Managing Director of the Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, DESOPADEC Bashorun Askia Ogieh, has cited what he described as the disjointed nature of the Nigeria federation as the reason the country is experiencing stunted growth.
The DESOPADEC boss made the disclosure on Thursday while speaking as a guest at the maiden matriculation ceremony of students at the Irri campus of the Niger Delta University, Isoko South council area of Delta State.
He also cautioned the matriculants not to fall for the temptations of quick wealth amidst the high level of unemployment in the country.
Bashorun Askia who was represented by his executive assistant, Mrs. Dick-Duvwarovwo Anthonette, also lamented the inability of states in the country to be more creative in harnessing their resources, noting that one of the prime reasons for the stunted growth in Nigeria is the disjointed nature of the Nigeria federation which has stifled the potential of states to be more creative and entrepreneurial in harnessing their resources.
He said: “You must take interest in how our country is run and be part of the dialogue towards building a more perfect federation that provides the ambience for the younger generation to actualise their dream.”
In his advice to the students, he said: “please be aware that education comes before wealth. You are privileged today to have been admitted to this prestigious institution. Your focus should therefore be strictly on your education. To achieve educational success, you must strive to shun all forms of social vices.
“I know there is a high and still growing level of unemployment among our well educated young men and women. To some people, this is enough motivation to opt for the path to quick fix in the quest for wealth. You must not fall to this temptation.”
Speaking further, he said: “Drugs should be your enemy at all times. Don’t use your internet access for criminal activities that could truncate your education prematurely. Betting is addictive, please don’t use the little money your parents are able to give you on betting games. It can ruin your education.
“I advise you to imitate the paths of your lecturers, following their footsteps and embracing self-discipline, so that you may achieve your ultimate goal of graduating with flying colours. Eschew all forms of mediocrity and aim to shoot for the moon so that even if you miss it, you may land among the stars.
“I am confident that the Niger Delta University will mold your character such that when you graduate, you will contribute meaningfully to the growth of our country while dominating excellently in your various fields. I congratulate your parents for striving to bring you to this stage of your lives. May their labours not be in vain.”