“MY THOUGHT” (Series 3) by Hon Lekan Tunde Lekan Olatunji
Precisely 24th of July, 2018, I delivered a public lecture at the Osun State University, Osogbo. It was titled “Awaken the Giant Within: How to have a grasp of your academic and financial autonomy”
When I received invitation as the guest speaker, I was deeply impressed by the topic of the lecture. It really feels good to know that in UNIOSUN, students won’t have to wait till they acquire academic certificates before thinking of their financial future. They are already thinking of their tomorrow even today.
Knowing fully well that UNIOSUN is non-residential and most students stay in privately owned hostels around campus while some stay in rented residential apartments in town, I threw a 3 in 1 question at the audience:
1. “Who is your landlord?”……”Who built your hostel?”
2. “Can you tell me his/her academic qualification”
3. “Can you also tell me what he/she does for a living?”
As expected the responses I got were trite:
° She sells food items, she is an illiterate
° A spare part dealer, he only finished primary school.
° He is an illiterate bricklayer.
° My landlord is a cloth merchant.
° A cocoa farmer. He lives in one of the villages.
° He is into sales of building materials. Not sure he finished secondary school.
And then I heard, “he is a politician”, “he is a government official”, “he is a lecturer”.
Profiling the responses, 70% of the home owners/landlords are said to be:
ILLITERATES ,NON GRADUATES, NOT INTO WHITE COLLAR JOBS, SELF EMPLOYED, POSSESES A SKILL AND NOT JUST CERTIFICATE etc.
From Osogbo to Warri, from Benin to Kaduna, from Ibadan to Maiduguri, research has shown that the situation is the same. It is the illiterates that builds for the educated/graduates, among other things.
It is a wrong assumption for anybody to think that academic qualification should automatically guarantee financial freedom. Only those who have financial sense can have financial autonomy.
The basic test of financial sense is to weigh your assets against your liabilities. Once anybody’s liability outweighs his/her assets, no amount of academic qualifications can spare him/her of poverty.
You can’t be earning 50,000 naira a month and be using mobile phone of 50,000 naira. That is the difference between a graduate without financial sense and an illiterate with financial sense.
Therefore, in addition to academic qualifications, let every graduate get financial sense. The one you call illiterate because he is not a degree holder may actually be financially liiterate and end up living a better life.
Happy new month and. God bless.
- ‘Tunde Olatunji
Ife North State Constituency.