(Being an address delivered By Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso on the occasion of the Institution’s 12th Convocation Ceremony.)
"I am delighted to address this assembly for the first time since my investiture as the 4th chancellor of our university. When we assembled here for that memorable event exactly one year ago, many national and international personalities were among our guests.
We had the privilege of the eminent presence of General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), now the president-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. At the time, we could only hope and pray that all would be well with our dear country, Nigeria. Today, we are grateful to God because he has heard our cry and has answered our prayer for a better nation. It is, therefore, my privilege to welcome you all to this important occasion of the 12th Convocation Ceremony of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso.
Sweep of Change
As I congratulate the Governing Council, Management, Staff and Students of this university for carrying on the work of the university in the face of daunting challenges which the entire nation had to face in the recent past, I would also like to express my joy at seeing the broom of positive change sweeping across the entire nation. I particularly rejoice with the youth of our nation whose hope and prospects for a better future are now bright. Their welfare and development are sure to receive much needed attention through the enhanced and progressive policies of the new federal government.
I must, however, state that for us as a nation to experience the change we yearn for, we should all be prepared for a fundamental change in our individual disposition and attitude toward nation building. This change at a personal level will help fuel a national re-orientation that will affect all sectors including governance. We must share the responsibility for change.
Let us use this opportunity to dedicate ourselves to ensuring that the dividends of democracy reach all and sundry. This is the only way to build a secure future for the teeming population of our youth, a large percentage of who have had to go through harsh experiences of insecurity, unemployment and an uncertain future. A great opportunity is now being presented to us to re-define our identity as a nation and re-order our values and priorities. This responsibility is yours as well as mine.
The nation can no longer afford to pay lip service to the development of her youths. I strongly believe that this country is blessed with vibrant and talented citizens whose capabilities for nation building are yet to be tapped. We must all stand in concert and unity of purpose to build a secure future for our country by developing our youth.
Government and youth have mutual duties in this regard. You owe as much to the nation as the nation owes to you. In the past, government has not always honoured its role. You have now elected a government that will honour its duties.
On of Government’s primary duties is to provide you with an education in harmony with the demands of our political economy. We must educate you with skills required by the job market that you shall encounter and not for some abstract economy found only in textbooks.
Then government must spur the economic growth that promises jobs and opportunity to all of you.
A progressive government must turn its face from the austerity policies of the outgoing administration that tried to manage poverty, but not end it. Such policies serve only to deepen and prolong the hardship of the average person. Such policies would lock us in a room without hope or safe exit. We dare not go in.
In response to the downturn in private sector activity, a progressive government must exercise the creative boldness to generate economic growth, productive and equal opportunity. Under the circumstances that now confront us, government must use fiscal and monetary policy to enlarge the economic space by embarking on ambitious infrastructural development, housing and agricultural programs.
These programs will provide jobs directly. Moreover, the enhancement of our infrastructural base and sharpening of our productive capacity that results from these programs will initiate multiple rounds of job creation. This is how economic growth and employment are sustained over the long term.
This is what the APC manifesto pledged to you. This is what an APC government will seek to deliver.
You, the youth, must be willing partners in this mission of radical, structural change.
Through perseverance, strong determination and consistent search for knowledge, you must seek to excel for the betterment of your society. As you have gone through this institution, you must carry with you the evidence that the institution has gone through you.
It is necessary for me to call on you the graduates to contribute your fair quota to the development of our country. Remember, the university that produced you has a vision “to be a centre of academic excellence for the advancement of technology in meeting socio-cultural needs of the society”. The knowledge you have acquired in this university becomes meaningful only when applied in a way that impacts positively on the society."