The Vice-chancellor, University of Ilorin, Professor Abdulganiyu Ambali, has said that materialism and corruption are two basic attitudinal problems contributing to underdevelopment in Africa.
Speaking at the annual international conference of the Social Studies Association of Nigeria (SOSAN) themed; Tackling problems of materialism and corruption in Africa continent, in Ilorin on Tuesday, the vice chancellor said that the problems had eaten deep into fabrics of the nation.
Professor Ambali, who said that the problems had become a culture among indigenes of the continent, added that no stone should be left unturned on the need for change of individual mindset in tackling the problems.
Represented by the deputy vice chancellor, Academics, Professor Sidikat Ijaya, the vice chancellor said that the problems also affected both the high and the low in the Africa continent, adding that it had brought about disenchantment among the populace.
“It’s not an overstatement to say that Nigerians are not happy with the present socioeconomic situation of the country and things have to change. No one is happy with the growing poverty level in the land, even among institutions.
“So, the conference should suggest ways out to bring about changes for the continent. And for Nigeria to sustain its leadership status in the continent, every individual should change their mindset. Many Nigerians think it is when they are rich at the expense of others that will be seen to have arrived. Unfortunately, this brings about crimes particularly among youth in form of kidnapping and all sorts.
“People have failed to realise that the more materials they acquire for their family members, the more the headache on how to manage the property, instead of bringing their family up in unity and love.
Unfortunately, places where wisdom is expected, eg, religious places, preach materialism. Our traditional leaders and intellectuals should come together and help solve the issue,” he said.
In his lead paper, titled, reflection on African and western world practices and responses to materialism, Dr. Olutoye Odeleye of the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso, said that the misconception of materialism as a way of life is rapidly gaining ground in Africa.
Dr. Odeleye, who lamented that the misconception had promoted bribery and corruption in many sectors, said that it had destroyed many lives, societal, moral uprightness and educational standard.
The paper argued that socio civic proactive response is capable of tackling materialism and corruption in Africa, if the school, teachers teaching the subject, government and entire society are faithful to the task.
Kehinde Akinpelu, Ilori