Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has lamented the over 14 million out of school children in Nigeria, warning that millions of children without formal education portends danger to a nation.
Obasanjo identified lack of formal education and stagnated development as some of the biggest problems plaguing the country.
The elder statesman made this known at the weekend while speaking as Chairman at the second convocation ceremony of Chrisland University, Abeokuta, Ogun State, according to a release by Cletus Ilobanafor, the Media Consultant to the university.
Obasanjo said about 14million children who ought to be in school are out on the streets and that this should be a source of worry to whoever wanted the best for the country and Africa as a whole.
He said: “We have 14million children that should be in school and are not in school; that’s more than the population of many African countries.”
He then urged the graduating students to remain focused in spite of the difficulties in Nigeria, adding that there are still opportunities out there that they could make good use of to be great in life.
Also, Governor Dapo Abiodun, represented by the Commissioner for Education, Prof Abayomi Arigbabu, congratulating the institution on the 2nd convocation, said Chrisland is needed to produce manpower to address some of the country’s challenges.
Wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, also commended the university management for working round the clock to ensure that the convocation held, saying that “the year 2020 has been challenging for all of us but through it all, you have put together a splendid ceremony. I say well done and I have the assurance that you will continue to lift this banner of excellence”.
The university Vice Chancellor, Prof Chinedum Babalola, lauded the 28 graduands for being awarded with Bachelor degrees and professional certificates in entrepreneurship, saying that their training in the university had also equipped them with skills for self-employment.
Prof Babalola said that among the 28 graduates, five of them, who are all females, made First Class while Folashade Kikelomo Mary, with 4.80 CGPA, from the College of Natural and Applied Sciences, emerged as the overall best graduating students.
Prof Babalola said the university had instilled in the students entrepreneurial skills that would turn them into job creators and not job seekers.
She however added that the university management was proud of the number of graduates having been part of the university’s history.
The guest speaker at the convocation, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, African Union, Prof Sarah Anyang Agbor, charged African leaders to have the strong political will to ensure sustainable growth and impact the people for good.
Delivering the convocation lecture with the theme “Leadership, Sustainable Growth, and National Building in Africa: A Reflective Perspective” Prof Sarah Agbor explained that among the critical issues Africa faces today is the bludgeoning youth population and with it, the challenge of youth unemployment saying that data from the National Bureau of Statistics here in the country reveals that unemployment rate as at the second quarter of 2020 was 27.1percent.
She said, “For us to achieve AU Vision 2063, change the glooming narrative of the African youth, the leaders must invest in good governance to achieve this goal. Good governance is a reflection of an effective leadership and vice versa.
“Show me a leader with a penchant to serve his people, meet the needs and aspirations of his citizens, and achieve collective growth for the populace and I will show you a leader who is result-performance oriented and implements good governance.”