The Owaloko of Iloko-Ijesa, His Royal Majesty Oba Akeem Olusayo Ogungbangbe Ajagbusi Ekun VI has been conferred with the honourary Award of Doctoral Degree of Business Administration of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike,(MOUAU).
The Monarch and Chancellor of the Governing Council of the University, HRM Alhaji Abubakar Shehu Abubakar 111 while presenting the award on behalf of the Senate and Academic Board of the institution yesterday in Umudike said Owaloko was honoured for his outstanding leadership qualities and peaceful disposition since the ascension to the throne.
According to the citation read during the ceremony, the First- Class Monarch and Rotational President of Ijesa –North Traditional Council, Oriade Local Government Area of Osun State, was recognized by the University for his selfless Service and uncommon love of his subjects and humanity in general.
‘’A proponent of constitutional role for traditional rulers, a man of peace, humane nature, who is loved by his subjects and respected outside his domain; is one traditional ruler in the South-West whose appointment was spearheaded by the majority of his subjects and not only by the kingmakers as is the practice’’, the citation read in part.
In his remarks, Owaloko expressed gratitude to the authorities of the University for the honour done to him.
He said, ‘’I want to lay on record my gratitude to the authority of Michael Okpara University for the honour bestowed on me this afternoon. I want to thank you, may God honour you the way you have honoured me today’’.
He continued, ‘’I am convinced that our investment in education is the best way to secure the future. We cannot succeed or compete or even survive in a world that is knowledge-driven, knowledge-based, in other words, a digital world, to survive in this environment will be based on what you know and not who you know.
There are still few Nigerians who believe the way to success need not be a function of what you know and they can point a few people who seem to have made it without much skill and without formal education. Those are exemptions and they belong to the past. The future belongs to those who have the knowledge to navigate the rigours of the very challenging and increasingly competitive world.
‘’For me, that is the foundation because, if we have an educational system that does not provide an opportunity for children of the poor to go to school, Schools that are sufficiently appealing to young minds, to be taught by teachers that are well paid, Michael Okpara University will not have the students to admit because the primary school is the foundation without which you cannot have tertiary students’’.
Owaloko further said, ‘’Let me also say that the need to start a national conversation on how to reposition education in our country. There is too much hypocrisy in our system and everybody pretends that we are not in crisis. The Nigeria educational system is in serious crisis and we can’t afford to postpone the conversation any longer. Some months, we were told that Nigeria spends over one million dollars every year to pay school fees for Nigerian students who are studying abroad.
‘’Those numbers, if they were shared and distributed between States, Federal, and even private owned universities, in Nigeria, the quality of our universities would have improved substantially.
Today, we are faced with a situation in which lecturers, professors, ministers, governors, and anybody that can afford it send their own children to universities abroad which means they themselves don’t have confidence in their own universities. Those who cannot afford to take them to UK or US send them to Ghana, South –Africa or the Benin Republic and they pay at least, 10,000dollars.
He noted,’’ I have difficulty in understanding why we refused to address a situation in which a Nigerian child attends a private prestigious secondary school where he is paying 500,000 nairas a year and some are even paying one million nairas a year.
But the parents are not rich enough to take him to Ghana or US or Europe and he ends up in a Nigerian government university. That same guy who was paying 500,000, 300,000 nairas a year for secondary education now has to go and pay 120,000 nairas for university education. It means something is not adding up and I just want to put this on the table.’’
The high point of the ceremony was the investiture of HRM Oba Akeem Olusayo Ogungbangbe Ajagbusi Ekun V1 with the donning of the academic regalia along with the presentation of a certificate of the Doctorate Degree in Business Administration by Michael Okpara University, Umudike, Umuahia Local Government Area of Abia State.