Aregbesola’s ‘Opon Imo’ tablet still relevant in COVID-19 era – UK-based don

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Rauf Aregbesola

A lecturer at Coventry University, UK, Dr Alim Abubakre, has praised the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, for his foresight in introducing an educational computer tablet, “Opon Imo” while he was governor of Osun.

According to Abubakre, who is also the founder and a non-executive Chair of TEXEM, UK, a leading consultancy firm focusing on Africa, the tablet is still relevant for virtual learning by Nigerian students, especially in this era of COVID-19 pandemic.

A statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja by Caroline Lucas, Director of Special Projects, Texem, quoted Abubakre as stating this in his contributions at a virtual colloquium to mark the minister’s 63th birthday.

The don noted that the fact that the device, which Aregbesola saw as critical to learning some eight years ago, was still very useful today, was a pointer to the visionary leadership of the former governor.

Abubakre, an advisory board member of London Business School Africa Society, said that to be an effective leader, one needed to embrace what he called a growth-mindset.

In these turbulent times, he said that virtual learning was rapidly becoming the norm, adding that possession of digital credentials was integral to modern-day success in any endeavour.

It was reported that Abubakre, who spoke on the topic: “Beyond Survival: Leading for Success in Turbulent Times”, argued that effective and strategic leadership remained the bane of Nigeria’s progress.

While listing what he called four strands of leadership to include self, team, organisational and societal, he shared insights into how to enhance the leadership quotient across the strands.

While responding to one of the questions raised by the participants, Aregbesola, whose birthday was being celebrated, said the “Opon Imo concept universalises education.”

Other participants at the virtual colloquium included Mr Kurtis Adigba, a board member of the International Association of Political Consultants and Dr Rabiat Akande of Harvard University.

Adigba, also a renowned television political analyst in Nigeria, while speaking during the event, said being proactive was one of the critical qualities of good leadership.

Although she said that the border closure as well as the ban placed on food importation by President Muhammadu Buhari might have attracted criticism, Adigba, however, stressed that the two policies were was proactive and timely.

Akande, who spoke on data and its importance in managing emergencies, advocated for proactive data collection, as part of comprehensive planning for emergencies.

She urged the National Assembly to legislate on data privacy and collection, just as she urged the lawmakers to seek ways of adapting such laws to the country’s peculiarity.

It was also reported that the colloquium, with its theme: “Leadership in Emergencies: Planning as Foundation for National Survival”, was organised by Proumou Media Consulting, a Lagos-based media strategy firm and chaired by Hon. Semiu Okanlawon.

Aregbesola’s birthday was on May 25.

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