On the 4th of January, 2010, I had the opportunity of addressing the lucky pioneer students of this university and their parents. I promised that I would continue to hold the students to free monthly dinner.

The objective is to create an avenue for the parents and students and teachers to get together, move together, and eat together, know one another, exchange views, and re-echo the vision and philosophy of the founder and lead education reform not by words but by action.

ABUAD is not just one other university but a university with a unique purpose of reforming education and a breeding place for disciplined and well educated leaders of tomorrow.

Today, I wish to address you on one of the factors that can make you a disciplined and successful leader. It is management of time.

A man’s life ticks away with the hand of the clock every second, yet not many people appreciate that every minute that is gone is irretrievable. Unfortunately, most Nigerians do not appreciate the import of time.

For any person to succeed in life, he must utilize time purposefully and effectively. We have 24 hours in a day, split into day time from about 6 a.m. to about 6-7 p.m. depending on the movement of the sun (north or south of the equator and the time of the year); and then the night hours. These time periods are arranged by nature in such a way that one normally goes to rest in the night. In other words, nature itself dictates when to work and when not to work, and when to rest and when not to rest.

Regrettably, many people do not spend up to half of the time when they ought to work on useful things that can improve their lives. Indeed most people spend only about 2 hours a day on meaningful ventures. They squander a greater chunk of their time attending birthday, wedding, funeral, Club parties. Others use their time drinking, chatting or visiting people who did not invite them. Some just idle away and do nothing.

Any person who aspires to be successful must master the use of time and this must start from the earliest stages of life.

I was fortunate to have had very good teachers when I was a pupil in Emmanuel Primary School, Ado-Ekiti. They were trained by white men. They taught us that punctuality is the soul of business. Any pupil who came late to class was subjected to corporal punishment (canning). We were made to manage time well.

In Nigeria today, there are two types of “time”. “African time” and “English time”. The time on any invitation card has no meaning. The organizers would tell you privately that the event would not begin until one hour after the time indicated on the invitation card. In fact, activities and events are hardly attended at the time fixed for them but several hours afterwards. This trend was one of the unsavoury legacies of military rule. The military Heads of State or Governors usually sent their protocol officers to go and confirm that all guests including aged traditional rulers were fully seated before they attended state functions.

Recently, at Emmanuel Cathedral Church, Ado-Ekiti, I attended a wedding service fixed for 10.00 a.m. I attended on time, (five minutes before 10a.m.) but the service started at 11a.m., after the Priest had waited for an hour. Even then the bride and groom were still not in the church. The Priest proceeded with the wedding service till he got to the stage when the couple were to be formally joined. Guess what? Both the groom and the bride were yet to arrive! The service had to stop until the couple arrived at about 11.45a.m. Several times when I attended lectures and launching ceremonies at the times fixed, I ended up not meeting the organizers. Sometimes I would wait for an hour and leave.

The same thing happened in University of Lagos when I took over the Pro Chancellorship of the University in 2001, Members of the Governing Council used to come to meetings late. But after the first meeting, I made everybody come punctually to meetings and all other functi,ons. Soon punctuality became the sole of business throughout the university.

Here in ABUAD, punctuality is part of discipline. Wake up time is wake up time. Lecture time is lecture time and the same thing applies to all activities. I am happy to observe that both lecturers and students have learnt to be punctual following the rules laid down by the University.

We have attendance registers to be signed by the lecturers and students. We expect 100% attendance (barring ill health) and not 75% attendance at Lectures as they do in other universities.

At the end of each year, students will evaluate the lecturers attendance and performance. It is this evaluation that will determine salary increase for lecturers and other staff members and of course the success or failure of the students.

To ensure that you learn how to manage your time, we have directed that teachers must give regular assignments on each subject. I am happy that your parents who got in touch with me were very happy that their children are fully engaged.

My prayer for you is that you shall be successful in life.

To be successful, you must be a whole man. A whole man must be a disciplined man. Management of time is part of discipline. As from today, you must vow to maximize the use of time gainfully.



Time is life;

Life is time;

Time is the greatest enemy of man;

Time does not wait for anyone;

Lost time is irretrievable; Use most of your time gainfully;

Devil finds work for idle hand;

There is no subject difficult to master. Spend time on it. You may spend more time to master a difficult subject. In the end you will be a master of the subject like any other.

If you want to be a successful man and a leader, start to utilize your time gainfully as from today. That is one of the secrets of the success of the founder of your university.

I know that you all want to become great leaders in the future. You must, therefore make time your best friend. You are bound to make it. You will make it.


Thank you.