Dr. Boboye Olayemi Oyeyemi,
Optimal Functionality of Agents of Socialisation: Decisive Ingredient for a Better Tomorrow
Ladies and gentlemen, the topic of this lecture has been carefully chosen to reflect on the gamut of contemporaneous issues and indeed existentiality in our society today.
There is no doubt that Nigeria is in dire need for value reorientation and reformation in all areas of endeavour, including moral, political, socio-economic and ethical. The current multiple challenges bedeviling the nation manifestly in social disorder no doubt point to the level of ineffectiveness of the agents of socialization.
Arising from the above, the nation is continually becoming unsafe for both legitimate economic activities as well as social emancipation as all institutions and mechanisms for safe-guarding lives and property are increasingly out-stretched.The economic and socio-political implications have become quite severe such that human values generally have dwindled, loyalty to the nation, fear of God and hope for a better tomorrow are daily becoming of critical concern to all the discerning.
The situation has culminated into such a national disgrace and embarrassment, arising from the emigration of citizens to other countries where they have been effectively enslaved – such as in Libya.According to the Nation Newspaper (2018), ‘’To underscore its seriousness, the government raised a team comprising Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs & the Diaspora, MrsAbikeDabiriErewa; Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Mohammed Babandende; Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Engr. Mustapha YunusaMaihaja; Director General for National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in persons (NAPTIP), Barrister Julie Okah-Donli; Federal Commissioner for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, HajiyaSadiya Umar Farouq, A representative of the National Security Adviser, My Abba Ibrahim; Director General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA). Besides the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who were on the entourage, a technical team, including the head of the Chancery and staff of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Libya, took part in the arrangement”.
This is certainlykilling the giant of Africa.
The degenerated state further manifest in ungodliness, lack of respect for elders and good sense of reasoning, the worship of money, armed robbery, kidnapping, insurgency, harlotry, terrorism, cultism, substance abuse, subversion of due process, bribery and corruption, nepotism,examination malpractices and many more. All these can no doubt,be attributed to the considerable level of degenerate and disconnect between the agents of socialization which ought to, collectively, straighten things out at the various stages of a man’s life.
Thecurrent situation was lamented by Adiele (2017) when he said that‘’While many have embraced hard work and multi-tasking as a direct response to recession, many have embraced scam and other mendacious means to stay afloat in the shark infested ocean of an emasculating world’’. Adegboye (2017)regretted the ‘’Imagine most hotels are being used to habourcommercial sex workers where they have their own rooms to host their clients, at times, you will see them roaming the streets in search of clients without shame’’. The Punch newspaper (2016) quoted the submission of Ipinmishothat in 2016; about 40% of Nigerian youths were on drugs. Nuhu (2017), posits that‘’’Crime of rape, ritual killings, kidnappings, armed robbery, drug addiction, fraud and mind-boggling homicidal cases have combined with corruption, erosion of sacred values and vacuum of Godly leadership to make life very tough indeed for Nigerians. Regrettably, all these seem to defy solutions, from societal institutions and state actors alike’’.One may therefore ask, ‘How did we get to this state of affairs?’
How we got to this state of affairs can be viewed through criticalexamination ofthe once revered agents of socialization, how they collectively worked and added value to humanity years back. This is certain to shed light on our path, enabling us a grasp where and how we missed it and how we can re-trace our steps to re-claim our revered values. Before we do this, it is pertinent that we also have a grasp of some conceptual issues as reflected in the title of our lecture.
Mosby (2009) defined socialization as ‘’Theprocess by which an individuallearns to live in accordancewiththeexpectationsandstandards of a group or society,acquiringitsbeliefs,habits,values,andacceptedmodes of behaviorprimarilythroughimitation,familyinteraction,andeducationalsystems;theprocedure by whichsocietyintegratestheindividual’’.For Kasper (2006),‘’Socialization helps to shape and define our thoughts, feelings, and actions, and it provides us with a model for our behavior. As children become socialized, they learn how to fit into and to function as productive members of human society. Socialization teaches us the cultural values and norms that provide the guidelines for our everyday life’’.
