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MR Abel Alagbe and Mrs Temilola Fatoyinbo-Agueh are two Nigerians in the employ of the United States of America who have done themselves and Nigeria proud by brightening their respective corners in the USA. Both of them, according to a medium, Empowered Newswire, are being honoured with different presidential awards. While Mr Alagbe is receiving the US presidential Volunteer Service Award and Call to Service Award, Mrs Fatoyinbo-Agueh is being honoured as one of the top US early scientists recognised by the White House this year. Mr Alagbe works in the US Department of Agriculture and Mrs Fatoyinbo-Agueh works at the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
TO be sure, these recognitions and awards are serendipitous coming against the backdrop of a tale of woes about a slip into an abyss of the standard of education back at home and the news of many Nigerians languishing in jails in foreign lands for various offence, including the illicit hard drugs trade. For instance, Mr Alagbe who is the recipient of the US presidential Volunteer Service and Call to Service Award, is a 1986 graduate of the Faculty of Technology in University of Ibadan and he also has a Master’s degree from the New York University Polytechnic, New York. His recognition for a presidential award in the US must be for the quality of his service in the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) unit of the Federal Department of Agriculture in the US where he works.
COMING incidentally at the same time with the recent National Honours Awards in Nigeria, the recognition given to these people in the US no doubt confirms our earlier stand in our editorial comment on the value of honour that the procedure of award of such honours in Nigeria definitely detracts from its value, since such honours in this country are usually ascribed rather than achieved. The National Honours list in Nigeria is replete with the names of people whose claim to achievement in any form is not beyond the political office they occupy and those who have had their integrity impugned by various investigations into corrupt deals so much so that only recently, it was mooted that a letter from the Presidency had instructed a thorough verification of the list in order to expunge the names of those who had been either indicted or convicted.
WITHOUT any doubt, it is a safe guess that were these Nigerians who have been recognised for honour and attention in the US to be at home, their contributions would not have been noticed let alone rewarded. We are convinced that there are committed, honest and hardworking Nigerians doing their best in their respective fields of endeavour but whose contributions are being ignored not to say repudiated by a wonky reward system that is in place. This reward system has definitely created a class of disgruntled, ill-motivated and cynical grumblers amongst the country’s work force who have had their hard work, commitment and patriotism thrown back at their wizened faces.
IT is heartening and a sweet relief that, once in a while, recognition and rewards such as these come to alert that contrary to erroneous but popular and pervasive perception, Nigeria is not only about scams and scandals or even the get-rich-quick syndrome that drives the desperation behind the illicit hard drugs trade for which the country has sadly become internationally notorious. It also helps to whittle down the stereotype that all Nigerians are criminals on the prowl just because the news about a few disoriented are unfairly hyped as if other countries do not have a fair share of their own criminals also plying their trade even here in this country where they have tragically been supported and protected by the corruption within.
THERE are no doubt lessons to be learnt from these developments. These Nigerians are probably regular people who have gone abroad in search of the elusive self-actualisation at home and who fortuitously exceeded their dreams and found excellence. Just as the saying that Nigeria is blessed with vast natural and human resources was almost becoming a fatuous, hollow and hackneyed expression, they rose to confirm that the pathetic essence of the Nigerian state should be traced to its dysfunction. There are many citizens who can reinvent and facilitate the Nigerian dream on virtually all fronts if merit is given the pride of place and inspiring leadership is provided. These awards should also impact positively on Nigerians in the Diaspora, especially in the way they are perceived by their host countries which have been fed with negative stereotypes for too long.
NIGERIA should aspire to rise beyond these negative stereotypes that encourage the labelling of the country as a hopeless case of human existence. Fortunately, these recognitions are coming on the heels of many Nigerian students in the US who topped their classes and schools when the US universities held their graduation ceremonies earlier this year. A Nigerian Jekwu Anyaebena, a graduate of the University of Ilorin, had won the Commonwealth African region Arts prize earlier this year, and another Mr Oriola also wrote a prize-winning doctoral thesis in Canada. These are achievements that a creative Ministry of Information could play up for good use in giving some mileage to Corporate Nigeria instead of watching things fall apart.Share
written by audemars piguet grand prix replica, October 12, 2012