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2017 ALOD Summer Camp Abuja

Overview

The summer camp was an intellectually exerting exercise and the participants expectedly, were mentally prepared having been selected on merit . The speakers had a highly interactive and engaging audience.  The  principles of liberty and freedom created a whole gamut of debates and reactions from participants who after the classes confessed to having their thoughts and ideas about society and governments re- formed.

Formal feedback expected via mails are expected to form the bases for evaluation by the ALOD. The creation of a closed group Whatsapp platform by the participants is an expression of their desire to remain connected to ALOD and the ideas of libertarianism and economic freedom(entrepreneur).

The group presentation was  a fusion of libertarian thoughts vis-a-vis economic freedom (Entrepreneur) and drama representation of the ideas  participants were exposed to within the 3 – day program.

The participants at the 2017 African Liberty Organisation for Development (ALOD )Summer camp were drawn from the best 30 out of the 75 undergraduate entrants from across 37 universities in Nigeria who participated in this year Adam Smith essay competition titled “Free Market and Equal Opportunities”

The best  30 essay  entrants  were awarded scholarship to participate in the summer camp.  Besides,  the cash prizes to the best 10 essay entrants,  the scholarship covers tuition,  course materials,  accommodation,  feeding and certification

Feedback 

“Immediately I stepped out of the NYSC Orientation Camp situated at Kubwa, Abuja, I just realized that I stepped out of one world to a different world. I smiled to myself, saying “wow” so it just takes something as a pinch of salt to change a concept, view, perspective, ideology, people, nations, names, places, you can go on and on, the list is endless, just to mention but a few.

Four days earlier, I was in a different world in my thought about my views on Capitalism, Government policies, International/Foreign Aid, Charity and Philanthropic giving, the list is endless, I had no idea that within the next 72 hours, a radical change in my thinking ideology was going to change positively. . .”  

Lewis Aondoyila Tanguhwar

“ Well, what should I say when I discovered during the camp that even in universities nobody really teaches students what is needed to be financially independent simply because everyone of them has crucified capitalism and capitalists. I called my friend and told in three days the summer camp lasted, I learnt one-third of the entire knowledge I acquired in four years in university. 

It was an enriching opportunity to me. I felt honoured to meet with Director General, National Directorate of Employment, Prof. Garba Mohammed, Alh. Adedayo Thomas, Mr. Moses Okorejior, Lilian Kawira from Kenya, Brain box, etc. I cannot forget the wonderful cooks that fed me from my arrival, even before I could drop my bag till my departure, though I don’t know their names.

 In fact, it an intellectual revival program which its impact is indelible. I got a lot of wonderful, enriching and entrepreneurial-life-transforming books and financial prize. My lecturers taught me how to get a good certificate through good grades but ALOD taught me how to be free from the shackles of poverty.

Concerning the organization of the summer camp, I can only say that the ALOD needs more sponsors to achieve more and better results. Once again, I appreciate all the organizers of ALOD Summer Camp. Thanks to you all.”

 – Sunday Eloms Njoku. 

 

The essay winners were presented with cash prizes after they were made to defend their winning essays through a  5 – minute verbal replication of the works.

 

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Oyesoji Aremu: Nigeria At 57 And The Failure Of Her Educational System

by Oyesoji Aremu
By all intents, assumptions and human estimation, age 57  is said to be very advanced. An individual at 57 would, therefore, be said to be approaching the Senior Citizens Class with full responsibilities amidst further expectations to savour the joy of toiling at a very advanced age when frailties set in. Failure for a 57-year-old man, therefore, could by society standards, be seen to be a technical and permanent failure in life except a miracle happens.
 
Nigerians are religious no doubt. That could make many among us to say: ‘it is not yet Uhuru for the country’. I share the same sentiment albeit with a defining view and perception. After all, the Bible says: ‘the prayers of the righteous, avail much’.
Thus, at age 57, whatever might be the shortcomings of the country could be said to still be remediable not minding her advanced age.
 