Okafor et-al (2013) opined that the content of culture in society is transmitted to members through identifiable process which they identified as socialization.
From the above, socialization can be summed up as a well designed strategy for social control which includes system of values, beliefs, norms and sanctions. It is the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained, all working for a better society where all systems in turn, work in symmetrical harmony guaranteeing a robust future in all spheres of life and commences from birth to death.
Agents of socialization
Perrino(2000),posits that the socialization process of the individual involves the family, school, peers, mass media, public opinion, and religion. Lumenlearning(2009),submits that agents of socialization include the family, peer group, school, workplace, religion, government and the mass media.
From the above, we can safely sum up that the agents of socialization include the family, school, peer group, mass media, religiousorganizations; experience gained during employment and political leadership actions.
The Roles of the Agents of Socialisation
The family is fundamental and undisputed first in order of socialization importance and consideration to child development. Asides provision of food, clothing and shelter for the child, it is also the responsibility of the parents and guardians to bring them up in the best form possible for them to live decent lives. This is why Perrino (2002), noted that:‘’as the primary agent of socialization and the first “educator”, the family, plays an essential role in the transmission of the fundamental values that encourage and nurture’’. There is no doubt about the place of the agents of socialization in the shaping of the total being of any individual. It has been established that the real tie that the child has is with the family. Here, the childlearns the language, conventions, norms and values of the immediate society.
The extended family is also recognized as playing critical lineage bond, where the fames, courage and good bearing of forebears are related and inculcated into the child. Today, the extended family exist more in discordant tones that can be likened to the humming of the honey bees,without distinct identity or meaning. Instead of being brothers and sisters keepers, there is more of family and sibling rivalries and the child is left to wander unguarded. This foundation stage of the child therefore becomes quite significant in the child’s life because it is whatever foundation that is laid that the other agents would build upon. Contributing to the debate on negative roles parents play in aiding their children to cheat in schools, Ogba (2017), ‘’They (parents) mount all sorts of pressures on the examiners and the supervisors in order to have their children cheat during examination in one form or the other’’
The community as a social unit—larger than a household—shares common values and has social cohesion. Being a group of interacting people, living in some proximity it remains a formidable socializing unit if the positive ingredients inherent are positively harnessed. The community of old, like the extended family, played major roles in the child’s up bring. The situation has changed considerably, as deviant behaviour is no longer frowned at but tolerated with glee. All the social norms, code of conduct in business, inter-personal and inter-group relationships of society are broken without anyone uttering a word of caution. Laws of the land are also violated with the society egging on.What is obtainable now is the worship of riches, acrimonious and un-neighbourlyneigbourhood, exploitation and cheating, indulgence in and tolerance of profanity, including almost lack of the very essence of communal existence as well as meaning in life.
The peer group is another essential agent. The general online dictionary, Merriam-Webster (2011), defined peers as those belonging to the same societal group especially based on age, grade, or status. According to Barbour (2010);‘’Gradually, children discover that others can share their feelings or attitudes or have quite different ones. The perspectives of others will affect how children feel about their own families.These early friendships help children learn how to negotiate and relate to others, including their siblings and other family members. They learn from peers how to cooperate and socialize according to group norms and group-sanctioned modes of behavior. The peer group can influence what the child values, knows, wears, eats, and learns’’.
Laursen (2017),also submits that a group of friends who volunteer their time and have ambitious school-or work-related goals, with positive relationships with family are likely to hold the same values and beliefs and further that high-quality friendships sets the child up for success in the social world, the more positive the relationships with your peer group, the more likely to have good relationships in the future.
If the peer influence is as strong as described, the roles and responsibilities have been grossly eroded judging by the prevailing situation in the country. Peer influence have tended to be more in the negative and as ominous in the different deviance observed all over the nation today. As a matter of fact, the deviance have more attraction to our youths in contra-distinction to wise counsel and cherished values, yet parents, guardians and the society that has lost almost its values and conscience egged them on and at times initiate them or watch seemingly unconcerned thus submitting their roles to mediocrity.
