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Ex AG, VC, others, solicit for more credible leaders in Nigeria’s political seats

In a friendly and educative discussion, former minister of justice and attorney general of the federation, Bayo Ojo, alongside the vice-chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe and other stakeholders have made a strong case for quality leaders to emerge in order to ensure a transformation in the socio-economic landscape of Africa’s biggest economy.

They said this at the Arthur Mbanefo Lecture Series, recently organised at the Arthur Mbanefo Digital Research Centre (AMDRC), University of Lagos (UNILAG). The lecture series, which happens to be the second of many others to come, was themed ‘Reinforcing and Safeguarding a sustainable union.’

Acknowledging the various security challenges facing Nigeria, Bayo Ojo who was also the guest lecturer at the event said Nigeria must come up with creative ways to maintain peace and strengthen the unity among Nigeria’s 200 million citizens.

He advised the government to build effective public institutions for service delivery, ensure social justice and entrench a culture of the rule of law.

“Nigerians need to not only change our attitude as citizens, we need to also re-evaluate our value system,” Ojo said at the event.

He added, “We can make the country work for all of us by strengthening the factors that unite us as a nation.”

According to Ojo, “Nigeria needs to improve social infrastructure, entrenched interstate relationships, and promote events that provide national stability.”

The former attorney general of the federation believes Nigeria would have achieved more if the country had successful leaders, years after independence.

Commenting on Arthur Mbanefo, Ojo noted, “The Odu that I know is a great man with a cosmopolitan and broad worldview. To him, religion and other pedestrian considerations take a back seat in his relationship with people. He is a liberal, generous, selfless, honest and dependable mentor, role model, friend, business associate and ally that anyone can ever ask for. One not to ever abandon his friends.”

Bryant Orjiako, the chairman of SEPLAT, an independent oil and gas company listed on the London and Nigerian stock exchanges, acknowledged Nigeria cannot have more quality leaders without more investments in the country’s educational system.

“In this era of computer age, digital transformation is the main driver in creating job employment,” Orjiako said.

In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos Bayo Ojo said nation-building is about nurturing good leaders through Nigeria’s educational system which must have good research institutions.

“Despite the COVID 19 pandemic, UNILAG was able to attract a research grant of over N12 billion in 2020,” Ogundipe said.

He reiterated that the government alone cannot fund university education in Nigeria.

“We will continue to make use of every resource we have and make sure this university is still the first choice among federal universities,” Ogundipe said at the research institution.

The Arthur Mbanefo Digital Research Centre, a research and learning hub located on Tafawa Balewa Way beside the University of Lagos’s Medical Centre is driving new initiatives in digital facilities to support advanced research and post-graduate studies in Africa’s biggest economy.

According to a statement seen by BusinessDay, the objective of the organisation is to encourage research collaboration and provide opportunities for discussion and dissemination of research findings.

The organisation aims to be a world-class centre of academic research and excellence, while also generating funds for the management of E-Library research concerns and general sustenance.

The Centre is headed by Taiwo Ipaye, as director, and she is assisted by the administrative staff of the University of Lagos.

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