Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
Students who graduated from Bowen University at the 2020 15th convocation were given some tips that could guarantee career success, sustainable living and responsible lifestyle to be able to fit properly into the society.
Significant among the tips was the need for them to explore, exploit and maximise the potentialities, skills, talents and knowledge that their access to the Bowen University high-quality education standard had bequeathed on them.
The Chancellor, Dr MA Abodunrin, who urged them never to be carried away by enticing stories and rumours of success opportunities abroad, however, advised them to “sit down and calm down first, then pray and look for opportunities which are also possible in this country because only God’s divine guidance could determine where one’s blessings could be located.
“Sit down, calm down and pray first. Then put on your thinking cap for strategies. Don’t seek to rush out. Like Moses in Exodus 4:2 who used his rod to cross the Red Sea, you have your rod (knowledge and skill) in your hand. Use it well and go productive,” he said.
He added: Jesus used two fishes and five loaves of bread to feed 5,000 men and there was a leftover. Use what you have to achieve what you want. Set your goals and determine your values. You can set values in entrepreneur or politics. At 40, I can be an employer of labour is a good value. With such values, you can go to places in life,” he added.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joshua Ogunwole, said: “Endeavour to steadily pursue your dreams even in the face of challenges and despair.”
“Creatively think your way out of whatever challenges you are faced with in your endeavours.
“Look back to the COVID-19 challenges and reflect on how Bowen University creatively survived the challenges. You can also apply such creativity and overcome any challenge you are faced with,” he said.
The President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Visitor to the university, Dr Samson Ayorinde, who delivered the convocation sermon on the topic: “Prepare to Silence the Uncircumcised Philistine” also urged the graduating students to be bold and dogged in their efforts to realise their dreams in any prevailing circumstance as David, being a youth, defeated Goliath in his determination to rescue the Israelites from the Philistine intimidation and humiliation.
“Don’t give up in your struggles. Think deep and develop a way out of any challenge you are faced with. Prepare for battles and fight squarely to be able to subdue intimidating situations as David did. Prevail by faith and don’t be discouraged by cynics just as Saul discouraged David before the battle against Goliath. Confess positively about your future because there is power in the tongue. It was what David confessed that he possessed,” he stressed.
Former Minister for Finance, Dr Ngozi Iweala, who was conferred with an honorary degree of Doctor of Science and Technology unveiled some post-COVID-19 opportunities while delivering the convocation lecture.
The economic expert tasked African countries’ leaders to maximise the economic opportunities that the COVID-19 pandemic had thrown up in the economic firmament to rebuild the continent’s economy.
While lamenting that the COVID-19 had exposed the weaknesses of the Black continent’s economy, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General-designate called on African countries’ leaders to diversify their economies through industrialisation, manufacturing and increased productivity to stimulate employment opportunities for the youth population.
Iweala also called for the digitisation of the economy and online businesses and called on the government to prioritise micro, medium and small scale enterprises.
She also urged the leaders to encourage growth in the creative and entertainment industry as well as the Information Technology (IT) where the youth populace could exploit their talents and overcome the unemployment challenge for a sustainable living.
“COVID-19 has highlighted the existing structural and institutional weaknesses of Africa’s economy but it has also cast light on existing opportunities and opened up new ones. Africa must seize all these factors to fashion its economy and build it with more resilience,” Iweala said.