In a spectacle that combined intellectual prowess with a dash of physical flair, the 12th Inaugural Lecture unfolded at the illustrious Federal University Otuoke on the 24th of January, 2024. The grand event took center stage at the main auditorium of the East Campus, setting the tone for a day of erudition and captivating entertainment.
Steering the ship of this ‘Indaba’ with a ‘Doxa’ of both cerebral and corporeal razzmatazz was none other than the eminent Vice Chancellor, Professor Teddy Charles Adias. In his resounding welcome address, he declared, “Today, we convene as custodians of the University’s venerable customs and traditions to lend our ears to our esteemed brother and friend. He will unravel the intricacies of “Family Budgeting: ‘Indaba-Doxa:’ Let the Believers Help the Unbelievers, Mbok!”
With an air of anticipation, Professor Adias asserted that the audience had the distinct privilege of absorbing the wisdom about to be imparted and the unique opportunity to witness a valuable contribution to knowledge.
Amidst the grandeur, the VC revealed that the Inaugural Lecture serves as the gateway to recognizing the remarkable accomplishments of an academic luminary. In the spotlight of this occasion being the distinguished Professor Emmanuel Sebastian Akpan. The platform, a symbol of academic accolades, was extended to Professor Akpan to illuminate his past achievements, present endeavors, and future aspirations dedicated to pushing the boundaries of knowledge.
The gathering eagerly awaited Professor Akpan’s revelations, poised to be regaled by the saga of his scholarly exploits and gain insights into the trajectory of his intellectual pursuits. The 12th Inaugural Lecture at Federal University Otuoke thus unfolded as a riveting affair, where academia and celebration seamlessly converged, leaving an indelible mark on the University’s rich tapestry of scholarly excellence.
The luminary, Professor Emmanuel Sebastian Akpan, set the stage for his Inaugural Lecture with a captivating exploration of the profound connection between the words budgeting – a process that allows one to make a plan concerning the income and expenditure flow pattern of any system, in this case, the Family.
This income-expenditure flow pattern can cover for a period not more than a year; ‘Indaba’- a Zulu term signifying a congregation of serious-minded individuals- and ‘Doxa’—a Greek expression for opinion. In a masterful exposition, he wove together these linguistic threads, emphasizing their relevance to the occasion’s theme of family budgeting. For Professor Akpan, the assembly of great minds convened in the discourse on family budgeting represents an indispensable facet of fostering a life characterized by both peace and progress.
As an intriguing addendum to the lecture’s focal point, Professor Akpan introduced the term ‘Mbok,’ an expression deeply rooted in the cultural fabric of Akwa Ibom State. Serving as a heartfelt plea, ‘Mbok’ transcends linguistic boundaries and emerges as an earnest call for believers in the doctrine of budgeting to extend their support to the unbelievers. In this cultural context, ‘Mbok’ stands as a compelling entreaty, urging the champions of fiscal prudence to assist those who may be yet to embrace the tenets of budgetary wisdom, deeming it not just a choice but a matter of necessity.
In a masterful transition from linguistics to finance, Professor Emmanuel Akpan seamlessly navigated the terrain of fiscal wisdom during his Inaugural Lecture. With a sagacious tone, he declared, “You can’t understand budgeting if you don’t understand finance. But finance is not completely money it goes deeper than money. Finance is the study and the management of the actual flow of funds as well as claims upon these funds in an attempt to making transactions efficient and effective even onto the settlement of debts. That’s my own definition.” With this succinct elucidation, Professor Akpan underscored the pivotal role of financial acumen in comprehending the intricate dynamics of the family unit in relation to welfare optimization, which is a family’s primary objective.
Delving into the heart of financial management, Professor Akpan skillfully dissected what he referred to as the 3-(A’s) of finance—liquidity decision, financial decision, and investment decision. According to him, you cannot talk about finance objectives without proper grasp of finance management. With precision, he illuminated the audience on the bedrock principles of investments, emphasizing the virtues of regular investment, channeling funds into growth-oriented ventures, and the importance of diversification for a robust financial portfolio.
