By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA-As part of the activities marking his 50th birthday, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has said he would soon set up endowment chairs in some institutions of higher learning in Nigeria for the youth to contribute to their development.
He also charged various institutions to impact quality education on their students, saying that the search for quality leadership in Nigeria must begin in the classroom.
Dogara made the disclosure when he received a delegation from the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, led by the Vice Chancellor Professor Mohammad Mainoma, who paid him an appreciation visit in the National Assembly.
He said: “Granted the value of education and what it has done for me in my own life, I’m planning to endow some chairs across the country on account of my 50th birthday. And I will do that to give back to the institution that has really helped me in life and shaped who I am, removed all the ruffages and polished me into who I am today so that they can bring in other young ones and so it is an investment in other young people”.
The speaker who decried lack of quality education in Africa that would culminate to tge development of the continent also said that time has come to deliberately shape leaders for that role from the classrooms.
He said, “We are beneficiaries of education and anyone who invests in education, is investing in the future. Not just investment in education, but qualitative education. Strength now has moved from whatever resources you have buried beneath the earth to what you have buried in your brain. Even the manpower you have, if it is not trained, it will decay. And that is why in this nation, we shouldn’t play with education.
“This search for leadership cannot just begin from nowhere, it must begin from somewhere and I believe it must begin from the inner recesses of classrooms. That is where you mould character and that is why the job you do is very important.
“All the nations that have made progress long realised that it is not everyone you put in leadership and hope to make progress.
“It is not just every grain that you plant and expect to have bumper harvest. Farmers have learnt this, that you pick what is known as seeds and separate them, and when it comes to planting, you use the seeds and not just any grain you pick from the ground.
That is one thing we have not done very well in Africa and we will rely in our institutions to produce seeds that we can plant into leadership that will lead us to the future. Except we do that, we will continue to search for leadership that will elude us because progress is not automatic”, Dogara said.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of Nasarawa State University, Professor Mohammad Mainoma, said they embarked on the visit in appreciation of the Speaker’s contribution to development of democracy and youth, saying he has been a motivation to youths to aspire for the highest goals.
It will be recalled that Dogara had on December 11, 2017, delivered a public at the state University on deepening of democracy and the role of the legislature in Nigeria.