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Children’s Day: Students demand qualitative education, infrastructure

Some of the students at the event.

By Dayo Adesulu
Teenagers in various secondary schools in Lagos recently stormed Afe Babalola Hall, University of Lagos (UNILAG) to expressed their minds on some burning national issues that are negatively affecting them as the future leaders of the country, especially as they celebrate the Children’s Day today and as the nation looks forward to celebrating her golden jubilee independence day comes October this year.

Speaking at the “Youth Dynamix Nigeria” a global youth consulting firm programme titled: “Teenspeak” being sponsored by Governor Babatunde Fashola, the Managing Director of the organization, Mrs. Funke Babatola urged the leaders and the lead of our country to heed to the views of the students which are nationally relevant.

The students asserted that the key areas in the sector that need urgent attention as Nigeria turns 50 include: provision of adequate electricity supply, qualitative education for massive youths seeking admissions yearly, basic infrastructure at local, state and  federal level and diversification of our basic source of national income from crude oil to agriculture.

The teenagers unanimously said that the present situation in the country is bad, adding that almost everyone is responsible for the economic and moral decadence rocking the system. David Nnamdi from Wesley College maintained that, if President Goodluck Jonathan could just tackle the problem of electricity within the time limit he has in Aso-Rock, this generation and the ones unborn will remember him for that remarkable achievement.

According to him, Ghana, Nigeria’s neighbouring country celebrated two years uninterrupted power supply while in Nigeria we cannot boast of two hours uninterrupted power as generators have replaced constant power supply. The lad noted that the implication of constant use of generator is that, it leads to environmental pollution which is hazardous to human health and also cause fire outbreak at the slightest mistake. “At night, it is noisy everywhere, he said.”

Chinyere Akwe from Aquinas Private College and Deborah in their views insisted that we cannot continue to be depending on crude oil as the major source of our national income, stressing that in Nigeria, we have more consumers than producers. Deborah maintained that at school, they were thought that agriculture is a viable means of national income, but in practical sense the leaders of this country are not interested in it.

“We have good laws and policies but lack implementation as our leaders are building on faulty foundation, Deborah said.” The youths reiterated that the leadership positions in Nigeria are full of old people who can not work; saying that young people should be given the chance to govern the country.

Comfort Oluwafunmito Kehinde, “May Day College” affirmed that if teachers are well paid, they will not collect bribe from parents to award marks to students or give them special attention. She ascribed the reasons for giving teachers bribe to the fear that their children might fail, forgotten that a child is not a failure when he fails but a failure when he fails and refused to try again.

“Some parents want their children to be ahead of other students in the class, hence they look for a way of making friends with teachers, said Comfort.”

Miss Shalom lamented the attitude of our politicians who give promises they never fulfill, pointing out that during elections, the people’s choice should govern this country. “Once a political office holder, be it governor or president has gone out of the way, we should vote him out of office, Shalom said.”  She also said that some leaders may not have the mind of corruption but are bound to be corrupted if they are surrounded with people of questionable characters.

Shalom amazingly cited the recent case of embattled Governor Babatunde Fashola who was taken to court in spites of his outstanding achievement in Lagos. “We all have to make a difference in this nation as it is observed that majority of Nigerians complain a lot.  One of the students maintained that our government should formulate policies that will make it compulsory  for every sector to have a cooperative society for the purpose of helping its members.

“It is unfair to keep saying evil things about Nigeria, as there are many opportunities in this country, the youths maintained.” According to them, the opportunities in our country include: tourism, agriculture, especially in cassava, cocoa and palm oil as statistics revealed that Nigeria produces greater percentage of cassava relatively every year.

Others include; good weather, as it was observed that Nigerian climate is one of the best in the world. Besides, human resources are in abundance in Nigeria- we have great intellectuals, the likes of Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achibe, Philip Emeagweli to mention a few that are internationally recognised.


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