With the state government taking delivery of equipment and training tools last week, one can safely say the International Vocational Training and Entrepreneurship College (IVTEC) is super ready to commence operations. The State Governor, Alhaji abdulfatah Ahmed, indeed underscored this much after inspecting the delivered equipment at the Ministry of Education, Science and Human Capital Development in Ilorin on Monday. Without doubt, the successful completion of the IVTEC is one of the high points of Ahmed administration’s performance. Investment like this, which seeks to develop the youth through acquisition of productive skills is never misplaced. Ahmed has put the youth of Kwara on the road to a secured future. He has launched the state on the path of opportunities and possibilities. Kudos to him. My concern over the whole project, however, was the appointment of a foreigner, an American woman named Mendy Daeges, as the Rector of the training school. I have no problem with her qualification, ability and capacity, the problem is her orientation which has made many projects like this to be unsuccessful. As Nigerians, the way we do things is different from what obtains in other parts of the world.
Ours is a place where things never seem to work. And it is a situation we are used to. Lack of regular power supply is not abnormal to a Nigerian. And it is okay by him if funds were not provided for fuel to power the generating set. Of course, he can always survive salary arrears no matter how long. I doubt if Daeges can continue to give the vocational centre her best if confronted by any or all of these situation. In any case, does it mean there are no equally qualified Kwarans for the job? With due respect to whatever reason which may have informed the decision of the government to settle for a foreigner, I believe, the Mas’ud Elelus, the Abdulrasheed Na’allahs, the Ambalis of this world can do as well, if not better, if given the responsibility. The benefits of giving the job to a qualified son or daughter of this great state, far outweighs giving it to a foreigner.
My position may appear narrow, given the integration that has fussed the whole world into one global village, and the fact that the college is deemed international, but the reality is that, while the western world has peaked in growth and development, ours is still struggling to grow. And giving our people opportunity like this will no doubt take us nearer to the Promised Land. International Aviation College, Ilorin is a classical example.