Recently, all roads led to the ancient city of Osogbo, the Osun State capital, where Dr. Akin Ogunbiyi, the group chairman, Mutual Benefit Group, launched his foundation. The traffic jam caused by the crowd that thronged the venue of the event was the first sign that history was being made.
The Akin Ogunbiyi Foundation was set up by Ogunbiyi, who is renowned for supporting students with scholarship awards both within and outside the country. The foundation, through its cardinal points, health, education, empowerment, leadership and poverty alleviation, seeks the growth and progress of every Nigerian in addressing the root cause of poverty.
At the launch of the foundation, leading professionals in the nation’s education sector lauded President Muhammadu Buhari on the setting up of the Economic Advisory Council, stating that it was the first step in moving the country forward.
The keynote speaker at the launch, former vice chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Michael Faborede, noted that, “Without a well-coordinated inter-sectoral economic planning that provides targeted financing for government priority programmes, backed with necessary political will by both the executive and legislative arms of government all the lofty plans will not yield the desired outcomes.
“We cannot divorce even the best technically sound initiatives from the ambience of the overall economic operating environment, favourable and strong political will, bolstered by informed and transformational cross-sectorial coordination of the economy. This is why we applaud the setting up of the new Economic Advisory Council by the Presidency.
“Leaders within the Nigerian educational system must provide leadership for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and partner with the private sector and Non-Governmental Organizations like The Akin Ogunbiyi Foundation in ensuring that Nigeria moves from a developing nation to a developed nation like China, Korea and others.”
Corroborating the keynote speaker, one of the panelists and founder of Centre for Values in Leadership, Professor Pat Utomi, also noted that the most important part of educating youngsters was the primary and secondary levels: “There are many technological companies disrupting the ecosystem whose founder never attended a university. If children are effectively trained at the primary and secondary level, the nation will experience experiential growth and development.”