How 1999 constitution retards growth of varsities, others, by Soludo

An often ignored but no less important trajectory, between the extent to which universities could fulfill their obligations and the contradictions in the country’s constitution, was recently exhumed by former Governor of the Central Bank, Prof. Charles Soludo. While he agreed that over “60 per cent of university graduates are unemployable,” Soludo also insisted that the current nature of Nigeria’s constitution does not give room for the emergence of the best minds that could change the country’s destiny.

Speaking on the theme: “The University, Citizenship and National Development in Nigeria” at the American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yola, Adamawa state, Soludo insisted that the present constitution also encourages citizens to plunder the country’s resources, rather than boost or replenish them. He reasoned that for national development to take place, there must be a nation and citizens burning with nationalism. Even the most development conscious university system, he noted, would make little impact without the two indices “because not many countries in the world have developed or been transformed without a strong sense of citizenship and nationalism shared by at least, a majority of its citizens.”

Soludo observed that aside from members of the Nigerian armed forces who are duty bound, not many Nigerians would ordinarily be prepared to lay down their lives for their country.
He said: “We wonder how far and how fast Nigeria can develop if our constitution and legal system have created a country as a geographical space where ethnic nationalities will perpetually be in conflict for a diminishing national cake rather than a theatre of collective destiny and opportunity.”

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