Civil servants are the problems of Nigeria hindering real development. This is according to Afe Babalola, founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti.
Afe Babalola spoke at a dinner in celebration of the conferment of a honorary doctor of letters on him by the University of Ibadan (UI).
The dinner was organised in his honour by lawyers of Emmanuel Chambers & Co.
Afe Babalola said he turned down ministerial appointments because he cannot work with the “present type of civil servants in this country”.
The senior advocate of Nigeria said none of the civil servants in the country can work the way he does.
“Well, I turned ministerial appointments down for two reasons,” he said.
“One, I cannot work with the present type of civil servants in this country. The civil servants are the problems in this country. None of them can work the way I work. I will create instant enemies if I had accepted to be a minister.
“The second reason is that my clients are so many. They protested and felt I would be disappointing them if I accepted to be a minister. ”
He admitted that Nigeria is a difficult county but expressed the hope that things could be better.
He said UI has trained well over 300,000 people, including billionaires, yet the university “could not boast of of N5bn in endowment”.
“Great universities in the world today depend not only on tuition fees but mostly on endowments and donations, “he said.
In his address, Adebayo Adenipekun, principal partner of Afe Babalola & Co, said they will always follow the parts of honesty and integrity laid down by Babalola.
“I wish to assure you, sir, that the chambers is well and kicking and still fulfilling your ideals, ” he said.
“No matter how tempting the brief may be, we always ensure that we maintain the integrity of the chambers and would not go beyond the bounds of due process of law.
“We are unperturbed by any disability we may suffer. We are determined to follow your footprints of honesty and integrity. “