Ex-Minister Fashola counsels LASU on how to attain excellence in life

Former Governor of Lagos State and Works Minister Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, has enjoined graduating students of the Lagos State University, Ojo to embrace self-discipline in order to excel in their future endeavours.

Speaking while delivering the 27th convocation lecture, of the university, entitled: ‘Embracing the Future: Navigating the Intersection of Technology and Humanity on Tuesday,
Fashola said self-discipline will be the element that completes all the work their parents and guardians have done and what their lecturers have done.

“It will concretize your character and define your reputation. It will be the compass for your integrity. It will determine whether you are worthy of trust,” he added.

He explained further that partly the education they have received at the university will take them someway on their journey but it will not be enough. “You will require many more things, including continuing education in the formal and informal way. Life becomes meaningless the day we stop learning. But over and beyond skills and education, you will require self-discipline.”

“As you will find out, talent and education alone will not be enough on this exciting journey of life. Many talented people have failed or have been passed by because their attitude was bad; and people who are less educated, talented or skilled have excelled simply because of the right attitude.

Therefore, let me advise that you should not become an educated relic.

“I implore you, after all the celebrations, to reflect and remember only this part; self-discipline. It will show you the way away from drugs, crime, belief in wealth without work and search for miracles of wealth. There are none. Only hard work provides sustainable wealth; not rituals, not fake pastors or imams and not trafficking illicit drugs.

You are graduating into a world of technology at a time when talent is being rewarded at an unprecedented level. One generation ago, there was no internet as we know it today.

“Google Maps today was a story I read in the Newsweek or Time magazine in my second or third year in 1985 to 1986 of a plan to digitally map the surface of the Earth.

That is the world that awaits you. A world where human beings have developed enormous machine learning capacities. Some things as you know them today will not exist in a few years’ time. Some jobs that you aspire to may be gone before you know it. Trust me, whatever the losses, the gains will surpass them.

“Your world and the future it promises will be more exciting and more prosperous. The early foretaste of the impact of artificial intelligence is that it is positive for mankind. It portends for example savings in energy consumption as a result of reduced time to get things done.

It is helping to discover new uses for existing drugs and may be the shortest route yet for us to respond to anti-microbial resistance. It is also offering increased diagnostic capacities for disease detection and may offer additional years and longevity to your generation.

But and this is a big but, humanity and human civilisation, and intrinsic values that have kept us at the apex of all things that exist on planet Earth must be preserved in spite of technology.
“I will conclude by urging you all to step forward today, embrace the future with your skills and self-discipline, embrace a season of technological marvel and prepare for enormous possibilities of prosperity that elevate the human race as a whole,” he stated.

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