The mass media as a means of communication that operate on a large scale reaching and involving virtually everyone in a society to a great or lesser degree, is another agent. Mass media—newspapers, magazines, comic books, radio, video games, movies, and especially television—present a very different form of socialization than any other. Television is an influence on children from a very young age and affects their cognitive and social development. According toLina (2013), ‘’the main effect of television is one of the socialization that aids in cultivation of stability and tranquility. This, of course is not with other major cultural institutions and agents of socialization. But the television gives credibility and potency to other medium of communication and can match through its ability to reach both literate and illiterate audience and its unique blend of auditory and visual impact’’.Gonzalez (2010),alsosubmits that with the advent of the Internet, television now has a partner in the role of visual stimulant of young minds.
All the media as potentagentsare known to play decisive roles in social, political and development sectors due to their power to influence the attitude and behaviour of general public and outstandingly every aspect of social, political and economic development.Unfortunately in Nigeria today, the culture portrayed mostly by manymedia modesincludeexposition of unmeritedglamour and ill gotten wealth, sexual obscenity and its twin promiscuity, vulgarity in the most lurid comedic forms, violence, spread of falsehood and other acts of subversion and criminality. The ‘best’ of the ‘news’ has become the negative and destructivewhile the best entertainment and advertorials have become, sensual and in nude while the lyrics are vulgar and uncultured; not to forget the thorough rape of the social media.
These and more have made our media to become quite toxic and urgently requiring detoxification. Observing the effects of television content (as opposed to medium), Harvard, Stanford, the University of North Carolina, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale scientists summarized their opinion as ‘deleterious.’Several investigations have since testified to confirm this outcome.Ironically, most mechanisms put in place to check and sensor negative inputs have not measured up as perpetuators get smarter by the day and manage to escape sanctions.The effects pervade all areas of our lives today.
A most reliable agent ought to be the religious organizations. Okon (2012), ‘’Religionshapes collective belief into collective identity and that the belief system is a significant and integral part of living’’.He submits further that it is ‘’a process of initiation into the larger society.Obediente (2016), noted that‘’Religious belief and practice contribute substantially to the formation of personal moral criteria and sound moral judgment. Regular religious practice generally inoculates individuals against a host of social problems, including suicide, drug abuse, out-of-wedlock births, crime, and divorce. The regular practice of religion also encourages such beneficial effects on mental health as less depression (a modern epidemic), more self-esteem, and greater family and marital happiness’’. Durkheim (1947),asserted that‘’Religion is the set of beliefs and practices regarding sacred things that help a society understand the meaning and purpose of life’’. On religion and its foundation on morality, Wikipedia(2017) says”Morals” are the way a human behaves to other humans. Most religions make rules about human morals’’.
From the collective submissions, it is clear that religion as a social institutionhelps a societyto meet its basic needs through moral teachings and espousal of the merits of good and suppressing the bad, both in theoretic relativity andin interpersonal and intergroup relations. Today, however, the knowledge of good and bad are being juxtaposed such that it is increasingly becoming difficult by the day for people to continue to appreciate their purpose in life, especially from the spiritual, moral and religious angles.Many of our religious organizations are engaged inheinous acts, including deceit and falsehood, ungodly rivalry, demonization of one another immoral and other bestial activities, all also contrary to the basic existentiality. The child is not unlikely to lose hope in this kind of immoral, ungodly and almost helpless environment.
