By Aliyu Dahiru Aliyu.
The monthly Inspiring Leadership Reflection Interactive Series organised by Centre for Information Technology and Development, was held, this month, at the CITAD premises on 29th January, 2019, with Mallam Isah Ahmed, a retired Permanent Secretary “who served at Projects Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport” and retired May 2011.
Mallam Isah Ahmed was born on January 2, 1958 in Tudun Wadar Dankadai, Tudun Wada local government of Kano state. He attended primary school in 1972 and continued with secondary education where he had his West African School Certificate from GSS Rano, Kano state. He then attended Bayero University, Kano, where he had Bachelor of Science (Sociology) in 1982.
Mallam Isa Ahmed obtained other qualifications from different institutions both within and outside Nigeria from 1986 till 2010. He also attended numerous workshops and symposia from 2004 to 2011. He traveled widely and takes reading as his primary hobby apart from his key skills in capacity building, data collection and evaluation, project implementation, public service reform and budget reform policy advocacy and implementation.
At the CITAD ILERIS, Mallam Isa Ahmed, identified key challenges that are facing Nigerian youth in a paper he presented : “A Just Epigrammatic Narrative”. He explained that rapid population growth in Northern states versus the limited educational opportunities are among greatest threats to the development of of the North. He added that the falling down of the level of reading culture among the Northern Nigerian youth, as many of them are taken away by social media gossips, help in deteriorating of the intellectual efficiency of the university graduates. Mallam Isa said it is a greatest shame not only to the students but to the schools to see a university graduate that couldn’t write a simple composition without uncountable grammatical mistakes.
Examination malpractice, according to the Mallam Isa Ahmed, added insult to the injury. The poor efficiency of working class today is due to the poor graduates university and colleges produce due to the high level of examination frauds and malpractices. He added that some of the threats that youth face today include limited public sector employment opportunities versus pauperised private sector, substance abuse by mainly the youth and the abuse of e-culture.
To curb these menace Mallam Isa Ahmed advised that government, individuals and entrepreneurs should invest in education to instil reading culture among the next generations. Invention and innovation should be promoted especially in this digital era by skills acquisition, self actualisation and the feelings of existence so as to contribute to the national development. Optimism should be used over pessimism to overcome fear of political inclusion. Youth should remove bigotry and stereotyping from their hearts and ensure tolerance by throwing away primordial sentiments.
Questions and answers session followed after Mallam Isa concluded his presentation by quoting Albert Einstein who said “Madness is doing one particular task or mistake repeatedly and expecting a different result.” By this he meant that youth and government have to change the way they do things if they want see different outcome. He recommended some texts to read for further readings including Michael G. Z’s Seizing the Future and the Oxfam’s Inequality in Nigeria : Exploring the Drivers.
Earlier before the Mallam Isa Ahmed presented his speech, the Executive Director of the CITAD Mallam YZ Yau welcomed him and urged youth to copy from the elders like Mallam Isa who reached to the pinnacle of excellence by serving people and state religiously. He added that CITAD brings this interactive session so as to exchange ideas between elders and the youths. Among the people that attended the ILERIS were students of universities and colleges, staff and interns of CITAD, staff of NSITF, members of press and teachers from different schools and institutions, among others. CITAD publications were presented to the guest and general picture was taken after the event.