Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, delivered the 52nd Convocation Lecture of the University of Lagos on Monday, January 17, 2022.
At the J.F Ade-Ajayi venue of the event, the distinguished federal lawmaker regaled the very attentive and receptive audience with his incisive analysis of the nature of tertiary education in Nigeria, its challenges and prospects, and its imperative for a functional society that works for the benefit of all.
“A purposeful and well-rounded education is a fundamental human right, because the individual’s ability to participate fully in society depends almost entirely on the quality of education available to them”, Rt. Honourable Gbajabiamila said. He asserted that “… good education produces citizens who are invested in the progress and wellbeing of their society and who have the wherewithal to take positive action to make those societies better.”
The Guest Speaker, who is a 1983 alumnus of the University of Lagos, called for an urgent and intentional reorganisation of tertiary education in Nigeria in order to meet the demands of our changing world.
“Our world has changed. The old certainties from which we derived assurance and built our expectations no longer exist … For Nigerian citizens to thrive in this new world, participate fully and productively in the new global economy, and benefit from, rather than be consumed by the technological advancements that are changing our world, tertiary education in Nigeria must be prepared to embrace reinvention and adapt to disruption.”
Rt. Honourable Gbajabiamila called for collaborations between Nigeria’s higher institutions and the Organised Private Sector (OPS), charging that, for the sake of our collective future, the mission to build back better can not be left to the government alone to pursue.
To the graduating students, he congratulated them for the good fortune of getting into the real world in the most uncertain of times.
“Uncertain times give the opportunity for men and women of talents and abilities to build their fortune and to cement their legacy in history”, the Speaker said.
He challenged them to be good ambassadors of the University of Lagos and to go out there as compatriots who are determined to give their best to the noble task of nation building.
Hon. Justice Amina Adamu Augie, CON, Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, was the Chairman of the occasion. True to her reputation, with her opening and closing remarks, she left no one in doubt as to the soundness of her reasoning and the fecundity of her mind. On both occasions, her conclusions were greeted with standing ovations from an audience who were enamoured by her masterful deliveries.
The Convocation Lecture kicks off the 52nd Convocation Ceremonies proper, preceding the conferment of degrees scheduled to follow on Tuesday, January 18 to Thursday, January 20, 2022.