Good leadership key to national development, says Briggs

Nimi Briggs

Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Federal University, Lokoja, Nimi Briggs has declared that universities must have good leadership to enable them become reliable assets for national development.

He lamented that the nation’s university system, being the largest in Africa is faced with leadership challenges that are undermining its global competitiveness.

Briggs spoke at a book presentation titled: “Walking the vision” written in honor of Professor Rahamon Bello, Outgoing vice chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

At the event which held at J.F. Ade-Ajayi auditorium of the institution, Briggs said,  “Because universities possess immense potentials for influencing human and national development, rich and powerful nations of the world regard their universities as strategic national assets on which they rely, to a considerable extent, for vital contributions to policy formulation and execution in the areas of food security, national defense, health and many others, including international diplomacy

“For this same reason of harbouring   the potential to direct the course of a nation, even the smallest, poorest and weakest countries aspire to establish universities. However, to carry out such pivotal functions, universities must have the right leadership, usually provided by a team, led by a trailblazer..”

In his remarks, the vice chancellor tasked the incoming leadership of the institution to build on the foundation he has laid by ensuring that the university is reckoned with all over the world.

“Whoever it is must ensure he treads carefully and moves to build on what we have established so that there will be continuity of purpose, and also comply with the spirit of the strategic plan of the university because we have not worked outside of that plan and that has helped us to be focused. The plan should be a bible to foster development and greatness for the institution.

“One thing I must say about UNILAG is that, it is an established university with a culture. Once the culture is followed with modalities, things will work out. When people talk about the committee system, you think it is useless. I will tell you that is what makes the institution. Without the committees, you can’t effect anything. They help to chart the way.  My successor should work with the committees, follow due process in everything and ensure that things are done without fear or favour. Once you are straightforward, people will believe in you and you will move on.”

The authors of the book were Lucian Obinna Chukwu, Taiwo Folashade Ipaye, Chimdi Maduagwu, Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika and Obi Iwuagwu.

The book focuses on the system of administration adopted by the VC and how this system has transformed all aspects of the university.



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