awaits an entry of skilful graduates who can transform it into our pride once gain as it was before the discovery of oil wealth? With the right mechanism in place, these would be achieved in record time and when we have done our home-work, we would be rubbing shoulders with world economic powers in the international performance test come year 2020. I rest my case for now! 

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A LETTER TO MY UNBORN KIDS




A LETTER TO MY UNBORN KIDS - By Prince Joshua Oyeniyi


Please, my dear unborn babies, you have to be patient with me. It’s not been easy down here. I have been doing all I can; praying, observing, et al. But getting you the best mum, one good enough to pilot you to this world is not as easy as it seems. It’s not that there have not been prospective mothers. Fact is, there have been a number who have caught my fancy but I wouldn’t choose one who would fail to lead you aright after you are brought in (since you are going to be spending more time with her than with me in your growing up years). I wouldn’t get you a mum who I am not sure has the fear of the Lord and a love for family. I am convinced there is a deep connection between my desire to get you a best mum and to get me the best life partner.
Dear unborns, you know daddy has got to be your role model, a father who can meet all your needs; a spiritual leader, a successful career dad, a blazing light in the society and a family head par excellence. One who would have enough experience to guide you properly through the dangerous paths of life. You must believe me when I tell you that it’s really evil down here. People even kill babies right before they are born and others throw them away into canals, bushes and water right after they are born. Infact, only recently did I read online that a mother dropped her new born baby in a latrine but the baby miraculously survived. It is that wicked down here!  Your dad-to-be earlier in life, wished he was never born too and now he wishes he never has to bring innocent little souls like yours into this terrible place to go through all he has gone through.  But like it is said, “man proposes, but God disposes”, I am leaving Him to lead my paths. But if and when I do eventually have all three of you down here with me, I want to be very happy everyday of your lives. I want to give you the best any man can give his kids. I want to be able to give you good food so you wouldn’t long for another man’s meal. I want to be able to put the best clothes on your bodies and put a homely shelter over your heads to protect you from the harsh elements of this part. I want you, my sons, to be as plants grown up in their youths and you, dear daughter, to be as a cornerstone, polished after the similitude of a palace.
You know what, dearies? My parents walked so I could run, but now, I have to run so you can fly. It’s highly competitive down. I hear of many children who are out of school, others attend poor schools, while those from privileged homes attend the best schools in town. Many go through school and are unable to find jobs but if I do my part, I believe and am convinced that I can give you the edge to go very far in life. I believe you would see my achievements and be challenged to break the records I would have already set. I know if only other parents thought about these, I wouldn’t be hearing about mindless abortions. Oh, your returnee baby friends who were terminated from their mothers’ wombs would have given you an insight into the cruel world they paid a short visit to. My world down here is terribly sick and needs its Creator to help heal it but they wouldn’t just let Him.  These are the reasons for imploring you to wish me the best in preparations for your future arrival.
For a mum, you need one who would respect your daddy in everything as the head of the home. A mum who would help him further the course of his divine purpose as much he’d do hers. One who would love his family, live at peace with them and not attempt to severe him from God or from his friends. One who would fan his spiritual coals and help him to keep the kingdom of God as top priority. One who would not be enticed by the transient things of life as to push him to spend our family resource on unnecessary commodities because other women are buying same. You deserve a mum who knows the importance of prayer over you right from conception and would ensure you are taught to know, love and serve your Creator right from cradle. You deserve a virtuous mum who would not condone your excesses or breed a Jezebel for a daughter. But would be an exemplary Christian wife to daddy as well as a caring mum to her children.
In the meantime, boys and girl, your dad is still in college and in no hurry to get you over here even though his world believes in marriage in the twenty-somethingth years. Be rest assured that daddy would take that step when God says it’s time and would go for the woman God chooses for him.. But for now, he remains married to purpose. You know he has to fulfil God’s plan for him and best the best bachelor any man can ever be and when you do eventually become his kids, you would be so proud of him and mum. Till then, please bear with me!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Professor M.A. Kenku @70: A Worthy Model for Young People