Globally, as children grow up spending various periods of time within the environment of the various agents, and growing into adulthood, considerable part of their time is spent at the workplace of employment. Lumenlearning(2009) opined that, socialization at the workplace includes both material culture and nonmaterial culture and concluded that people ‘’…become socialized to, and socialized by, a variety of work environments’’. By implication, since ourassociate in the work group necessarily require group spirit to achieve group goals and aspirations, and considering the long period of time spent at the workplace; the influence of such group on the individual cannot be overemphasized. A negatively impacting workgroup therefore is capable of damaging a man’s being, except he exits but even then he has no hiding place in any new environment. Many negative workplaces abound in Nigeria today, many with intent on swindling and extorting other hapless Nigerians out of their hard earned money and property. Man must therefore choose a positive work environment and consciously repel any negative influence where it exists.
Another agent is the political party/government. According toNeundorf et-al (2017), ‘’Political socialization describes the process by which citizens crystallize political identities, values and behavior that remain relatively persistent throughout later life’’.Gugger (2017)noted that: ‘’Political socialization is the process by which people forms their ideas about politics. It is the lifelong development of a person’s political values. Though most political socialization occurs during childhood, people continue to shape their political values throughout their lives’’. Expatiating further, he posited that the individual factors, such as the family, social and economic classes, education and peer groups, mass media and key world events all converge ultimately to affect and shape political values. Pradham (2017), emphasize the influence of other agents on political socialization positing, ‘’Radio, T.V., Press, Internet and other avenues may inculcate different set of values in an individual and accordingly, shape their orientations’’.
It is clear from the submissions above that whatever political climate pervades a nation is as a consequence of the values imbibed by its citizens. Thus, a stable developmental and citizens focused political climate will lead to the emancipation of the nation or segment there from. The citizens’ positive active participation also reveals the extent of belief in the political programmes that will move such society forward. It is therefore no gainsaying the fact that an unstable polity, one that breeds mutual race, religious and economic suspicion as is currently the case in Nigeria today, cannot augur well if all the contending issues are not tackled face-on. The current situation therefore deserves some measures of understanding and cooperation to collectively move the nation forward.
The University as Agent of Socialization
I have chosen to discuss the school or educational institution last for obvious reasons. The discussion about this agent will equally be limited to University education.
The term University is derived from Latin word ‘UniversitasMagistratrum et Scholarium’ literally translated as a ‘community of teachers and scholars’ that is saddled with the responsibilities of teaching, conducting researches, granting academic degrees through provision of undergraduate and Post graduate education. According to Andersen (2015), the university has four traditional functions and an addition which has been necessitated by developmental necessity. He listed the traditional first:
Repository of the Knowledge of Mankind: universities must act as ‘knowledge vaults’, maintaining and securing crucial knowledge for present and future generations.
Generation of new Knowledge: to undertake the activity that we call research.
Transferring Knowledge to the Next Generation, i.e. what we call education.
Transferring Knowledge to Society, i.e. what we call dissemination.
Generating economic development: to play an integral role in furthering economic growth and thereby pursuing socio-economic goals’’.
These functions are indeed lofty and nation enhancing but can it be said that Nigerian universities are living up to these challenges and if not, why not as well as in what ways can the situation be straightened to achieve desired goals?
Punch Newspaper Editorialof Tuesday March, 16, 2016 stated and I quote, ’’University connotes universatality and a global centre of excellence that advances the frontiers of knowledge through teaching, learning and research but unfortunately, this phenomenon has collapsed in our system’’.
Nigerian universities are bewildered with multifarious challenges in gargantuan dimension.Specifically, with respect to higher education in Nigeria, the World Bank (WB) submitted in 2013 that Nigeria had one of the world’s lowest higher education-citizen ratios in the world with only 297 higher education institutions serving 170 million people; this is against the Republic of Taiwan’s 173 universities for only 23.4 million people, USA’s 5,758 higher institutions for 313 million people. The situation cannot be said to have changed today, if any, not significantly as the population of eligible candidates far out-stretches available higher educational infrastructure.
