“Meritocracy is crucial in an economically viable value system because it rewards talent and enterprise. And it is talent and enterprise that would drive sustainable growth,” Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo.
I will simply add: Mr. Vice President, make this happen. It is five years now and we are still waiting for you on this matter. We know the problems – and we desperately want solutions.
Nigeria’s desire and pursuit of economic growth and sustainable development is best achieved through the adoption of merit as a national value, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The Vice President made the remarks in a keynote address delivered at the Nigeria Leadership Initiative (NLI) webinar series themed: “A National Conversation on Rebuilding our National Values System”.
“Meritocracy is crucial in an economically viable value system because it rewards talent and enterprise. And it is talent and enterprise that would drive sustainable growth,” Mr Osinbajo affirmed.
Stressing the point about the importance of merit to sustainable growth, the vice president said, “Economic growth rests upon the substructure of values. The basis of the entire credit system as we know it, is trust. Indeed, the word credit is derived from the Latin word “credere” —to believe or to trust. For a credit facility to be extended to a person, trust is placed in the borrower and his or her willingness and ability to repay.
A young lady reported here how she made a First Class in a university in the South South region of our nation but because she came from the South West, the school bypassed her and gave the graduate assistantship job to someone who finished below her. How do we expect her to believe in Nigeria that we are fair? But her case is not isolated. From how we choose leaders in schools and offer opportunities to our young people, Nigeria is running a dangerous playbook.
I wrote a few days ago, noting that the indigenization of key positions in federal universities in Nigeria is the new order. Yes, being a Yoruba man is not enough in UI; it has to be an Ibadan man. Being an Igbo man does not cut it in UNN, he must be an Nsukka man. And being an Hausa Fulani cannot qualify unless the man is from Zaria for ABU. Too bad that I am using “man” because yes, in nearly 99% of these races, our female professors are overly marginalized.
To make her believe, Mr. Vice President has an obligation to begin to change this evil through policies over just giving speeches. He might have enjoyed a fair merit-based system in his time. I did while in FUTO. We need to fix this lack of merit in the Nigerian system, urgently; now is the time for action.