Professor Ogum Attributes Gap in Development of Nations to Poor Investments in Research

To close the widening gap between developed and developing countries, there has to be conscious investments in research, proper utilization of such outcomes, as well as deliberate interaction among the various fields of knowledge.

This was the submission of Professor Daniel Ogum when he presented his Professorial Inaugural Lecture, at the auditorium of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, recently.

Titled Humanity in the Externalized Synergy of Sign, Space and Style: Advances and Thoughts, Professor Ogum posited that individual variables in time and space are the common essence of humanity.

According to him, human existence would have been boring if all human activities were the same because variety is the spice of life.

He asserted that every person involved in conscious choice of variables, and the manipulation of same to obtain desired result and achieved a desired effect is a practical stylist.

He said that mans ability to manipulate significant variables of life is a critical factor on human achievement.

The scholar observed that in other climes, people are using the sub-spaces they occupy to positively advance human conditions, but regretted that in our part of the world, many are creating artificial academic boundaries, thereby limiting the advancement of the African subspace in the global space.

He noted that synergy between different fields of academics was needed to build a better society, while pointing out that the three major global revolutions in agriculture; industry and cybernetic and virtual technologies have contributed significantly at different spaces to human advancement.

"Human activities are packets of sub-spaces. Each sub-space has an expansion potential that could influence the size of other spaces.

"Activities within the sub-space of the art of governance (politics) could impede or enhance the academic space (education)."

He, however, regretted that in Nigeria, such influences are mostly negative rather than positive, as he cited poor budgetary allocation to the education sector due to lack of political will to develop education as one of such negative influences.

Attributing most of the socio-political challenges Nigeria is facing presently to such failures, he wondered why a government would employ over 13,000 non- professional teachers in its school system and expect good results.

The advancement of a nation is directly linked with the efficiency of its education system, and more specifically, teacher quality control mechanism embedded in professionalism.

Regrettably, government pays little attention to teacher training and teacher welfare as demonstrated through government expenditure.

He emphasized that government has shrunken the education space in Nigeria because there is no synergy of the parliamentary act and execution.

On his future contributions to the advancement of knowledge, Professor Ogum disclosed that he would establish a Language and Capacity Development Centre (LACDEC) where an endowed professorial chair with focus on language and advanced capacity development would be domiciled in the university, with a view to promoting its global visibility.

He listed some of the benefits of the centre to include; using its research outcomes to address matters of contemporary social crisis in the society, providing upward socio-economic mobility through the creation and utilisation of sustainable development opportunities, provision of opportunity for mentorship of budding scholars, among others.