FORMER governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, has urged tertiary institutions nationwide to remain steadfast in providing quality education for students at all levels because investment in knowledge yields the greatest interest.
Obi made the charge at the 25th anniversary celebration of the Students’ Union Government (SUG), Federal College of Education (Technical) Umunze, Anambra, as he noted that a high literacy level would create a knowledge economy, which would drive change in the process of development.
The Chief Executive Officer, Orient Group of Companies, Mr Godwin Ezeemo, who delivered the keynote address, urged youths to concentrate on the issues that would enable them erect a bright future for themselves.
At the event, chaired by the Chairman, Orumba South Council, Hon Raymond Onyegu, Obi, who was the special guest of honour, stressed the need for increased access to formal education for Nigerians, irrespective of gender or economic status.
He reminded the students that as leaders of tomorrow, they should not waste their potential in frivolous pursuits but channel their energy to programmes that would enhance their contributions to national development.
The first female professor of Mass Communication and Dean of Social Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof Chinyere Stella Okunna, who represented Obi, described education as the best legacy for a child.
She commended the management of the FCET Umunze for providing facilities and quality teaching that have impacted positively on large number of students as she frowned at the retrogressive tradition of subjecting young girls to early marriage or hawking wares on the streets during school hours.
According to her, access has been widened for the education of the girl child through Colleges of Education, and urged parents not to deny their children the right to education.
In his keynote address, Ezeemo stated: “The society in which we live needs youths who are determined to pursue a life of excellence and be able to build a good future and a sustainable legacy for themselves, their children and generation yet unborn.
“Crime, peer pressure, parent’s failure and corruption are the simplest diseases that have made a lot of youths to become useless today. I encourage you to shun them all and be the best among equals, so that tomorrow, you will have a testimony for your children and the society at large.”
The Provost, Dr Tessy Okoli, commended the SUG for peaceful union activities and promised the support of the Management to issues that would enhance the welfare of students.
She said the College would continue to invest on critical infrastructure that would enhance the quality of education and equip students with the competence required of them.
The deputy provost, Dr Christopher Ugwuogo, who represented the Provost urged the students to renew their commitment to the pursuit of academic excellence and remain shining ambassadors of the College.
The SUG President, Comrade Ezeabayi Stanley, said the anniversary offered them the opportunity to honour past SUG presidents and canvas support for the building of a befitting Students Union Secretariat.