Aside from this, arising from industrial disharmony, it was revealed that Nigeria, over the years, have consistently recorded “weak pass” in the African Regional Universities’ ratings and performed abysmally at the international universities and higher education ratings. For instance, between 1992 – and 2014 ASUU had gone on strike for a total period of over 3 years 7 months. It also revealed that only 3 hours and 45 minutes is the total number of periods teachers devote to teach in schools across Nigeria and that 25% of their time is spent outside the classrooms. The accumulation of these anomalies cannot augur well for nation seeking fast-track ascendancy in development, definitely and there arises the need for urgent intervention in the system.
Having established that early in a child’s development, the family is the strongest agent, parents must educate their children properly on traditions and social conventions, as well as be taught the language, craft and related skills of the society, including respect for elders, contentment, industry, human rights and the way of the Lord.Parents must also live exemplary lives such that they become models for their children Prov. 22:6 ‘’Train up a child in the way he should go: even when is old he will not depart from it’’. The extended family must necessarily team up with the nuclear to ensure collective child up-bring thus straightening his path to adulthood and preserving lineage values.AsFarjeon(2015),stated“The events of childhood do not pass but repeat themselves like seasons of the year.”
Parents must commit to living moral and just life, use discipline as moral lesson, share moral belief, raise moral children using teachable moments – it should be noted that values in most families are assimilated through watching. Most importantly, parents should realize that irrespective of the agents, children still point to their parents as the primary source of their values. In espousing the place of our children in the general order of life, DaveFidlin (2014),quoting Evangelist Bill Graham,as sayingthat, ‘’The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith’’. After all, according to Douglass(2015), “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
The school must dutifully continue to place its socializing roles in the child development, especially as it quickly joins forces with the home the formative period. It must continue to influence and shape the child’s character, even as it deals with its academic potentials. Other areas that it must continue to develop include self control, friendship and social skills as well as generally broadening their horizon such that he does not become social liability in the future.Teachers should not neglect student’s complaints of whatever type or form. They should also be wary of corrupting them. Bukhari(2014) submitted that the roles of the teacher in the students’ lives include generally activating their minds as well as body to ensure that they turn out positively whole. He said this is done through guidance towards life style, character building, right path, development of emotion and inert abilities.Finally, the school must socialize our children by teaching them about citizenship and national pride.
The peer group must develop the child in meaningful and productive roles, trust and realization of who the individual child is sense of independence, competence, initiative, decision making and ambition, among others and cease to be negatively influential. Parents and teachers must be watchful and assist the children to repel bad influences and build up the child all bad influences must be repelled and conscious efforts must continually be made to set the paths of the right.After all, the old African adage remain consistent when it says ‘Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are’’.
The workplace must continue to be conducive for the attainment of the individual aspirations. A negatively influential workplace is known to stiffly such aspirations, no matter how lofty. Careerandeducation (2013) positsthat, ‘’Positive attitude is of great value and importance in all walks of life. It not onlyenriches one’s experience of life, but it also paves the ways for self-development leading one towards attaining the desired results. As regards employment, it is a valuable thing to maintain positive attitude. Whether you are a manager or a subordinate, maintaining positiveattitude in the work place brings lots of benefits while allowing you to fulfill your objectives successfully’’.
The Political class/governmentmust also continue to put in place good policies to govern the child education. Compulsory and free education to the secondary school level will go a long way to ensure that every child accesses education. The schools’ curricula must measure up to best global practice while teachers training must ensure the capacity to carry through such curricula. Appropriate laws should be put in place to check child abuse and abuse of the mass media, including the social. For all educational policies made, adequate monitoring and evaluation should not only be put in place but implemented and the results shape further educational plans. Where some of the laws are in place, they should be implemented promptly to ensure the nation’s collective future. The actors in this agent must also live exemplary lives such that they become role models for the future generation. History as a subject must be fully restored in Nigeria school’s curriculum. As a matter of fact, the government is challenged to institute special scholarship for the study of Nigeria history. The current situation whereby our youths have been severed from their history and totally oblivious of their forebears should not be acceptable any longer.
