The decision of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to create an Economic Advisory Council has been applauded by some experts in the education sector in Nigeria.
Some of the leading professionals, who spoke at the launch of The Akin Ogunbiyi Foundation in Osogbo, Osun State yesterday, said the nation cannot separate the best technically sound initiatives from the ambience of the overall economic operating environment.
The foundation was launched to the admiration of friends, associates of Dr Akin Ogunbiyi, the Group Chairman, Mutual Benefit Group and had in attendance dignitaries from all walks of life.
In his keynote address, former Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Michael Faborede, noted that, “Without well-coordinated inter-sectoral economic planning, that provides targeted financing for government priority programmes, backed with necessary political will by both the executive and legislative arms of government all the lofty plans will not yield the desired outcomes.”
According to him, “We cannot divorce even the best technically sound initiatives from the ambience of the overall economic operating environment, favourable and strong political will, bolstered by informed and transformational cross-sectoral coordination of the economy. This is why we applaud the setting up of the new Economic Advisory Council by the Presidency.”
Prof Faborede further noted that, “Leaders within the Nigerian educational system must provide leadership for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and partner with the private sector and Non-Governmental Organizations like The Akin Ogunbiyi Foundation in ensuring that Nigeria moves from a developing nation to a developed nation like China, Korea and others.”
Corroborating him was one of the panelists and founder of Centre for Values in Leadership, Professor Pat Utomi, who also noted that the most important part of educating youngsters was at the primary and secondary level.
“There are many technological companies disrupting the ecosystem whose founder never attended a University. If children are effectively trained at the primary and secondary level, the nation will experience experiential growth and development,” the renowned economist said.
Other panelists present at the maiden edition of the Lecture Series themed Education as an input variable for National Development were Professor Akintayo Dayo Idowu, Osun State University; Ms Adetutu Sangonuga, Partner, Human Capital Partners; Mrs Ayopeju Njideaka, CEO Nurture House Consulting (NHC) and Mr Seye Oyeleye, Director- General, Dawn Commission.
Others were His Imperial Majesty, Oba Babatunde Enitan Ogunwusi, Ooni of Ife; Chairman of the event, Lt.-Gen. Alani Akinrinade (Rtd.) former Chief of Defence Staff; Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former Osun State governor; Brig.-Gen. Raji Rasaki (retd.) ex-Minister of Works, Jelili Adesiyan ex-Minister of Police Affairs, among others.
The Akin Ogunbiyi Foundation is set up as a philanthropic gesture of Dr Ogunbiyi, Group Chairman, Mutual Benefit Assurance Group, who is renowned for supporting various students with scholarship awards both within and outside the country.
The foundation seeks for inclusive growth and progress for every Nigerian and by extension Africans in addressing the root cause of poverty and degradation. The cardinal pillars of the organization include Health; Education; Empowerment; Leadership and Poverty Alleviations.
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