ONYEME’S ADMONITIONS AS CHALLENGE TO ORIENTATION AGENCIES
By: Augustine Omilo
“For example, if Nigerians knew what insurance is all about and the economic potentials therein, the companies, brokers and sales agents in the sector will do much less work in convincing people and organizations to patronise them. The sector can be driven by a minister of insurance at the federal level and commissioners in the states. The huge employment opportunities in the sector are real. If the Lloyds of London established in 16050 (300 years ago) can still be existing with offices around the world, there is no acceptable reason to justify the none existence of at least a branch of Nigeria-Re in all state capitals in Nigeria”.
During a recent event in Delta state, the Deputy Governor posited that education remains the bedrock of societal developments around the world. The statement was not only apt, but also captured the essence of the event – the presentation of cheques to about 400 beneficiaries of the Monday Onyeme foundation’s scholarship scheme for 2023.
Indeed, one major reason for formal education is the acquisition of adequate information in given areas of study with a view to transforming such gained knowledge to tangible developmental tools for the socio-political growth of any society. Good as Onyeme’s submission was, there are many who do not yet understand that the statement carries deeper meaning than its surface understanding. And this is where the orientation agencies and ministries of information come in to play their roles – offering education within and outside the four walls of the university.
To begin with, the scope of the agencies activities must be widened to accommodate the acquisition of new knowledge and how to apply such to the development of the Nigerian society. For this to happen, they must not only be adequately funded, but also staffed with personnel (ad-hoc and permanent) with requisite knowledge to drive the vision of the organizations. Discovered areas of economic opportunities can be promoted with the support of government and key players in such sectors.
For example, if Nigerians knew what insurance is all about and the economic potentials therein, the companies, brokers and sales agents in the sector will do much less work in convincing people and organizations to patronise them. The sector can be driven by a minister of insurance at the federal level and commissioners in the states. The huge employment opportunities in the sector are real. If the Lloyds of London established in 1688 (335 years ago) can still be existing with offices in about 200 countries of the world, there is no acceptable reason to justify the none existence of at least a branch of Nigeria-Re (founded in 1977) in all the state capitals in Nigeria.
Each time a football match is taking place in England and other advanced nations of the world, huge amounts of money role into the pockets of different categories of persons and groups, including the clubs, the coaches, the players, insurance firms, advertisers, the governments and others. The difference between them and Nigeria lies in the awareness (education) of the gains in the area for the economy generally and the health of individuals particularly, given the leisure such activities offer.
But for the focused professional attitude of Ali Baba, the “baba” of comedy in Nigeria, who would have thought that people could amass legitimate wealth by making their fellow human beings laugh at a fee? Today, many folks like Ali Baba live in choice houses with state-of-the-art cars and other paraphernalia of financial freedom to match. And there are still areas of entertainment and consultancy that have not been publicized enough to attract economic attention.
In the U.S, public speaking is taken seriously. Those who are gifted and trained in that area are heavily patronised by individuals, companies and government offices. Apart from presenting papers and speeches at occasions, they also write motivational books that contain researched ideas that help societal development.
It is however, heartwarming to note that many Nigerian universities like the Admiralty University of Nigeria (ADUN) and others are leveraging on the dire need of creative thinking in Nigeria to develop academic curriculums that tend towards job-creating functional education programs.
For 104 years on earth, the late Akintola Williams was not known to have depended on salaries from any Nigerian government, either as a civil servant or political appointee beyond thre years (1950 – 1952) when he worked for the Inland Revenue office after returning from England as a chartered account. He established the first charted accounting firm in Africa and deployed his skills towards the economic emancipation of many men and women of his generation through accounting studies.
Meanwhile, Sir Monday Onyeme, the present deputy governor of Delta state has just done again what he had always done for many years running as an individual before he ventured into politics, promoting education for the youths of Ndokwa extraction. He offers yearly scholarship to indigent students.
The accountant-turned politician alone cannot single-handedly drive this noble course to the expected level of success without massive crusades championed by government agencies like orientation and information. The people’s eyes must be “opened” to the various opportunities accruing to educated fellows in various areas of human endeavour, especially skill acquisition outside the academic pursuits within the four walls of the universities.