From WOLE BALOGUN, Ado Ekiti
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Wole Olanipekun, has said the country can only overcome the challenge of corruption by declaring free education at all cadres.
He said the adoption of such policy by both Sweden and Singapore had resulted in accelerated socio-developmental growth.
Olanipekun said education remains the best weapon against social ills,
including corruption, and that the country’s approach in winning the war
will remain cosmetic until education is declared free for the youths.
The senior lawyer said this in Ikere Ekiti at the weekend during this year’s edition of Wole Olanipekun Scholarship Scheme, where over 100 students in secondary, tertiary and law schools received cheques to finance their education .
The lawyer, who said over 250 students of tertiary institutions have benefited from the scheme since 1996, added that he would continue to support indigent students to fulfil their dreams of greatness in life.
Also in his lecture on ‘Philanthropy and Education Debacle in Nigeria’, former Deputy Vice Chancellor, Ekiti State University, Prof Kunle Adegun, recommended that the scheme should transform into a foundation for it to outlive its founder and make better contributions to scholarship.
Olanipekun, represented by the principal of the scholarship board, Chief Ayodele Omotayo, said “It is indeed true that education brings light, freedom, and loosens chains, and it breeds good citizens.
“In my humble view, the first thing any government should do to nip corruption in the bud or reduce it to a minimal level is to give citizens free education at all levels and also strive to provide
employment opportunities for the youths.
“These are the things the least corrupt countries like Sweden and
Singapore are doing for their citizens. These countries are providing certainty for people in their old age and they are ensuring that they will not die unattended to, particularly in their areas of their welfare.
“In my mind, rather than sloganeering and offering rhetoric on fight against corruption, what we should do is to provide means by which our youths can enjoy free education from primary to the university level and also provide gainful employments after schools”, he advised.
He regretted that the country’s value had so much debased to the level that PhD holders now apply for a job of monthly pay of N50,000, describing the scenario as great impediment to the anti-graft war.