PROFESSOR M.A. KENKU @ 70: A WORTHY MODEL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE – By Prince Joshua Oyeniyi (As published in the BusinessDay Newspaper on Tuesday, 15th January, 2012)


If there is a hall of fame for academics who have made their mark in the field of learning and research, professor Monsuru Akangbe Kenku is unarguably a distinguished member of that caste. This celebrated mathematician and administrator, who recently clocked seventy years, is a quintessence of value and excellence. He is one who has proved his mettle in the ivory towers as well as in government circle.
Born on the fourteenth of December, 1942 to Alhaji Nojiu Buraimoh Kenku and Alhaja Nimota Aduke Kenku, Professor Kenku briefly attended Ireti Primary School, then went on to Lagos Government School in 1953. In 1956, he was admitted into Ahmadiyyah College, Agege before taking his school certificate examination in 1960. He later gained admission into the premier university in 1961, where four years later, he graduated with a first class degree in mathematics. That same year, Kenku got admitted into Balloil College, Oxford for his doctorate degree which he completed three years later and then joined the payroll of the University of Ibadan. He rose through the hierarchies to become an associate professor in1981. He was, however, appointed a full professor of mathematics in 1983 in the University of Lagos.
            In a chat with this soft spoken man, he reminisced that studying mathematics was one of the most beautiful decisions he ever made. In his words, “I was lucky to have passed through some very good teachers in secondary school and then, mathematics was my best subject. These factors motivated me to go into mathematics as a career in the university.” This goes to underscore the all-important role of competent teachers in the early stages of education. Our educational institutions are long bereft of astute a professionals whose calling is teaching and who have got the content to deliver.
In 1983, Professor Kenku was appointed commissioner of works and transport in Lagos, serving for three and half years before returning to lecturing. He recounts, “When I was a commissioner with Lagos state, I am sure that the government realised that with my mathematical background, I could help in solving problems that would not have been so without the luxury of that background. I remember a particular incident when there scarcity of essential commodities such as food items and the federal government started the distribution of essential commodities to the populace. I, as one of the commissioners of Lagos state at that time, had the duty of supervising the distribution in some of the local governments. So we paid visits to various centres where the distribution was being carried out. When I got to one particular place at Somolu, I  realised that the queuing system was problematic and there was no way that enough people would be served through the system that was in operation. So, I quickly changed the system such that we had more service points and outlets and things improved rapidly.” From his experience, it is an obvious fact that the imperativeness of developing creative ingenuity by students cannot be overemphasized as this would transform them from being victims to being problem solvers when they get into the workforce.
Besides these, Professor Kenku had some stints in Berkeley, California and the Institute of Advanced Studies, Princeton, where he made contributions to the field of number theory, particularly arithmetic of elliptic curves. He became an associate fellow of the Institute in ‘80s which led him to participate in sponsoring an insurance company, a group that invested in Crusaders Insurance. The group eventually made him the chairman of Crusaders Insurance, a position he has held from 1993 till date whilst working as a lecturer in the University of Lagos. As a mathematician, ‘Baba’, as his students fondly call him, is a man of intellectual ascendancy and mental immensity. In fact, he did his doctoral research in an area that is cut-off from International world of research and was still able to make an impact owing largely to tenacity of purpose.
            One striking virtue that you would leave with from a visit to this iconic mathematician is the humility. He is a man of lowliness despite his many national and international achievements. Professor Kenku would never raise his shoulders neither use his position to intimidate his colleagues and juniors. What a lesson to our current generation of young people.  The holy book says “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he possesses” but by imparting lives positively.
 Academically, administratively and morally, this septuagenarian professor is an embodiment of values and virtue is as well as a worthy model for those who aspire to be great. Remember, “If you are too big to serve, then you are too big smaller.