Young graduates can solve Nigeria’s biggest problems, says Osinbajo – Channels Television


Vice President Yemi Osinbajo spoke at the 60th anniversary ceremony of Obafemi Awolowo University (OUA), Ile-Ife, Osun State on December 11, 2021. Tolani Alli / State House

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Saturday expressed his optimism that young Nigerian graduates can provide solutions to the greatest challenges facing the nation.

He made the remark during a speech on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, according to a statement signed by the presidential spokesman, Laolu Akande.

The Vice President, who was the special guest of honor at the university’s graduation ceremony, replaced President Muhammadu Buhari as the visitor and was accompanied by the Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola. While the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, delivered the convocation conference at the event chaired by Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Dr. Yahaya Abubakar, as Chancellor of the University.

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According to the vice-president, while young Nigerians, especially OAU graduates, have stood on the shoulders of great men and women before them, it is incumbent on their generation to “take care of the greatest problems facing the world and our nation ”.

“And it’s the big, innovative ideas that will solve these problems. You will face the challenges of climate change and a world moving away from fossil fuels, and you will usher in the era of renewable energy and green solutions, ”said the vice president.

He added that this generation of young Nigerians is equipped and could offer solutions in the areas of education, agriculture, health care and security.

“Yes, the challenges are huge, but you are well equipped to solve them; and the proof is there … Since 2016, despite two recessions, young Nigerians have built 6 unicorns; a unicorn is a business valued at over a billion dollars, ”he explained.

The Vice President added, “You will be addressing food, education, health care and employment issues for the world’s fourth largest population in a few decades. We will need smarter Agric solutions to feed large numbers, technology is already helping to finance agriculture in a participatory way and grow more prolific seedlings.

“You will be faced with the need to dramatically improve our public and clinical health care. We need to build on the work of the Ede Genome Center and on-going local vaccine production efforts and make local medicines for hundreds of millions of Nigerians. “

In education, while noting that the sector needed several new solutions, including devising methods to teach millions of people even outside of classrooms, the vice president said, “ there are already many young men and women already doing great things using technology to reach children in remote areas with education. “

The vice president added that the use of technology and improved policing nationwide would further help the country meet its security challenges.

“The problems of insecurity we are experiencing, the rise of terrorism in several parts of this great country and the access to modern weapons by non-state actors tell us that we need to be smarter in policing the country, using smart drones and surveillance equipment. The politicization of the importation of weapons tells us that we must make our own weapons.

“Proforce, headed by Ade Ogundeyin, already manufactures APCs and MRAPS at its Ode Remo factory and exports. The same goes for Imperium and the government company DICON (Defense Industries Corporation of Nigeria) which produce different types of ammunition. The future is smart weapons powered by AI and machine learning, ”he said.

Professor Osinbajo then praised the vision of the founders and leadership of the University in driving the academic excellence for which Obafemi Awolowo University is known, an institution which he says has produced great thinkers and leaders. throughout its history.

Quoting copiously the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, for whom the university has been renowned, the Vice President recalled that “Chief Awolowo, for many years chancellor of the university, has given some of the most memorable lectures. and the most important on the political economy of Nigeria; and addressed some of its most critical issues, including the imperative of democracy, national economic development, the ideology of governance and national census figures.

He also observed that the OAU was way ahead of its time when it named its Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, and its Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Technology.

Hailing the accomplishments of several alumni of the university over the years, Prof. Osinbajo recounted how U.S.-based Prof. Oluyinka Olutoye, a former student of the Faculty of Health Sciences, has gained “worldwide recognition. when he led a team of surgeons, to successfully take a 23- week old baby out of her mother’s womb, removed a tumor and returned it to her mother’s womb where wounds from her operation recovered and she continued to grow until she was born, the second time at 36 weeks.

He also observed that “unsurprisingly, the early leaders of tech and tech-oriented companies were alumni of the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering at the OAU; Segun Ogunsanya, CEO of Airtel Africa, and Karl Toriola, CEO of MTN Nigeria. Another great student of Ife and product of the same department, Professor Akintayo Akinwande, who teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is one of the most respected professors of electrical engineering and computer science in the world.

More recently, according to the vice president, “another alumnus of the department of electronic and electrical engineering. Miss Funke Opeke made global investment news when Equinix, the global conglomerate, announced it was buying MainOne, the company she founded, for $ 320 million.

Continuing the exploits of former OAU students, Professor Osinbajo recalled that he had “the pleasure of meeting Professors Adesuyi Ajayi and Femi Babalola, both former OAU students, when they undertook groundbreaking research. and clinical trials on the potential use of ivermectin as a prophylactic. and cure from COVID-19. “

Other notable OAU alumni and speakers mentioned in various fields of work included Segun Osoba, Sesan Dipeolu, Toye Olorode, Oladipo Fashina, Segun Adewoye, GG Darah, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina (President of the African Development Bank ), Dr. Okey Oramah (Chairman of Afrexim Bank) and Professor Toyin Falola, now eminent historian of the University of Texas at Austin, USA.

He also noted the OAU’s new generation alumni, including Seun Osewa from Nairaland; Olalekan Elude of Jobberman, Ayodeji Adewunmi and Opeyemi Awoyemi, among others.

The Vice-President added that “it was while still teaching here that Professor Wole Soyinka won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986. But less well known is the fact that he was also a professor at the University of Ife, Ibadan campus, in the early 1960s.

The Vice President congratulated the graduates, who were doctoral students seeking their doctorate in philosophy. He also congratulated the two honorary doctorate recipients at the convocation: the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, and the famous business tycoon, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo.

According to him, the caliber of the honorary graduates at the ceremony was a testament to the high standards of the University.

Paying tribute to the faculty of the university, the vice-president, himself a professor, stopped “to celebrate my academic colleagues, the great academics and the excellent academics who make up the faculties here at the OAU; you are the opinion leaders at a historic moment, whose great task is to guide the present and inspire the future.

His speech also underlined the strategic objectives of the National Development Plan 2021-2025, including establishing a solid foundation for a diversified economy, investing in critical infrastructure, electricity and broadband, developing the human capital, improved governance and enhanced security.

Incidentally, the vice president also noted that “one of the architects of the plan, Ambassador Yemi Dipeolu, the president’s special advisor on economic issues, is also a former student of the OAU, while his father, Mr. Sesan Dipeolu of blessed memory, was Ife is the first African librarian.

Professor Osinbajo said: “There is a lot to show and a lot of stories to tell; stories from the institution itself and many incredible successes from its alumni; stories about the triumphs of human effort, the primacy of ideas, the creative force of the introspective mind, and the power of vision.

In the opinion of the Vice-President, “The OAU is and continues to be a bastion of progressivism and innovation, and it is not surprising that you find the phrase ‘Aluta against all oppression’ in the hymn of the Grand Ife. This progressivism is evident in the perspectives of staff and students.

Prominent Nigerians, government officials, senior officials, traditional leaders, academics, staff and students attended the Convocation.

At the end of the Convocation, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Eyitayo Ogunbodede, led the Vice-President and other dignitaries around an art exhibition to commemorate the event.


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