February 28, 20..
On Thursday, February 26, the presidential candidate of the APC was at the Chatham House, United Kingdom, on an invitation to discuss on “Prospects for Democratic Consolidation in Africa: Nigeria’s Transition.”
While the purpose and impact of his visit were widely reported, two other matters that made the news were the issue of a cross section of anti-Buhari Nigerian protesters not knowing why they were protesting; and the question of why our Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) (Nigerian equivalent of Chatham House) is not rather being used by our politicians and their representatives for their needed publicity.
It was rather unfortunate that some Nigerians in the UK went out on a protest without knowing why. Even if these young people were paid to do the protest, as alleged by some, they should have thought it important to prepare for what to tell the press in case they were approached to defend thier stand. While it is easy for many to criticize these people, it is, as a matter of fact, a fundamental problem in Nigeria.
The quality of education of a nation ultimately affect the reasoning capacity of its citizens. Our education system is designed to test students in examinations to determine whether or not they can be promoted or admitted. Because it is not targeted at our national development, it does not encourage creative and critical reasoning. Nigerians who have been to international conferences have dazed by how creative, selfless and critical young people (even teenagers) from developed countries think. Such skills are seldom thought at home. Their education - which also affect their social interactions - plays a vital role in this.
As regards the issue of exporting information meant for Nigerians abroad and having them sold back to us, the NIIA and local media houses may just not be there yet. A politician needs publicity, and NIIA or AIT will most likely not give him/her enough of it. However, it is still a result of Nigerians not believing in and promoting Nigeria, and of neocolonialism.
…the government now takes seriously the fact that education in itself is not the end, but a critical mean to the end of national development. Following the Abuja Conference of 2017, the national education curricula have been refocused mainly on advancement in Technology, Agriculture, Knowledge-based Exports, Services and Mineral Exploration.
In this new educational system, emphasis are being placed on practicals rather than theories. Even the theories are now being regularly challenged. For instance, it is mandatory that all examinations from secondary school level upwards give opportunity for students to critique any theory of their choice in order to get bonus marks.
The NIIA has become a true pride of Nigeria and indeed Africa following its strategy developed to discouraged brain drain. The strategy involves the monitoring of the top 20% of Nigerians who have relatives and connections abroad, and of 20% of best performers in every industry, to make sure they are assisted to develop and rise in their chosen endeavour. This, they do discreetly in conjunction with different government agencies - including the Directorate of State Service (DSS).
It is now a smart business choice for international media houses like CNN and BBC to do a coverage (sometimes by proxy) of any presentation in the NIIA that involves a Nigerian president or presidential candidate - since such presentations will have direct impact on global economy.
Monday, February 28, 2028
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