The index of measuring the country’s achievements in this intervention as Nigeria celebrates 57 years of an uninterrupted independence, is education. Education by all known theories and precepts is the only yardstick through which other indices of advancement of a country rest. Failure in this sector, is therefore, failure in other known sectors like economy, health, technology and telecommunications, politics, the list is inexhaustible. No wonder, our beloved country at 57 is perpetually ‘lamed’ and permanently ‘dwarfed’ in development. If properly harnessed, human and natural resources that are available in Nigeria could be utilised to put her education in a good stead; and same use to bring fortune to the country. Ask what brings fortune to the United Kingdom. It is her education industry.  Unfortunately, these resources have not been effectively used to meet the increasing needs of the country in terms of human capital development and others through qualitative and accessible education for all.
 
For Nigeria and with specific reference to the education industry, it is a story dotted in failure and permanently on the altar of policy somersault. For emphasis, the sector is the most neglected in the country. Forget about the cacophony of noise from the North to the South, West to the East; and across geopolitical zones in terms of education governance, it is all about heaps of lies and mortgage of the future of this country.
 
Show me a country with a robust and well-funded education industry, I will point to you a country like Finland, South Africa, Ghana; just to mention three of the numerous countries that have become the envy of others in all-round and complete development, and education haven to thousands of Nigerian youths. Our loss in terms of capital flights to education tourism to Europe, America, Asia, and countries like South Africa and Ghana in Africa are better imagined than stating the obvious of our commonwealth of failure in education.
Putting the nation’s achievements in education on a scale of ten, and comparing her with her contemporaries who had independence about the same period, I will conservatively grade her 3.
 
Mainly, the education industry has three major sub-sectors: early childhood/primary, secondary and tertiary. Thus, the totality of the quality of education sector remains abysmally low and unimpressive even to those on the lower rung of Social Status Ladder. From the primary to secondary and tertiary sub-sectors, it has been a tale of woes in academic performance to the history of decadence in facilities and unmotivated personnel. An objective appraisal of the three sub-sectors shows that all is not well.
 
Unfortunately, the primary and secondary sub-sectors have totally collapsed and no longer enjoying serious patronage on the part of the government at all levels. *Those who are left to salvage from the knowledge crumbs in public primary and secondary schools are wards of those I earlier referred to belong to the lower rung of the Social Status Ladder*. The running of the two sub-sectors is now in the hand of the private sector who, latch at the poor policy of the government to take control of primary and secondary education due to the neglect of the government. One must thank the private sector in that it is through it, whatever remains of the glory of education in primary and secondary sub-sectors is envied amidst what many could afford.
 
One may wonder then if the neglect of these sub-sectors has any bearing with the constitutional provision which put education on the concurrent list? That provision did not make any intervention for the private sector. It is the jackals in government that look elsewhere and allow the private sectors to hijack primary and secondary education in Nigeria. The same scenario is playing out in the tertiary sub-sector of education industry with continuous deregulation of university education. At independence, Nigeria had only three universities and four polytechnics. The number of secondary schools was also known because of their qualities and fame. Then, schools were actively supervised by ministries of education. While one welcomes the increase in the number of higher institutions (especially universities), what remains disturbing is the alarming rate of their proliferation without a corresponding funding of the existing ones; and thereby, raises questions of quality assurance. The increasing number of candidates every year (they are about 1.7 million this year) seeking admission to higher institutions especially universities, makes it imperative to have more universities but not on the altar of sacrificing quality.
 
In other climes, the government encourages open access to education by licensing public universities to run in a dual mode. Examples abound in South Africa, India, China, and UK.
I must stress it that government cannot be the sole funders of education. However, my take is that the regulatory bodies have been compromised and thereby throwing the education sector in the hands of businessmen and women whose primary motive is to make profit, forgetting that education is a social sector.
 
