A university don, Dr Ajiboye Shuaib Osunleke, in this interview with News Live Nigeria correspondent, Nusaybah Omodolapo O, in Ile-Ife, Osun state dissects myriad of challenges staring Nigeria in the face.
On the daunting challenges in the country, the HOD alluded to the fact that there are so many cogs in the wheel of Nigeria’s socio-economic development ranging from fuel price hike, increase in Naira/Dollar, insecurity, strike, COVID-19 pandemic to political and civil unrest.
” Fuel price hike is one of the problems we keep having with successive government regime. Looking at it we can’t say it’s a good thing particularly to the citizens especially with the ongoing pandemic. We can say the government has not been managing our resources so well and also to be candid, that was the last option the government could resort to because they cannot continue to subsidise fuel and they have to deregulate it.
We have the crude oil but no refineries. The process of taking out the oil to other countries and we are being sold back to, is not helping.
As an oil producing country, so many African countries depend on us. The Federal government has always been subsidising our oil but some business owned people through illegal route smuggled it because they feel it will be more lucrative for them and the government are to be blamed for the porous borders because it’s their duty to protect the territorial integrity. Now they allow the independent marketers to buy and sell at their own benefit and we hope the government will be able to compromise on this issue”.
Making his position known on the issue of the ongoing ASUU strike cum resumption, Dr Osunleke expressed that for the dearth of meticulousness, our higher institutions are not safe for resumption.
” As a lecturer, and an active member of the ASUU, I can categorically tell you that our institutions are not safe to reopen. Nigeria doesn’t need to facsimile other countries of the world; we are not being cautious in addressing issues of this gravity.
In those saner climes, necessary things are put in place before the reopening of schools but here our facilities are over stressed, we have more students than the facilities on ground and this can lead to predisposition to health risks. Both students and lecturers health must be accorded cognizance.
Actually we can’t close down the schools forever but their are steps to take. School management should provide necessary facilities in and around the campus. We can also make use of e-facility / e-learning and that will reduce physical contact during practical sessions.
News Live Nigeria’s Nusaybah reports that the ” laughter is not different in London” applies to the HOD of Chemical Engineering department.
The HOD said the adverse effects of naira/dollar exchange rates and hike in electricity tariff are evident in every household in the nation, calling for reinvigoration of our local production.
” It really affects me as it does the generality of people. Being the bread-winner of the family has been serious. The exchange rate is affected because of our dependence on foreign goods. There’s a dire need for the change in the narrative. Nigeria should adorn in the garb of producer, divorcing being complacent with consuming nation accolade.
In a similar vein, the monster behind epileptic nature of Nigeria’s electricity needs incarceration, with a view to primarily improve our well-being, ensure improved economic stability, and woo back the fleeing investors. This is the way the government can avoid embarrassing rhapsody when citizens demand for their rights.
Also, the government should work hand in hand with business owners and technocrats as government is not run in isolation. A serious government is bound to leverage the pools of resources, particularly humans as our country is richly blessed with uncountable brains.
Insecurity is the bane of all problems. It comes in different ways; it can be of food, physical assault, life and much more. On the spate of insecurity in the state, Southern Kaduna is one of the areas worst hit. All hands must be on deck to put an end to the gruesome killings. Reprisal attacks are what escalate the massacre.
The federal government must, in this regard, deploy federal facilities to ensure security of lives and property of the people of Kaduna.
The issues of banditry, kidnapping. Insurgency and threat of secession are on the rise recently. Government need to look inward with a view to proffering lasting solution to all thses maladies taking Nigeria’s wheel of progress and development backward.
All lives matter. Muslims and Christians lives matter; nobody’s blood is worth being shed. We all have equal constitutional rights to security of life and property as egalitarian citizens of this great nation.
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Those who hide under the guise of ethnicity chauvinism are not only enemies of development, they are also prodigals who do not want to witness positive things happening in their fatherland. They are slaves to their whims and caprices, good-for-nothing set of people.
On Edo and Ondo Political Atmosphere
Sincerely, the atmosphere is becoming more tense in Edo and Ondo considering recent ugly events such as brutal clashes and so on. This has become a recurring decimal in the annals of Nigerian political journey. Political jingoism refuses to elude the system consequent upon the politicians’ greed and personal aggrandisement.
Anyways, thanks to the IG for deploring security operatives to Edo state ahead of the
gubernatorial election coming up on Saturday. This, hopefully, will help curb and curtail violence, rigging and eventual loss of life.
The crises being experienced in both Edo and Ondo usually characterise election times in Nigeria, particularly between the ruling and the opposition parties. Everybody wants to rule, even at the expense of the electorates themselves.
Advising Parents, Dr Osunleke advocated for personal responsibility. He said, ” the situation at hand calls for personal responsibility from the part of the parents. We owe our children the responsibility of guidance, being role model and confidant.
He equally admonished the youths to be futuristic in their approach and stop being myopic, emphasising that their future is not blank, as some perceive it. Rather, they should be more productive, resourceful and diligent, for the birth of the desired nation to come to reality.
No doubt, Nigeria and Nigerians have gone through hell during the period of lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. But be that as it may, every disappointment has hidden blessings. The COVID-19 has come to teach us so many things, namely, we can protect ourselves if we so desire, limited resources can be managed within a given period of time, and unity in diversity is not a mirage, and so on.
We should all, as Nigerians, uphold the COVID-19 protocols to remain safe. Thank you for having me.
Dr Ajiboye Shuaib Osunleke is the current Ag. Head of Department of Chemical Engineering.
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