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Dr. Oyedepo Charge Youths to Invest in Knowledge towards Proffering Solution to Dearth in Leadership

Excellence in leadership begins with investment in knowledge, as every outstanding accomplishment has its root in profound understanding of knotty issues. This much was the thrust of the keynote address, presented by the Chancellor and Chairman Board of Regents of Covenant University, Dr. David Oyedepo, at the 2022 Enactus Nigeria Annual Leadership Conference hosted by the University.

Dr. Oyedepo, delivering a paper titled ‘The Concept and Purpose of Leadership’ submitted that investment in knowledge is fundamental to the making of a leader, because anybody can set goal of excellence for himself and keep it.

He said it must be recognised that leadership is not a career but the outcome of a career and it is not a calling but a result of what one makes out of his calling. According to him, leadership is not a profession but a validation of one’s outstanding contribution in one’s field of endeavour and accomplishment in the pursuit of such calling.

Dr. Oyedepo said it was important for purpose-driven leaders to have a renewal of mind, noting that until one changes the way he thinks, he cannot change the way he lives. “The thoughts of today are what determines the outcome of tomorrow, and whatever is too big for anyone’s mind will be too big for his hand to handle,” he posited.

The Chancellor, who came in company of the Pro-Chancellor, Bishop David Abioye and the Secretary of the Board of Regents, Pastor Adedeji Owojaiye, said that every emerging leader that must impact his or her world must think the way forward for their people, think solution, think possibilities, recognise the equality of potentials and think contribution. “No one will ever be remembered for what he has, but what he adds. Approach life with a contributor’s mentality and you will make the most of it. Commitment to a life of contribution is what makes men and women of exploit,” he added.

He highlighted the importance of leading a purpose-driven lifestyle, self-discipline, diligence, sacrifice, being prone to learning, passionate and commitment to excellence as critical portraits of any emerging leader.

In his welcome remark, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abiodun H. Adebayo, said leadership is the big issue in Africa today, with several nations of the world devastated by prolonged wars and seemingly unending conflicts due to failed leadership. According to him, nothing can place a limit on any human, without their active or docile permission.

Professor Adebayo noted that the recent socio-political and economic events in Nigeria have reaffirmed the need for a purposeful leadership. The nation has witnessed a steady increase in prices of commodities, shortage of fuel, poor electricity supply, joblessness, industrial actions and unrest, ritual killings, kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery amongst others; these continue to feature as major headlines in the media, while the country’s human capital development continues to dwindle. “All these challenges are products of bad leadership” he asserted.

The Vice-Chancellor said the University’s vision is to raise a new generation of leaders in all fields of human endeavour, knowing that leadership has been a longstanding challenge bedevilling the development of Africa, and it must be addressed to deliver the Continent from its current developmental challenges.

Professor Adebayo noted that as part of the learning experience for students in Covenant, they are expected to take some leadership courses which have been integrated into their curriculum leading to the award of Diploma in Leadership during graduation. This according to him, is foundational in helping to shape the minds of the graduands to undertake the task of rebuilding the battered image of the black race. “There will be a lot to take home as we become practitioners of the ideals and virtues of leadership,” he enthused.

The National Coordinator of Enactus Nigeria, Mr Michael Ajayi, thanked the Chancellor and the Management of Covenant University for hosting the 2022 Leadership and Entrepreneurship Conference, hoping that it will become an occasion that will evolve new set of young leaders to redefine the political, economic and social landscapes of Nigeria.

Mr. Ajayi said the 2022 conference is customised to explore the concepts and general purpose of Enactus, and interrogate its existing concepts as a developmental programme. “We are here to create opportunities to discuss the evolving focus of the Enactus programme, review existing structure towards becoming more efficient, reenergise and prepare a platform for greater community impact,” he posited.

The 3-day National Leadership and Entrepreneurship Conference attracted over 170 Enactus students in Nigeria representing 27 tertiary institutions with their respective Faculty Advisors.


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