Victor Akinkuolie, Ado-Ekiti
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has admonished youths to be creative, focused and deploy their God-given talents to develop the country.
The traditional ruler also appealed to youths not to lose hope in Nigeria, saying the current challenges confronting the nation will be surmounted.
He spoke in Ado-Ekiti at the weekend, during the 10th Convocation ceremonies of the private university, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti,
Ooni said: “I want you to go out there and apply the positive knowledge you have garnered here to better your lives and our nation. There are no other place we can run to.
“Don’t lose hope in our country, be courageous.
Use your brains and energy to help our governments to develop wherever you find yourselves.
The university founder, Chief Afe Babalola stated that the fact that the university was ranked first in Nigeria and 321 globally signposted that something good and meritorious can still happen in Nigeria.
He warned the federal and state governments against proliferation of universities, when the existing ones were underfunded, and lacked the requisite facilities to offer quality education.
Babalola said: “The future of this country is certainly in private universities. By the time ABUAD was founded in 2009, there were only 33 private universities in Nigeria.
“But between 2009 and now, we have 77 private universities. The strict conditions like conducive learning environment, provision of teaching facilities, structures ,laboratories , libraries and qualified personnel with which ABUAD was subjected to were no longer there anymore.
“It is inconceivable that a newly established private university is allowed to run Medicine, Engineering and Law in the first year. We should not allow undue proliferation of private universities to destroy the quality and functional education”.
Babalola said the university had expended a total of N1,149,500,000 billion to power scholarships for students and staff, describing these as needed tonic to motivate them to give their best in their services to the nation.
He disclosed that the university had offered trainings to about 1,000 students in Nigeria and Republic of Benin in agric-based vocations and 894 of them had been provided with start -off facilities to checkmate unemployment and the attendant crimes.