ONE IS almost tempted to
suggest to school heads to take
secondary school students on a
“formal” excursion to the various
sites of construction across Ogun
State for practical learning.
These rising columns, which
later shoulder some concrete
slabs, altering the landscape of
an area permanently within a
short space of time, how do they
come to be?
How in operational terms do
the heavy machines such asskid
steers, mixer trucks, tracked
asphalt pavers, waste handlers,
drill rigs, blasthole drills, motor
graders, asphalt mixing plants,
road roller machines, crawler
excavators, forklift trucks,
wheel loaders and truck cranes
contribute to the making of
these picturesque structures that
confirm a community or people
on the path of modernisation and
development? Enough of being
welders, carpenters, plumbers,
bricklayers, auto mechanics or
budding engineers on the pages
of textbooks, I once took a group
of students on an excursion to the
workshops of these technicians,
some firms and construction sites
for practical experience.
You don’t have to pluck tubersof

yam on tree tops or dig colanut
from the ground! “Go-to-hell” does
not imply going to hell after death
but a farm toolto harvest cocoa,
colanut, etc! One often rails against
a Nigerian system whereby pupils
learn Agriculture Science only on
the pages of textbooks. From JSS1
to SSS3, they see cocoa plants,
colanut trees, cotton, rice, millet
and cassava plants only in their
textbooks. No, they ought to be
taken round farmlands to see these
crops. They should see how they are
grown, harvested and processed into
semi-finished or finished products.
They should have beds in their
various schools where they plant
vegetables, beans, maize, etc. They
should learn to “soil their fingers
productively”. Such excursions, in
relation to Agriculture, could take
them to Model Farm Estates built
by the current government so they
can appreciate the possibility of
being gainfully self-employed as
graduates of Agriculture.
Ogun State Governor Ibikunle
Amosun is only short of
compelling the members of the
State Executive Council to go into
farming. As the state government is
investing massively in agriculture,
complemented by rural roads to
ensure mobility of men and farm
produce, it is hoped that school
heads across the state will increase
the tempo of the implementation
of the agriculture policy of
government. What we have
currently in Ogun is an integrated
approach to development. Apart
from the state government assisting
the local councils to meet their
monthly recurrent expenditure
and providing some access roads,
the government has also partnered
multilateral institutions to open up
rural areas through a network
of road construction that meets
international specifications.
With the encouragement given
to the hundreds of multi-billion
naira industries flocking to Ogun to
engage in backward integration, the
international standard roads being
constructed across the cities by the
current government are planned
tolink the agrarian communities and
commercial farms. The thousands
of youths being employed by the
multi-billion naira establishments
and construction firms across the
length and breadth of the state will
purchase food and other items
from the markets, who will in turn
buy from farmers, thereby further
stimulating economic activities.
The decision of the Amosun
administration to establish the
very first University of Science
and Technology is, of course,
in sync with the development
template of the state. Ogun has

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in recent years become the
hub of industrialisation in
Nigeria. The British Deputy
High Commissioner to Nigeria,
Laure Beaufils, said recently
in Abeokuta when she led a
delegation from the Department
for International Development to
the Governor’s Office that Ogun
State alone cornered 75 per cent
of the Foreign Direct Investments
(FDI) into Nigeria. Beaufils
merely lent an international voice
to the report of theManufacturers
Association of Nigeria (MAN).
More and more top-level science
and technology-basedmanpower
(graduates) will, therefore, be
needed by these industries, whose
number grows on a daily basis.
Things can only get better in
Ogun State. We congratulate the
people’s governor for these giant
strides. Indeed, we cannot but
agree with the Nigeria Union of
Journalists (NUJ) for honouring
Senator Ibikunle Amosun as the
“NUJ Governor Of The Year for
his Responsiveness in Human
Capacity Building, Infrastructure
and Good Governance.”The
future belongs to only those who
prepare for it today.

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