Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday in Abuja urged institutions of learning to impact quality education in their students.
Speaking when a delegation from the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, led by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Mohammad Mainoma, visited him at the National Assembly Complex, Dogara said that the search for quality leadership in the country must begin in the classroom.
He added that he would announce endowment chairs in selected institutions in the country, to contribute to the development of youths educationally.
“Granted the value of education and what it has done for me in my own life, I am planning to endow some chairs across the country on account of my 50th birthday.
“And I will do that to give back to the institution that has really helped me in life to shape who I am, and polished me into who I am today so that they can bring in other young ones.
“So it is an investment in other young people,’’ he said.
Dogara, however, said that Africa had not performed well in the area of impacting quality education that would lead to development of the continent through leadership.
According to him, time has come to deliberately shape leaders for that role from the classrooms.
“We are beneficiaries of education and anyone who invests in education is investing in the future.
“Not just investment in education, but qualitative education.
“Strength now has moved from whatever resources you have buried beneath the earth to what you have buried in your brain.
“Even the manpower you have, if it is not trained it will decay and that is why in this nation, we shouldn’t play with education.
“This search for leadership cannot just begin from nowhere, it must begin from somewhere and I believe it must begin from the inner recesses of classrooms.
“That is where you mold character and that is why the job you do is very important,’’ Dogara said.
He added that nations that made progress long realised that it was not everyone put in leadership made progress.
“It is not just every grain that you plant and expect to have bumper harvest.
“Farmers have learnt this, that you pick what is known as seeds and separate them, and when it comes to planting, you use the seeds and not just any grain you pick from the ground.
“That is one thing we have not done very well in Africa and we will rely in our institutions to produce seeds that we can plant into leadership that will lead us to the future.
“Except we do that, we will continue to search for leadership that will elude us because progress is not automatic,’’ the speaker said.
Earlier, Mainoma said the visit was in appreciation of the speaker’s contribution to development of democracy in the country.
He also said that Dogara had been a motivation to youths toward aspiring for great goals.