For a long time, Anambra State has been regarded as one of the most educationally advantaged and advanced states in Nigeria. This position was solidified by the immediate past administration of Governor Peter Obi. Under Governor Obi, the government not only gave all Secondary Schools in the southeastern state a facelift but also equipped them with essential equipment and teaching materials necessary for sound education.
The highpoint of the Peter Obi Administration’s strides in the educational sector was the return of mission schools back to the original owners – the church! The impact of these reforms in the educational sector has continued to be felt throughout the country, particularly in the results of general examinations, such as WASSCE and NECO.
One may not be off the mark by saying that the tempo of the Post Primary School Education in Anambra seems to have dropped in the present dispensation necessitating a need for rejigging and rejuvenation of that sector. The best person for any job generally is always a person of experience with the requisite passion for the job! Valentine Ozigbo, the immediate past President and Group CEO of Transcorp, fits the bill fittingly and adequately.
The fact that Mr. Ozigbo’s first job after graduation from secondary school was teaching, has imbued him with the needed understanding of the innate workings of classroom education in our secondary schools. Another advantage; which I consider very important is the fact that this respected business leader is the son of a teacher and legendary school headmaster! That association with core missionary educationists had inculcated in him the indelible culture of the importance of education and one can see that burning desire to move that sector to the top.
It is also essential to state that Ozigbo has a stellar track record for academic excellence. He passed out of Christ The Redeemer College, Amesi with flying colours. Went on to the study Accounting at the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he was named the best graduating student in his faculty, winning all the prizes in both the Department of Accounting and the Faculty or Business Administration. He holds a Masters of Business Administration in Banking and Finance from UNN. In 2003, he was awarded the prestigious Chevening Scholarship by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office to study for a Masters of Science in Finance at the Lancaster University, UK, where he graduated with a Distinction. At its 2019 graduation ceremony, Lancaster University recognized him as a Distinguished Alumni. He is also a distinguished alumnus of the Lagos Business School. He was elected the President of the school’s first Global CEO Class.
One of the deficiencies of the Post Primary School System in Anambra State is the near-total obliteration of secondary school sports in the state. Those of us who attended secondary school between the late 1980s and early 1990s still remember with nostalgia, the AAA Games of those days. It is embarrassing that that particular event is dead and it took along with it the inter-school sporting activities and the camaraderie that goes with it.
On this score, Anambra is lucky that a trailblazer like Valentine Ozigbo; a man with a vested interest in youth and sports development has offered himself to serve Anambra and Ndi-Anambra. Ozigbo’s antecedents in sports development speak volumes of the level he will take Anambra State Schools Sports to once he gets the mandate of Ndi-Anambra. As the biggest promoter of freestyle football in Africa, Val has organized and financed the continent’s African Freestyle Football Championship and the national Nigerian Freestyle Football Champions since 2017.
The last freestyle tournaments organised by his company, Feet ‘N’ Tricks International, had contestants from 21 African countries and the finals of the African Freestyle Football Championships had participants from four continents and finalists from 6 African countries.
We can attribute the current drop in tempo in our Post Primary School System to a lack of vision and managerial deficiencies. Going by Ozigbo’s vast experience and intimidating resume, it is safe to say he is among the best transformational managers in Nigeria. He has won global CEO awards to attest to this.
Ndi-Anambra, o na Abu oke ehi tibie, a choba oke mmadu. The Oke ehi of Post Primary School System in Anambra State etibigo, let us waste no time in inviting Oke Mmadu in the person of Valentine Ozigbo, to come and move it to the top!!
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.