Arguably, the fault is not theirs. Rather, governments at all levels should take the blame for compromising the future of the children of this country. Successive administrations with perhaps exception of the ones in the first republic have committed a grievous infraction against education in Nigeria. None of the primary and secondary schools established prior to the first republic which produced crop of many political leaders, captains of industries, celebrated academics, and a host of other notable Nigerians can be said to be a good reference now. Many of these schools except for those which have been handed over to missionaries are caricatured, dilapidated and no longer fancied. For emphasis, the country has not fared well in the provision of qualitative education to its citizenry.
 
The sector also continues to witness industrial unrest, especially at the tertiary level. This is happening due to poor incentives for teaching and non-teaching personnel. This is one of the reasons why we do not get their best.
 
Often, the country witnesses poor academic performances as evident in secondary schools annual results by WAEC and NECO.
At 57, Nigeria should make her education to be prosperous and triumph over all known limitations. This feat cannot be achieved overnight. It would require a serious commitment through adequate funding and appropriate policies. It may not be out of place if the country should declare a state of emergency in the sector. Governments at the national and state levels would have to accept the obvious and apologize for their failure. Anything short of these would mean that our governments are not remorseful and introspective.
 
The expected triumph and prosperity of education is a serious business. If Nigeria wants to be at par with countries that celebrate prosperity in education, there must be a total overhauling of the sector. This can start now. The last line of the second stanza of the University of Ibadan Anthem reads: ‘For a mind that knows is a mind that’s free’. At 57, can we say Nigeria knows? As we reflect on this, I wish you all happy independence.
 
Republished from AfricanLiberty.org
Prof. Aremu is of the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies and Director, Distance Learning Centre, University of Ibadan.
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No thanks to Ghana, Ivory Coast is at risk of losing fifth of next coca harvest to smuggling

Ivory Coast’s cocoa regulator forecast the nation may lose a fifth of its cocoa crop to smuggling during the next harvest if neighboring Ghana refuses to cut payments to farmers after international prices fell, according to a person familiar with the matter. 

The prediction by Le Conseil du Cafe-Cacao comes after the world’s biggest cocoa producer cut farmers’ pay by 36 percent to the equivalent of about 700,000 CFA francs ($1,251) per metric ton in April to cope with global prices that dropped more than a third in a year on expectations of oversupply. Ghana, the second-biggest grower, has kept farmer payments at the equivalent of 7,600 cedis ($1,708) per ton since October and has ruled out any cuts for the main harvest that starts next month. Cocoa is harvested twice a year in West Africa.

The Ivorian regulator expects losses of as much as 400,000 tons of cocoa next season, said the person, who asked not to be identified because he’s not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. One of the nation’s biggest exporters has a similar forecast, according to a separate person familiar with the matter.

Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara conveyed his concern about the pay discrepancy to his Ghanaian counterpart, Nana Akufo-Addo, according to two other people familiar with the matter. The two countries agreed in May to cooperate on plans to counter volatile prices and officials of their regulators were locked in talks about the partnership at a meeting on Wednesday and Thursday in Ghana’s capital, Accra. Read the full story here.

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2017 ALOD Essay Contest: The Top 20

           

  Position                 Name    School  
1 Ota A. Chinonso      University of Nigeria  
2 Esther O. Tunde   Sa’adatu Rimi College Of Education  
3 Maduka E. Chibuenyim   Federal University of Tech, Minna,  
4 Ijuo I. Odeh   Obafemi Awolowo University  
5 Balogun Ismail   Obafemi Awolowo University  
6 Adeleke A.David   Babcock University  
7 Elom S. Njoku              University Of Nigeria  
8 Bakare A. Gbolahan   University of Lagos  
9 Enwereakuh A. Ugonna   University of Nigeria  
10 Ukeje C. Chukwunenye   Federal University of Tech, Akure  
11 Nwachukwu Deborah   University of Port Harcourt  
12 Orkuma Martha   National Open University  
13 Amede F. Ebuka   Delta State University  
14 Tanguhwara A. Lewis   University of Agriculture, Makurdi  
15 Oyesomi W. Adetope   Ekiti State University  
16 Akinsanya O. Deborah   University of Ibadan  
17 James O. Adakole   University of Nigeria  
18 Omotosho Oluwadamilola   University of Ibadan  
19 Sylver Vitalis    undisclosed   
20 Oluwafemi Boluwatife   University of Ibadan  

 

Top 3 entries would be published on our blog in the coming days.

