By Onome Oghenetega
The Rector of the Delta State Polytechnic, Otefe-Oghara, Professor Emmanuel Ufuophu-Biri, has cautioned Nigerian youths not to see education as a scam but a necessary key to sustainable success and development of any society.
Ufuophu-Biri warned youths to be wary of friends and associates who will lure from pursuing education, saying such persons have mortgaged their futures.
He stated this on Friday during the 21st Matriculation ceremony of the institution held at the Chief James Onanefe Ibori auditorium.
The Rector, a professor of Mass Communication and veteran journalist, warned students of the institution against social vices including immorality indecent dressing, cultism and examination malpractices.
While calling on students to focus on their studies, he said the institution is determined and committed to build a new generation of inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs that the state and country would be proud of.
Ufuophu-Biri congratulated the freshers, saying “I am glad to welcome you our next generation of innovators, inventors, creators, entrepreneurs and technocrats to this great Polytechnic as you matriculate today and become bona fide students. The popular saying is that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. That great journey has started today. I can tell you that education catapults the child of the poor man to a higher height of success than the inherited wealth of a rich man catapults his child to success.
“Education is the key to sustainable success. Don’t let anybody deceive you that education is a scam. Anybody telling you that education is a scam has mortgaged his or her future and that person is already consuming his or her future voraciously and foolishly right now. That person has failed the test of deferred gratification pattern. Don’t get close to such persons. You should therefore be grateful to your parents, guardians, lecturers, staff and Management of the Polytechnic for providing you the opportunity to be admitted to where you will be taught how to catch the fish and not to be fed only with the fish. Congratulations.”
“We stand in loco parentis to you our dear students. Therefore we advise you to avoid anything that is remotely or directly suggestive of deviance, immorality, crime, or breach of your matriculation oath. Therefore, avoid hard drugs and dangerous substances, prostitution, promiscuity, act of criminality of any kind, membership of unrecognized and secret societies, disobedience to constituted authorities, attempting or actually committing suicide for any reason, not even if when your lover cheats on you or jilts you. Anybody who jilts you is not qualified to be your life partner. Also, avoid examination malpractice, gangsterism, unlawful protests and destruction of the Polytechnic’s properties.
Prof Ufuophu-Biri, however, disclosed that the institution has set up a team of experts to generate renewable energy for the polytechnic.
“I have already set up a very powerful team of experts from within the Polytechnic to commence the process of generating a good proportion of our energy through renewable energy sources. We will be working on solar and wind energy alternative and results promise to be rewarding. We will also be exploring the hydro advantage of the River Ethiope, which is just some feet beside the Polytechnic. Very soon, the Institution will be able to generate a substantial proportion of its energy needs internally.
“We are working hard to make this Polytechnic a renowned and reliable research centre and innovation hub. To encourage staff and students henceforth, we are setting apart a special fund to patent, promote, mass produce and market any research project of conventional acceptable standard either by students, staff or a combined team of students and staff. Henceforth, there will be cash prize for the best students’ practical projects from each of the schools and the overall student’s project. This measure is to encourage creativity, functional and productive initiative, innovation and ingenuity.
“We believe that we have the capability to produce graduate from here that will become the next Mark Zukerbergs of Meta Platforms, Elon Musk of Tesler, the founders of Paystack, Shola Akinlade and Ezra Olubi, who both graduated from Babcock University in 2006- and later sold Paystack to an American based company ‘Stripe for $200 million dollar, that is a whooping sum of N150 billion naira. Whaoo! And the founders of flutterwave, Olugbenga Agboola and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji. Flutterwave is currently the most successful tech company in Africa with a value of over $3 billion dollars. That is another whooping N2.2 trillion naira. My dear students and children, those are the people we want you to be like.
“On the creative front, I want to see in you the likes of my friends, AY, Gordons, Bovi and hers such as I Go Dye, Akporhoro, Basket Mouth, Kelvin Snap, Ali Baba, Regina Daniel, Kiss Daniel, Ruger, Tuface, Davido, Wizkid, Asake, Etiko, among others.
“This Institution is aimed at producing graduates who can compete favourably with their counterpart from any part of the world. Actually, our graduates have not failed us as they are spread across the world doing wonderfully successful. We receive commendations from different parts of the world about our graduates and we receive requests from institutions in different countries of the world to confirm the authenticity of our graduates results who are seeking admission into those institutions”, he added.