A s the economic recession bites harder, the Bishop of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, Dr. David Oyedepo, has declared that there was still hope for Nigeria to get out of the logjam.
Bishop Oyedepo said this while speaking at the Covenant University 7th inaugural lecture entitled “Deconstructing the National Development Agenda: The Role of Information and Communications Technologies,” delivered by the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Charles Ayo at the University Chapel in Otta, Ogun State.
According to the cleric, who is also Chancellor of the university, God had endowed Nigeria with enough resources to deal with the present economic situation, adding that the most important of them was the human resources, which Nigerian leaders had failed to adequately invest in.
Oyedepo said, “I have visited 18 African countries this year and the stories are the same everywhere. The onus now falls on the citizenry to move this continent forward. We should look at education as a core requirement for change. The best bet in this lecture is the introduction of e-learning to provide more access to people.”
The chancellor stated that money squandered on election campaigns could be pumped into the education sector, saying every advanced nation in the world today invested massively in education.
It doesn’t have to be whIte to be rIght. the colonIal mentalIty must be eroded. alot of expatrIates wIth less Ideas are sIttIng on top of phd holders wIth better Ideas, thIs must not contInue
He stressed that education was a veritable tool for restoring the lost glory and sustaining it.
The cleric noted that Covenant University was committed to investment in human capital development as a social service of investing in the future of the country and not for profit-making.
Oyedepo also deplored a situation where contracts were usually being awarded to expatriates at the expense of Nigerian professionals.
“It doesn’t have to be white to be right. The colonial mentality must be eroded. A lot of expatriates with less ideas are sitting on top of PhD holders with better ideas, this must not continue,” he said.
In his lecture, Prof Ayo suggested increased funding of education for enhanced research and development, saying that although the system of education was satisfactory, there was the need for massive deployment of ICTs in education delivery to solve the problem of access.
“Nigeria should adopt Open and Distance Learning and Massive Open Online Course. Ten universities in Nigeria could be empowered to handle this and within a year or two, the challenge of access can be solved and we can adopt the German system of education to create room for vocational studies”, he said.
The former vice chancellor tasked governments at all levels on the need to deconstruct or remodel national development agenda by refocusing on human capital development, arguing that further negligence of this sector would further fuel underdevelopment.
“California’s economy is larger than that of France or Brazil. It could pass for the 6thrichest country of the world, if it were to be a country. It is better than Texas, the oil rich state of the USA. The economy of the state is built around the ivory tower. Suffice to state that where education goes, there civilisation goes and by extension, development”, he said.