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John Stuart Mill: On Liberty (1869)

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) was the precocious child of the Philosophical Radical and Benthamite James Mill. Taught Greek, Latin, and political economy at an early age, He spent his youth in the company of the Philosophic Radicals, Benthamites and utilitarians who gathered around his father James. J.S. Mill went on to become a journalist, Member of Parliament, and philosopher and is regarded as one of the most significant English classical liberals of the 19th century.

The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.

His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do other wise.

To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him must be calculated to produce evil to some one else. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign… The objections to government interference, when it is not such as to involve infringement of liberty, may be of three kinds.

The first is, when the thing to be done is likely to be better done by individuals than by the government. Speaking generally, there is no one so fit to conduct any business, or to determine how or by whom it shall be conducted, as those who are personally interested in it. This principle condemns the interferences, once so common, of the legislature, or the officers of government, with the ordinary processes of industry. But this part of the subject has been sufficiently enlarged upon by political economists, and is not particularly related to the principles of this Essay.
The second objection is more nearly allied to our subject. In many cases, though individuals may not do the particular thing so well, on the average, as the officers of government, it is nevertheless desirable that it should be done by them, rather than by the government, as a means to their own mental education — a mode of strengthening their active faculties, exercising their judgment, and giving them a familiar knowledge of the subjects with which they are thus left to deal.

This is a principal, though not the sole, recommendation of jury trial (incases not political); of free and popular local and municipal institutions; of the conduct of industrial and philanthropic enterprises by voluntary associations. These are not questions of liberty, and are connected with that subject only by remote tendencies; but they are questions of development. It belongs to a different occasion from the present to dwell on these things as parts of national education; as being, in truth, the peculiar training of a citizen, the practical part of the political education of a free people, taking them out of the narrow circle of personal and family selfishness, and accustoming them to the comprehension of joint interests, the management of joint concerns — habituating them to act from public or semi-public motives, and guide their conduct by aims which unite instead of isolating them from one another.

Without these habitsvand powers, a free constitution can neither be worked nor preserved, as is exemplified by the too often transitory nature of political freedom in countries where it does not rest upon a sufficient basis of local liberties. The management of purely local business by the localities, and of the great enterprises of industry by the union of those who voluntarily supply the pecuniary means, is further recommended by all the advantages which have been set forth in this Essay as belonging to individuality of development, and diversity of modes of action. Government operations tend to be everywhere alike. With individuals and voluntary associations, on the contrary, there are varied experiments, and endless diversity of experience. What the State can usefully do, is to make itself a central depository, and active circulator and diffuser, of the experience resulting from many trials. Its business is to enable each experimentalist to benefit by the experiments of others, instead of tolerating no experiments but its own. 

The third, and most cogent reason for restricting the interference of government, is the great evil of adding unnecessarily to its power. Every function superadded to those already exercised by the government, causes its influence over hopes and fears to be more widely diffused, and converts, more and more, the active and ambitious part of the public into hangers-on of the government, or of some party which aims at becoming the government. If the roads, the railways, the banks, the insurance offices, the great joint-stock companies, the universities, and the public charities, were all of them branches of the government; if, in addition, the municipal corporations and local boards, with all that now devolves on them, became departments of the central administration; if the employés of all these different enterprises were appointed and paid by the government, and looked to the government for every rise in life; not all the freedom of the press and popular constitution of the legislature would make this or any other country free otherwise than in name.

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