By Oghenefego Obaebor
FORMER Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Youths and Executive Vice-President, Dr. Tunji Olaopa, has said that rather than just teaching undergraduates basic curriculum, institutions of higher learning should engage in motivational talks and programmes which seek to expose students to probable real life challenges that precede success.
Speaking at the Caleb University distinguished lecture series on Harnessing Business Opportunities for National Development, Olaopa said that hardwork, moral and the need for delayed gratification should be enforced in schools.
According to him, apart from the school, institutions such as the church and mosque should deemphasise prosperity and miracle while teaching youths and lay more emphasis on morals and hardwork before success. “Youths have to learn the act of squeezing water out of stone which means doing the unusual in order to break grounds,” he said.
While lamenting that the country does not recognise merit, he urged teachers to maintain continuous teaching of merit, adding that merit and hardwork pay at last.
He said: “Teachers should talk to students on hardwork because Nigeria does not recognise merit. In Nigeria, it is the third best that occupies the most valuable positions. It is the message that the market communicates that determines the character of the people.
“Those who think hardworking students are stupid, those who laugh at students who spend most of their time reading, will regret it later in life when they see them being successful. In the end, these are the people that get the best jobs and occupy positions of value in the society.”
He noted that there is value in stamina when the road becomes rough.
Meanwhile, in his lecture, he charged the government to create enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the country. He said: “It is not enough for students to be taught business, government and the society must create an environment for business to thrive.
“Government must continuously look at the gaps between the rich and the poor, between the literate and the illiterate, between the have and the have not. It is critical if you don’t have the orientation before you graduate.”
‘’Government must do more to facilitate capital,they must provide technical services for starters and support them in all areas. That is what other nations like India are doing. They create an enabling environment for their citizen to do business. Their government make their people go through competitive materials, be selected and exempted from tax until they grow. That is how most of these brands emerge.