The Ebonyi State Overseas Scholars’ Association (EBSOSA), has called on Nigeria to move towards knowledge based economy where the best brains are appointed into the critical sectors based on merit. The president, Dr Francis Onwe who made the call on Saturday during the award of excellence ceremony held at the International Conference Centre frowned at the rate at which despite having one of the best brains in the world, Nigeria has remained poor.
Dr Onwe who is also a consultant community health physician advised that ‘the era of appointment for political compensation and recycling of people in government should be avoided’. The consultant noted that Nigeria’s reliance on oil economy has done more harm than good to the country. He advised the leadership of state governments across Nigeria, particularly Ebonyi State to embrace industrialisation, warning that ‘very soon there will be zero oil economy with no federal monthly allocation’.
Onwe advocated for the ‘urgent establishment of three cement industries, one in each senatorial zone under a private- public partnership’. This, the consultant said would only help to mitigate the damage already done to the economy.
Declaring the event open, Prof Chuka Abara enjoined the universities in Nigeria to be producing for the industries and not for the industries to be producing for the universities. The don said that the investment into the educational sector should be taken seriously to avoid the current situation where education is relegated to the background.
In his remarks, the founder of the HiPACT programme on which Ebonyi indigenes benefited from Overseas scholarship, ‘Uncle’ Sam Agha Egwu frowned at the way some of the awardees failed to honour the invitation and said it speaks a lot about the priorities of the state. He commended the leadership of EBSOSA, calling the association a seed that has germinated into a big tree.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of award of excellence to eminent personalities who have distinguished themselves in human empowerment and other areas of endeavour. Some of the awardees include beneficiaries of Hi-PACT, Dr Nnanna Igwe and Prof Afam Icha-Ituma, the Vice Chancellor, Coal City University, Enugu all of who pledged to remain supportive of the association’s scholarship trust fund.