CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS AT THE 2016 ANNUAL NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE SCHOOL OF SCIENCES, ADEYEMI COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, ONDO HELD AT THE OBANGAWAN GRACE EKONG LECTURE THEATER ON TUESDAY 8TH NOVEMBER, 2016.
The Provost, Adeyemi College of Education,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am glad to be with you at this opening ceremony of the 2016 annual conference of the school of Science (ANCOSOS) of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo. My task is simple- to ensure a smooth take off of the 2016 conference, and I am poised exactly to do9 this with your cooperation. The 2016 conference Theme- “Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Sciences and Technology Education for a Diversified Economy” is most apt for the times we live in, in our present day Nigeria and I congratulate the organizers of the conference for being sensitive to our situation. I will not bore you with any long address neither will I attempt to preempt our eminent lead paper and keynote address presenters.
Nigeria as a developing populous nation is confronted with myriad of challenges such as infrastructures, problems of production to meet our needs in technology, energy, agriculture etc. There are problems of the environment and global warming which remain in the front burner of national and international discourse.
To compound all these, Nigeria lacks strong democratic structures and institutions, just as we are plagued with the absence of maintenance culture norms, and societal ethos. Above myriad of challenges are in dimensions that native intelligence and old ways of doing things can no longer apply. We cannot afford to do things in the conventional ways we are used to.
Ladies and gentlemen, in order to join the league of democratic, developed nations, we need to diversify our one-line economy-hence the importance of this 2016 Conference theme.
Our educational curriculum should enhance creativity and entrepreneurship. We cannot all depend on white collar jobs at this material time. Let us not insist any longer that our children should be well certified but rather that they should be well educated.
Mr. Provost distinguished ladies and gentlemen, here then is my proposal: perhaps, ANCOSOS can take a giant leap this year by progressing from an annual talk shop into something practical using this 2016 Theme to institute an Annual Young Entrepreneur Award of Make Your Pitch competition across Ondo State.
As I wind up this address, let me illustrate my proposal above with the fascinating story of a Nigeria- George Oni.
The parents of George-George Snr and Kemi Oni are close family friends. George Snr. Died about 4years ago.
George Oni Jnr is a 20 year old Nigerian based in Canada as a student, and a young entrepreneur. Born in 1996 in Lagos, he attended Home Science School Ikoyi and Corona School Ikoyi for his primary education. George left Nigeria in January 2013 for Canada in furtherance of his education three months after his father died. At age 17, while in High school, barely 5months after his arrival in Canada from Nigeria to study, he won the 2013 annual Young Entrepreneur Award of Make Your Pitch Competition Across Onatorio, Canada. He is the innovator of the World’s First Premium Interchangeable and Customizable Backpacks. At age 18, he founded Kemis Supply Company (KSC) (note that Kemies is formed from his mother’s name- Kemi) - KSC is the Maker of the world’s First Premium Interchangeable and Customizable Backpacks.
Make Your Pitch is a competition hosted by government of Onatorio’s Ministry of Trade and Economic Development in partnership with the Onatorio Centre of Excellence (OCE) where the competition took place. The OCE hosts an annual conference where the best innovations and technology across the country is displayed. The guest speaker at discovery was Silicon Valley’s very own Peter Diamandis, who is the chairman and CEO of the X Price Foundation and Singularity University. On the 28th of May 2013 the day of the award, among the dignitaries at Onatorio Centre of Excellence (OCE) was the Premiere of Onatorio, Premiere Kathlyn Wynne, the Minister of Trade and Economic Development- Eric Hoskins, High government officials and Captains of Industries both within and outside Canada as well as Kemi the mother of young George.
Winning Make Your Pitch Competition gave young George a reserved spot on the Province summer company flagship programme. In the summer company programme, he was given a grant to kick start his business talent. The World’s First Premium and Interchangeable and Customizable backpacks was launched and successfully funded.
The goal of the Kemies Interchangeable and Customizable backpack is to change the backpack of company for kids, teens, youths, and individuals in general to express themselves through their backpacks, tote bags, sports bags, gym bags and laptop bags. What a success story! We can similarly create entrepreneurial opportunity for our young ones using this example of Onatorio as a model to contribute to the economic growth of Nigeria.
Gladly the Federal government of Nigeria on 12th August 2015 at the Villa appropriately recognized the entrepreneurial feat of young George. He was a special guest at the UN 2015 INTERNATIONAL YOUTH DAY where he was given an Award of Excellence by His Excellency president Muhammadu Buhari, President and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, accompanied by his proud mother as African representative of Kemies. Also, he has since been featured in many Media outlets with his quotes posted for inspiration.
Young George has gone further by the launching of the NIGERIAFY PORTAL, a portal that connects Nigeria Youth Innovators to the World, and a veritable source of youth empowerment. The launching was done by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development in collaboration with The George Oni Youth Empowerment initiative on the 21st of April 2016 at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja.
The modalities for this competition as proposed by me here can be put together by a small committee to be set up by ANCOSOS targeting 2017 conference.
I am done with my address. I thank you all for your attention.
Senator Bode Olajumoke LL.M, PhD, LL.D, B.L