Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo says character matters a lot in all human endeavour, declaring that the real currency of interaction is trust.
Professor Osinbajo stated this on Thursday at the first convocation and installation of the Chancellor, Koladaisi University, Ibadan in Oyo State.
According to the Vice President, basic honesty, integrity and trustworthiness are values that are critical for success in life.
“Trust, not money, is the real currency of interaction whether it is commercial or social.
If you can be trusted, if people find you trustworthy, the class of degree you have will not matter,” Osinbajo told the graduating students of the university, which got its license to operate in November 2016.
He said, “Everybody is looking for a trust worthy person to partner with or to employ.
Even thieves are in search of trustworthy people to keep their money with.
The Vice President said that respect for obligations was another aspect of trust that is key in all dealings in society.
He said: “When you borrow make sure you repay.
Whether it is from a friend, a relation or a bank, credit is the lifeblood of business.
If you can be trusted to pay back you will always have enough credit.
You are dead in business if your credit dries up.
Other facts that the Vice President Osinbajo said would guide the new graduates in the coming years included belief in their ability to succeed; the fact that advancements in technology have opened opportunities for them; continuous self development and collaborations.
“Do not accept or believe the story that you will not succeed or that the years gone by are better than yours.
In fact always be suspicious of those who are always talking about the good old days…they probably have a bad memory.
Every generation has its bright spots and its troubles.
“The second is that you are graduating at the most advanced moment in human history.
“The smartphone you have in your hand today has 100 times more computing power than the computer in the Apollo spacecraft that took men to the moon in July of 1969.
“I have in this device and many of your smart phones 1000 times more books and material than all the law books that were in the Elias Law Library at the University of Lagos, where I studied law.
“Success means continuous learning and self development.
Collaboration and partnerships are important for businesses today especially tech related businesses.
Plenty of hope
Assuring the youth that there was plenty of hope and opportunities, he pointed out that the world was changing and does not require that people have degrees in the professions that were popular in the past to be successful.
The Vice President said, “In my days, it was believed that you needed to be either a lawyer, a doctor, an accountant to be successful, today there are many different options .
“There are more avenues for success now than ever before.
There is a whole new world of opportunities that have opened up especially with the internet and digital technology.
He shared some of the stories of young people who have taken advantage of opportunities and demonstrated that the rules for success do not change.
He said that Nigerian start-ups have, in the past few years, established businesses and grown them into billion dollar enterprises.
Osinbajo said the key lessons to be drawn from the successes of Nigerian start-ups were that they did not stop at university degree, that they started small and that they did not have rich parents.
“They learnt something extra, for some it was programming, some took extra courses online in management and entrepreneurship, some followed their passion into fashion, beauty, and there are others who are not entrepreneurs, but they are interested in being effective managers or policy people.
“Don’t be afraid of starting small and growing slowly—that is exactly how great businesses are formed.
“The third point is that of all the examples I have given you, not one of them had rich parents and all of them did most, if not all of their schooling here in Nigeria.
“Find out about support that is available, either from the private sector or government.
For example the Federal government has established a N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund.
This provides financial support for small businesses in any field.
Commending the founder and chancellor of the university, Chief Kola Daisi, Professor Osinbajo said that he has designed ways of putting his resources to the use of his community and those who need help.
“This University is a culmination of that life of sacrifice—an institution that will offer world class university education not as a commercial venture but as a service,” he stated, adding “it is a high form of enlightenment to recognise in one’s lifetime that what endures after we are gone is how much of ourselves, our ideas and our resources benefit coming generation.
Speaking after his installation as the chancellor of the university, Chief Daisi announced the establishment of an endowment fund for the university to enable it attain the competiveness and distinction that he envisaged.
He made an initial subscription of N1billion to the university’s endowment fund.
The vice chancellor of the university, Professor Adeniyi Olatunbosun highlighted the achievements of the university since it was established, among which were its accreditation by the National Universities Commission, NUC; the approval of the Fulbright Exchange opportunities by the American Consulate; and collaboration with the MissouriState University for academic partnership.
52 students graduated at the event.
VP Osinbajo advises Youths on honesty and trustworthiness