Furthermore, government should adequately fund the Universities, lecturers better paid and facilities expanded so that the current brain drain from the country can be halted. The Universities must, on their path, also raise the bar in diligence to duty and purposeful research works as well as increase the University admission space to accommodate teaming qualified Nigerians who are currently armstrong in gaining admission due to limited space. In the same vein, modern quality courses that are capable of lifting the nation out of the woods should be introduced while corporate organizations and individuals should endow chairs too.
Religious organizations must face their tasks in unalloyed commitment in the spiritual development of the child. Such religious teachings must enable the child become more assertiveand knowledgeable in the concept of the Supreme Being and how to encounter Him. They must also inculcate such values as positive social relationship, emotional experiences and self-esteem through exemplary leadership, devoid of selfishness and deceit. These values and others would shape the child’s relationship positively at the various stages in life. Religious organizations and sects must knowledgably disseminate the values and must desist from antagonism and negative propagandist alterations such that will confuse the child. In the same vein, the home must also continually be on the alert to monitor the child spiritual development and build on the teachings such that no vacuum is allowed to truncate the virtues imbibed.
Even though it is undisputable that the social media, including the internet, have become the forum for modern information dissemination and entertainment, its principal values need to be played up and properly harnessed. The content of the various media must be monitored and censored through appropriate mechanisms put in place by government and where not in place, such should be established. The home must also play its part here by closely monitoring the child’s exposure to negative information. The community must also rise to engineer stoppage to the abuse of the mass media. The mass media should play its humanity support roles through dissemination of credible information such as during crises instead covertly introducing and propagating it. It must be an instrument for crime thwarting and detection as well as exert positive political influence and development. It must also be the desired link in positive global positive acculturation. The school and religious organizations must also team up to check negative content dissemination in all the media.
The community must generally ensure that its roles in the child socialization are not abridged in any form as it its very existence and progress depends on the forthrightness of all individuals within. The community must set high moral and social standards and ensure adherence such that the child imbibes and turns out to be better and a fitting member. The common goals and interests must be explicit and supportive of socio-political and economic advancement. It must depict the essence of humanity instead of breading divisions and being permissive and aiding of negative tendencies, including criminal acts, subversion of collective trust, deceit. The community must be vigilant always and thwart any negative efforts at subverting good. Where necessary, it must correct negative notions, beliefs and acts of the child. The task of child up bring should not be left to other agencies alone, especially as whatever was inculcated in the child or his eventual outcome affects it. However,it must continue to be friendly and accommodating and not abuse its role. Elders and leaders must also live exemplary lives.
In all, government has considerable influence and role to play. Conscious harmonization and propagation of our long cherished values must suffice above all else; specially, with its wide mandate and instruments of control over considerable aspects of all the agents and the citizens – it is the leveler. Government policies, particularly on education must not fail. The nation’s standards must continually be set and met. Its checks and balances must be effective such that defaulting agent(s) mustbe brought back into line.Governmentmust also invest more in education generally as it is the only avenue for the country’s current low productivity level can eventually be enhanced. Countries that prioritize education reduce industrial tension and enhance national productivity.
As for the school, it must continually play its designed roles. The school must teach traditional languages and cultures, the current situation whereby foreign cultures have infiltrated the indigenous, All our hopes in life have become depended on foreign values, which many times are antithesis of our own values and indeed real aspirations as they have brought along with them strange and abomination into once pure and revered African culture. This should therefore be reversed as quickly as possible.
Proprietors, including government at the various levels, must ensure that the basic facilities and infrastructure are provided; competent teachers employed and well remunerated to impart desired knowledge while researches should also be accorded deserved priority and results harnessed appropriately. Unhealthy industrial relations must be shunned by the teachers and they should take their work more seriously.
Having established that no one single agent of socialization is on its own independent and absolute as each has continuous roles to play in the child up to adulthood, and indeed, throughout his life time, all coercive hindrancesto our educational system must necessarily be eliminated. To remediate the current situation all hands must be on the deck.
