Educated in the best schools in Accra Ghana, a Port Harcourt man himself, having “cut his judicial teeth in the city of lights as first from any part of the North to be posted Resident Revenue Court Judge in 1974 for the Eastern Region and stationed in Port Harcourt,” expressed disappointment at the low level of attendance, but urged those present to spread the message that outside politics and the Church or Mosque, you can use education, ideas and enlightenment to change one person at a time. There is great joy in service to God and to humanity. Inspire confidence in our people to imbibe them with the can – do spirit of doing things to change our country for the better. He was speaking as Chairman in opening remarks, at the launching of a book entitled Values Education, reviewed by Prof. Edwin Madunagu of the University of Calabar. The launch of the book, Values Education and National Development (Eds. U.M. Ivowi, A.K. Orubite and William Wodi, ISBN 97897892927697, 388pp) formed part of the Opening Ceremony of the 4th National Conference of the Foundation in collaboration with the Nigerian Academy of Education (currently led by Prof. Ivowi) and the National Teachers’ Registration Council. The theme of this year’s confab is “Sectoral Professional Values: Implications for National Development,” was jointly organized by the Woji Road GRA Port Harcourt – based Otonti Nduka Foundation for Values Education and the Nigerian Education Academy (NAE) with active support from the Jabi FCT – based Headquarters of the Teachers’ Registration of Nigeria (TRCN) currently headed by Prof. Addison Wokocha, its Registrar.
Retired Justice Mustapha Akanbi, CRF said that he left service before the mandatory age of 70 and established a school and a Mustapha Akanbi Foundation in his home in Ilorin, which targets Human Empowerment and Education, Anti-Corruption and Good Governance, which is a common ground between the two Foundations, said he was therefore eminently qualified and felt highly honoured to be asked to chair the occasion.
He noted that there is need for great courage to fight corruption, and that Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) need to keep educating and enlightening the public, even while ensuring that cases of theft and public life corruption are not allowed to be swept under the carpet, to ensure the enforcement of the ICPC Act to continue to “catch unrepentant criminals”.
Keynote address presenter at the opening of the 2-day event, the Director-General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), DR. Umar B. Bindir, raised many salient questions, such as “Where is the Nigerian product? When is the meeting between the Ivory Tower and the market place?
He told the audience: “If we keep doing the same things in the same way we have in the last 50 years, we will get nowhere! Over one hundred million Nigerians are extremely poor. This is like 60 to 60 per cent poverty ratio. Yet imagine if you were to do a promo sending N100 daily to 100 million Nigerians and imagine what a money-spinner business you have just started. Or make available to just10 million Nigerians sweetened garri in neat packages for distribution at N100 each gives you a cool N1trillion business in one year!”
Bindir recommends Viable Knowledge Economy, good schools, good teachers as well good research amounting to tangible intellectual property; moving knowledge from the informal to formal science and research plus innovation from the ivory tower to the market place, through industry and increased Research and Development Investment (R&D I).”
He said Nigeria and Nigerians need to be innovative and proactive, “beware and learn, but do not copy blindly.” The Product, Process and Management hierarchy must be followed, he stressed, while Technology Parks are the ultimate as we brace the One Nigeria of tomorrow together today, by these multilane roads and highways and begin to create five or six mega cities anytime from 2013 to 2015.
The NOTAP boss believes we can still make the desired Transformation Agenda and hit the 20:2020 target of being among the worlds, if we graduate the goals by the years, spelling out our 2013, 2014 and 2015 timeline-delineated targets as we move towards the 2020 date which is less than 8 years away.
An Ikwerre son and fellow constituent of Prof. Nduka, former Governor of Rivers State for five months, Sir Celestine Umehia, who donated N200, 000 to the book presentation, noted that Nigeria has all the finest ideas and blueprints including scientific and technological, but that implementation non-release of funds remain the bane of our development efforts.
Quantity Surveyor and Estate Valuer currently representing Obio Akpor Constituency 2 in the Rivers state House of Assembly, Hon. Mike Chinda, Ksc, JP was Chief Launcher at the occasion. Arguing that no amount was too small or too big to give to the laudable efforts, donated N10 million “to the significant effort and in appreciation of the contributions of his constituent, Prof. Nduka (FNAE), who we all regard as our father and grandfather who nurtured education and educationists in Nigeria until he became professor and in retirement as Professor Emeritus of Educational Psychology, has remained in the vanguard of promoting and developing education in Ikwerre land in particular and Nigeria in general through the work of the Otonti Nduka Foundation for Values Education.”
The conference holding at the Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers, ends Wednesday November 28, 2012.