Drawing attention to the indispensable Rule 72 in investment, which tells one what and how to invest by dividing 72 over the market interest rate, Professor Akpan demystified the essence of distinguishing between financial literacy and financial illiteracy. He said 30% of the world population is financially literate, which implies that over 6 billion people are financially illiterate, hence, the need for more people to have financial knowledge. His advice resonated as a beacon of enlightenment, urging individuals to cultivate a keen understanding of the intricacies of finance to navigate the complex world of investments effectively.
The seasoned scholar continued his counsel, emphasizing the paramount importance of meticulous planning as the roadmap to financial success. Encouraging the audience to identify problems, carefully choose alternatives, and execute decisions with precision, Professor Akpan painted a picture of strategic financial maneuvering.
In a poignant moment, he left the audience with a profound reflection, stating, “The decimal is yourself; know yourself and you’ll enjoy financial freedom.” He asserted further thus: “training one’s child is not a retirement plan but saving prudently is.” With these words, Professor Emmanuel Sebastian Akpan not only imparted financial wisdom but also underscored the significance of self-awareness as the cornerstone of achieving true financial liberation. As the Inaugural Lecture unfolded, the convergence of linguistic, cultural, and financial insights created a tapestry of knowledge that resonated deeply with the audience, elevating the event to a nexus of intellectual enlightenment and pragmatic guidance.
Zooming in on the expansive canvas of fiscal discourse, Professor Akpan directed his focus specifically towards the realm of budgeting during his Inaugural Lecture. With eloquence and precision, he unfolded the concept, defining family budgeting as the strategic act of imbuing fiscal prudence with a temporal dimension. According to the Professor , this involves delineating a timeframe within which financial decisions are made, transforming the abstract notion of budgeting into a tangible and structured approach.
In a nod to the profound impact of the budgeting principle, Professor Akpan illuminated the audience with the insight that budgeting bestows an unparalleled sense of real peace—when it is regular, exclusive, adequate, and comprehensive. This principle, he asserted, extends beyond the mere allocation of financial resources; it becomes a transformative force that not only safeguards economic stability but also fosters a harmonious coexistence between financial aspirations and fiscal realities. Especially, when the budget estimate is clear and not ambiguous.
The scholar’s elucidation on family budgeting resonated as a call to action, urging individuals to embrace this disciplined approach as a means to attain a holistic and enduring sense of financial serenity.
In a climactic moment of his Inaugural Lecture, Professor Emmanuel Sebastian Akpan distilled the essence of his discourse on family budgeting with a succinct and pragmatic summarization. Addressing the assembled intellects, he presented a transformative principle encapsulated in what he termed the “50-30-20” budgeting principle —a guiding beacon for achieving financial equilibrium within the family framework.
He articulated, “What is necessary for the family is zero-based. It’s the 50-30-20 principle. 50% of your income should be able to take care of your needs, which are fundamental. 30% of your income should be able to take care of your wants, and the remaining 20% is for your savings and investments.” With this formulaic breakdown, he illuminated a path for individuals to structure their financial allocations in a manner that ensures the fulfillment of both essential requirements and discretionary desires, while concurrently fostering a culture of saving and investment.
In a captivating twist, Professor Akpan then proposed a customized adaptation for the ‘Indaba’s’ audience, advocating what he dubbed the “70-15-15” principle. This nuanced approach suggested allocating 70% of income to meet fundamental needs, 15% for discretionary wants, and the remaining 15% earmarked for savings and investments.
The eminent scholar concluded with a rallying call, asserting, “Once you’re done with the 70-15-15 principle, you’ll come back and tell us ‘yes, truly the believers are helping the unbelievers!’. With this evocative statement, Professor Akpan not only laid down a blueprint for financial prudence, but also fostered a sense of collective responsibility among the gathered minds, an affirmation that adherence to sound financial principles becomes a testament to mutual support and shared success. As the curtains fell on the Inaugural Lecture, the resonance of Professor Akpan’s insights lingered, leaving an indelible mark on the collective consciousness of those who had partaken in this intellectual and practical journey.
From the Publications Unit