Ex- LASU VC Says Nigeria Can Surmount Challenges with Strong Political Will

Funmi Ogundare 

The immediate past Vice-Chancellor of Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, has expressed optimism that with strong political will, national pride and belief, Nigeria can ride over its challenges and explore them to make lives more meaningful for people across strata.

Fagbohun, a Professor of Environmental Law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, shared these perspectives recently at the 21st annual public lecture and luncheon, organised by the Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates’ Association (UNIFEMGA), Lagos Chapter.

He stated that the country can achieve a true rebirth and become a force to be reckoned with again in the global space, despite the current humongous socio-economic challenges which Nigerians are grappling with. 

“Nigeria’s problems are more systemic and attitudinal of people in charge of resources, especially in political governance over the years than the much-touted scarce resources.

He said it is disheartening that many countries, which at one time or the other, equally experienced similar or worse scenarios in their political and socio-economic lives, ranging from colonialism, military incursion, poor educational policies, high unemployment, poor infrastructure, and even economic recession like Nigeria and endowed with less human and material resources had since been able to wriggle out of their crises, while the country sinks deeper in its own mess.

He cited countries such as Dubai, Singapore, South Korea, and China, saying those countries were once enmeshed in a serious economic crisis, but today, they are ranked high in the global economy.

This yeat’s lecture held in honour of two prominent alumni of the university, Justice Habeeb Abiru and Prof. Yusuf Ali, and had many other high profile alumni of the institution including the Managing Director of Lotus Bank, Mrs. Kafilat Araoye, and UNIFEMGA’s Board Chairman, Mr. Abdul Rafiu Ebiti, in attendance.

Speaking on a theme: ‘Harnessing Opportunities for a new Nigeria’, the don highlighted six fundamental issues that Nigeria would need to effectively work on to bring about the desirable change in its narrative.

They include deficient federalism, weak judicial system, insecurity, non effective educational system, poor electricity and lack of transparency and accountability, particularly by the political leaders.

He recommended that Nigeria should, among other things, leverage aggressively on some areas of economic activities where it has a comparative advantage and can also tap into some others.

In his remarks, the Chairman of UNIFEMGA, Lagos Chapter, Mr. Saheed Bashiru, said the association has the objectives of advancing the socio- economic interests of members, and promoting the development of their alma mater, quality education and national development.

“The public lecture has been adopted as a flagship programme by the Lagos Chapter of the association to bring together people across walks of life to discuss topical and pressing issues that can help move the country and its people forward.

He thanked Prof. Fagbogun, who is also an alumnus of the university, for accepting to perform the role, while calling for the support of the association particularly in the area of its scholarship scheme to enable it to reach more deserving students.

“The testimonies from the past beneficiaries of the scheme are not only tremendous but also encouraging,” Bashiru stated.

Related Articles