A renowned public health physician, Dr Ejike Oji, has warned youths against the dangers of hurry migration, locally known as Japa, leading many to inhuman and health-risky jobs overseas.
Oji, who is the Chairman Management Committee, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP), gave the warning while delivering Amb. Ogbonnaya Nduaka Inaugural Lecture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) at the weekend.
The lecture was delivered at Veterinary Medicine Alumni Homecoming and first Faculty Lecture Series titled: Amb. Ogbonnaya Nduaka Inaugural Lecture. Oji noted that although it is not advisable to stop people going to places to seek greener pastures; however, youths must get equipped and upgrade themselves.
He noted that the upgrade would come in terms of getting qualified as a professional in a field of study or being a highly qualified tradesman or tradeswoman.
“So, one should get himself equipped as a global citizen through getting himself the global required skill set and pre-requisite professional qualification to be at par with the citizens of the country you are migrating to or better still be higher than them.
“Do not be in a hurry without adequate planning, or that somebody just bought you a flight ticket and a visa and your next plan is to seek a job without any form of professional or artisan/craftsman training and its pre-requisite qualification.
“In many countries, their system is highly regulated and coordinated so that you do not just come and get accepted easily and at times you spend many years to get their own qualifications to qualify and get accommodated in their system. So, for one not to suffer for many years under inhuman work conditions, livelihood and job that exposes one to various health risks.
“Our youths should work hard here and prepare to meet not only local but international standards,” he said. The expert urged youths to look for a mentor to attach themselves to as well as learn and tap from their vast experience and avoid mistakes.
“Our youths should also unlearn some unprofitable ways that bring failure and shame but learn things that are profitable and dignifying. This is the only way we can replicate our successes and continue to have Nigerians that will uphold legacies of positivism and forthrightness within the society,” he said.
Oji, President of Dr Ejike Oji Community Development Foundation, described Amb. Ogbonnaya Nduaka, a foremost lecturer in the faculty, as an epitome of hard work, transparency, honesty, and humility.
The guest lecturer said that Nduaka touched all facets of life, which included: academic, research, technocracy, diplomatic mission, and societal/community leadership during his lifetime.
“Nduaka during his gracious lifetime made a tremendous impact in the lives of people around him and all persons that came in contact with him. This faculty cannot quantify his immense contributions as a lecturer and researcher as well as technocrat in shaping the veterinary profession within the country,” he said.
Oji said that his foundation was already putting five million Nigeria women in one database and using tech-soft-skills to empower them, which would change their lives for the better and impact millions of families in the country.
The Keynote Speaker, Emeritus Prof. Silva Anika, tasked various alumni at faulty and institution levels in UNN on the need to give back to the society through investment and helping to uplift academic standard.
Anika, who spoke on the topic: “The Alumni: A Veritable Partner for Development of Veterinary Medical Education in Nigeria”, noted that alumni must draw closer to the university to see various gaps that they would close to keep their alma mater as the best.
In a welcome address, Prof. Chinedu Eze, the Dean of the Faculty, expressed appreciation to staff and alumni of the faculty for the success of the homecoming and first inaugural lecture, adding that the faculty would continue to collaborate with UNN management.
The event also featured the swearing in of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Association Executives, a dinner and cutting of the homecoming cake. It also featured award presentations to distinguished personalities, which included: Chief Samuel Onyishi, the Chief Executive Officer of Peace Mass Transit, Dr Obiora Ukagba and Dr Ejike Oji among those who were given awards of excellence during the occasion.