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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

My monthly salary is not enough to finance the conference trip to Benin Republic

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Isaac Albert, Professor of African History, Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Ibadan (UI), Oyo State, denounced the poor welfare conditions of Nigerian teachers, stating that as a teacher for almost 20 years, he still You are struggling to meet your basic needs.

Mr Albert, who recently spoke in Lagos at a public lecture to celebrate the 60th birthday of the Dean of the Faculty of Science, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Adelaja Odukoya, said one of the biggest impediments to the development of Nigeria is the wide disparity between what he described as “the agenda of the Nigerian people and the agenda of the political elite.”


He spoke on the topic: “Nigeria’s development challenges: which way forward?”

The academic said he became a professor, the highest cadre in the academic world, almost 20 years ago, but still struggles to meet his and his family’s needs.

“I became a teacher in 2006, the only thing I want is to be able to pay my children’s school fees. That is not an ambitious need,” she stated.


“Just two months ago, the rector helped me sign my cooperative form. So if a teacher from 2006 is still looking for a cooperative to meet basic needs… if my one month’s salary does not allow me to attend a three-day conference in Benin Republic, that is not a country, we are not Let’s cheat,” he said.

The guest lecturer noted that the needs of an average Nigerian are “quite simple and straightforward.”

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He said Nigerians are worried because they are reaching the point where “existence is no longer possible”, describing the situation as dangerous.


“The future we need, according to the research I conducted in Ogoni land, is very simple. The Ogoni told me that in their communities the only thing they struggle is to be able to eat three times a day, and for me, I don’t think it’s too much.”

He said until the continent’s leadership is reoriented, the challenges posed by underdevelopment will continue to plague the country.

This is as other participants in the event, including the two former ASUU national presidents, Dipo Fashina and Nasir Fagge; the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Kayode Adebowale; Immediate Past Vice-Chancellor of UNILAG, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe; The Vice-Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Razak Kalilu and the Olokine of Ojowo, Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State, Abdulrasheed Banjo, among others, extolled the virtue of the celebrant and praised him for defending Nigeria in all times.

UNILAG Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Management Services, Lucian Chukwu, represented the Chancellor of the host university, Folasade Ogunsola.

Nigeria’s Undefined Partnership Needs

Also in his lecture, Mr. Albert, who described Nigeria’s bilateral relations as not mutually beneficial, said that in various conferences and summits held with other world leaders, Nigerian and African leaders generally do not have specific demands from those with whom they meet. . He said such development contrasts with other world leaders who always have specific demands in hand when meeting African leaders.

In rare situations where African leaders have demands, it is usually the demands of the political elite that do not necessarily capture the needs of the citizenry, he said.

“The question I ask myself and that I also ask at the meeting of the ECOWAS Council of Wise Men is; What are you looking for? This is because it is difficult for me to say what they are looking for,” he stated.

“I saw this when we held the China-Africa forum in China many years ago in Beijing. The Chinese will tell you that this is what we are looking for. The African leaders arrived there but could not say what they expected from the Chinese. “The Chinese are aware of what they are looking for.”

He called for the development of an agenda to highlight the benefits Nigeria seeks in other countries it deals with, adding that it is the responsibility of Nigeria to map out what it wants to gain in its relationship with some of the developed countries, including China. Great Britain and France.

He said, “These people come here. When they notice that you are not asking for anything, they take everything they want and leave you with nothing. And I think that’s my concern. This could be an academic debate. This is my problem with “Agenda 2063; The Africa we want.”

According to Albert, Nigeria is not seeking the future that the people want, but rather the one that Nigerian leaders prefer.

“I think the best way to evaluate that is what the politicians promised him when he took office. I’m sorry to say that most of them don’t promise anything. So when they come to the office and you say they didn’t provide this, you’re starting to act like a thief because there was no contract. “They didn’t promise anything,” he stated.

“If they didn’t promise any future, then you can’t start accusing them of not providing any future… When you draw attention to something that isn’t working well, people say you’re being tedious.”

The future that Nigeria needs

According to Albert, the future Nigeria needs is one with strong state institutions, a ruling class interested in the country’s development, a young population prepared for the future and results-oriented international diplomacy.

“We must have an altruistic elite that is genuinely interested in the development of the country. We must have a productive young population. A young population deliberately prepared for the future. And then we must have results-oriented international diplomacy,” he stated.

The professor expressed concern that the political system has been structured in a way that frustrates those genuinely interested in the development of the country with a huge fund needed to participate in the elections.

“Now, in Nigeria, we have several problems. State capture by elites thwarts consensus building. If you sit with politicians, they are not talking about ordinary people, but about themselves. Societies have been captured,” he said.

“What I’m trying to point out here is that the system has censored the best. It is society that is under state capture. “A few people have captured the state and there is nothing we can do.”

others speak

In his speech at the event, Fagge condemned the country’s political structure and lamented the quality of those running for election. He said ASUU, as Nigeria’s premier union, is ready to change the narratives.

“We are tired of complaining about bad governance and as a union I can assure you that we are ready to rewrite history. It is time for us to prepare men and women for leadership positions and present them for elections,” he stated.

Other guests at Professor Odukoya’s birthday lecture

Mrs Ogunsola, VC of UNILAG, described Mr Odukoya as one of the strong pillars of support on which the institution stands, saying that the man she proudly refers to as “comrade professor” is an asset to the country as a whole and not just for the university system. .

For his part, Monarch Oba Banjo sought the support of ASUU and other Nigerians in seeking to grant constitutional roles to traditional rulers in the country’s constitution.

The monarch congratulated Mr Odukoya on his diamond jubilee birthday and thanked him for his contributions to the development of the Ojowo community. He announced the approval of the Ojowo Traditional Council to confer the chieftaincy title of Fimogbuye of Ojowo and Yeye Fimogbuye of Ojowo to Mr. Odukoya and his wife on the upcoming Olokine Day in December.


Mr Odukoya, a Professor of Political Science and ASUU Lagos Zonal Coordinator, who joined UNILAG as an Assistant Professor in 2004, was promoted to the position of Senior Lecturer about three years ago.

He is the Editor-in-Chief of UNILAG Journal of Politics and ASUU Journal of Social Sciences, and currently serves as a Senior Research Fellow on the Political Economy of Agricultural Commercialization in Nigeria, a five-year project sponsored by the Department for International Development (DFID). . and the University of London within the framework of the African Agricultural Policy Research (APRA).

He thanked everyone for honoring him and for what he described as their continued fight for the betterment of Nigeria. He expressed his commitment to the progress of Nigeria.


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