By Solomon Odeniyi
Despite leaving office as Governor of Osun, the outstanding contributions of the immediate past Governor Rauf Aregbesola to the development of the state is still echoing.
This time, the recognition of his outstanding feat towards the development of Osun and education is coming from the citadel of learning as he was conferred with Honorary Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) by the Fountain University, Osogbo.
He was conferred with the honours at the institution’s 8th convocation ceremony held on Monday.
While decorating him, the Vice-chancellor of the university, Amidu Sanni said, the former governor was honoured for his outstanding contributions to the development of the state as well as the university.
He said: “He was excellent while in the helms of affairs of the state. He has also contributed to the development of the school. He instituted a scholarship for science students in the school which he has been committed to since 2011. He is not perfect though, but on the balance of things that have been seen, he is one of the few good people we have in Nigeria.
“If he had wanted to receive honours, he would have gotten over hundreds of them. We are happy he is receiving ours. Aregbesola still has a lot to offer the state and the nation at large. “
Aregbesola, while speaking advised the graduands not to focus on job hunting, but rather on how to employ themselves and five others.
In his speech titled ‘Education and the Society’, he highlighted the duties of citadel of learning as one meant to set goals for itself and the society, adding that tertiary institutions should not stay back on the issue confronting the society but should approach the government on the solution they could proffer to societal problems.
He lamented the low knowledge base in the country despite the high number of tertiary institution in the country which he said, has translated into poverty for the country.
Explaining how poor the country is, the fourth civilian governor of the state said, “Nigeria is a very poor country. Our national budget for 2019 is N8.8trn. When shared among the population of about 200m, you would know what each of us is entitled to. We will all get N44,500 each. Out of the N8.8trn, we are going to borrow N2.4trn. Can N44,500 take anyone anywhere? A day old child cannot live on N44,500 per annum. And we say Nigeria is a rich country.
“If that does not shock you, let me shock you further, Nigeria produces 1.8 million barrels of oil per day, let’s assume we produce 2m barrels of oil and magically the price rise to $100 per barrel, it means the highest Nigeria can earn every day is $200m.
”Let’s assume we are not paying anything for the production, then divide 200m by 200m people, it gives one $1 per head which in naira is 365 per head, the portable water need for a day old child is more than 400 daily.”
Aregbesola lauded the prolific efforts of the management of the institution in its efforts in inculcating decency and good character through the combination of Islamic religion and academics to improve the lives of students of the institution.
He advocated good character and morality in all tertiary institutions in the country, adding that lack of good character, moral and self-discipline contributed to the economic hardship Nigeria is currently facing.
“The constant increase in Poverty Index rate in Nigeria is caused by lack of self-discipline and good character.
“Some people are there at the helms of affairs living in opulence, looting the money that is meant to be spent on improving infrastructure and improving the lives of the people in the society”, Aregbesola said.
Osun State Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola charged the graduands to embrace entrepreneurship rather than seeking white collar job.
He added that only entrepreneurship will prevent them from falling victim of the high level of unemployment in the country.
The former Minister of Information of Ghana, Mustapha Abdul Hammed noted that unemployment is not peculiar to Nigeria but countries in the West Africa.
Despite this, he urged the graduands to always seek the good of their country as their life is intertwined with the future of the country.