Today, as Joseph Ayo Babalola University, one of the first entrepreneurial university in Nigeria, is concluding the fulfillment of its part of socialization of its students at this 8th convocation ceremony, I presume that the high level of commitment of both the teaching and non-teaching staff have come to bear on the graduating students. Even though we agree that universities generally are expected to turn out well rounded individuals who have been adjudged academically and morally sound, the advent of the private universities pioneered by JABU,with the added advantage of being faith based, has made it clear that the development of the spiritual being matters much and indeed guides any discerning society, particularly in human emancipation.
In architecture, the foundation is the most important part of the building. Thus the height of a building is determined by its foundation. The educationists also posit that the foundation is the bedrock of any sound personality. In the same vein, Ps. 11:3 clearly states that; ‘If the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do?’I am sure that JABU has long realized that our children are the most valuable resources the nation has and has brought up these students excellently in learning and character. However, the graduandsmust showcase their individual pedigree. I believe that all of you are set to be propelled to higher grounds in all endeavours (physical and spiritual). More important as believers that are spirit filled, we are assured that Christ is and remains our everlasting foundation.
I should not conclude this lecture without a look at the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Establishment, e.t.c.) Act, 2011. While the courage to establish the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) as an intervention agency charged with the responsibilities for managing, disbursing and monitoring the education tax to public tertiary institutions in Nigeria is applauded, all relevant bodies, including the Legislature should revisit consideration for integration of private universities in TETFund as a matter of urgent collective priority. This call aligns with that of Olukotun (2017) when he opined as follows, ‘’Private universities should be given the opportunity to access the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, which for now is exclusively reserved for public universities. If this happens, the nation will take a leaf out of higher education book in the United States, where some of the best universities are private universities’’.
All concerned must realize, as the Yoruba adage goes, ‘’Nkan to baimuniobaoju’’- what affects one necessarily affects the other. According to the National Universities Commission, there are currently 161 Universities in Nigeria (Federal -40, States – 46 and Private – 75), TETFundshould therefore not be inhibited to accommodate all. We have no other nation than Nigeria and its emancipation must be and remain a collective effort. Supremacy, class and/or proprietorship of universities should not be politicized but given due consideration in all national dealings. At worst, a distinct mechanism should be put in place to monitor and evaluate funds advanced private universities by TETFund to ensure achievement of national goals. Consequently, I hereby call for a re-visitation and modification of Chapter 3.0 of the Act to expressly include private universities as beneficiaries from TETFund.
The Vice Chancellor Sir, permit me to ask some questions concerning the establishment of JABU;
1. Is it not insightful of the founding fathers of] JABU to have thought up the idea of establishing a university and given effect to JABU?
2. Is it not thoughtful and in line with human emancipation to have offered hitherto few and restricted university education opportunity to deserving young Nigerians and thereby contributing to the development of this great nation?
3. Is today not a glorious day for JABU and indeed, Nigeria?
Of course, the response to each of the questions is in the affirmative,reflected in the occasion for which we are seated here today joyously. It is therefore my believe that as the graduating students leave this premises to merge into the larger society, they are certain to justify our collective efforts and show-case their pedigree towards making Nigeria great.
On this note, I thank the Visitor to the University, the Chairman of Council, Vice Chancellor, the University Senate and the entire workforce of this great university, for this yet great feat and for deeming that I was worthy to deliver today’s convocation lecture. I congratulate parents and guardians here today and others who are partaking in this joyous programme. It is my prayer that your joy will be full and not short circuited. Lastly, please remember that only the living celebrate and live to continually rejoice in the Lord’s fullness. I therefore urge you to drive safely as you return to your various destinations; even as I remind you all that we must all ensure that all agents of socialization necessarily continue to interact and assist to transform the individual to a mature, independent and positive culture-bearing member of our society.Remember, a small leak will sink a great ship if not immediately and appropriately attended to. This way, we will jointly make Nigeria greater.
God bless you and thank you all for listening.
– A paper delivered by Dr. Boboye Olayemi Oyeyemi, Mfr, Mni, Npom Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (Frsc).