Ondo State governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, on Thursday laid the foundation for the construction of Rehoboth Center for Advanced Technology at Okitipupa.
The Center is a partnership between the Ondo State Government, through the Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa (OSUSTECH) and the Rehoboth Foundation.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of the Center was signed on 1st June, 2017.
Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony of the Center, Governor Akeredolu said working with external partners will allow the university to access different pools of knowledge that will enhance their Research and Development and technical capabilities.
He said the MoU arose out of the fact that OSUSTECH has increasingly recognised that to successfully innovate, they cannot exclusively rely on their Internal Research and Development.
According to the governor, the institution also recognises a need to produce graduates with sufficient hands-on experience that will make them creators of employment instead of seekers of the elusive employment that is more or less now nonexistent.
The governor explained that the MoU encapsulates the facilitation of exchange of undergraduate and graduate students, exchange of faculty members and research scholars, joint research activities such as joint research programmes and projects, Joint symposia, workshops and conferences and to enhance the exchange of scientific materials and information; and to create environment that will enhance hands-on training of the students and staff.
Akeredolu said ” We averred that the main mission of our administration is to lead a patriotic, highly inspired and competent team to rescue the ship of our State. We acknowledge the enormous challenges faced by the State in the area of education and technology.
“The world has undergone a paradigm shift in the way goods and services are produced due to large-scale deployment of technology in the manufacturing process
“To this end, local availability of technologically competent workforce is one of the factors considered by investors in deciding on industry location.
“Hence, what is essential for any region to succeed is by making available high quality technicians of international standards to satisfy the demand for skilled workforce
“Given this state of affairs, it is important that institutions of learning create capacities to provide skilled workforce to attract and retain manufacturing industries in their respective states or regions
“At present, Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector in Nigeria has not evolved to the standard required by modern day manufacturing industries
” In addition, there are challenges with the current system which does not allow it to scale up and upgrade the capacity to meet the demand for high quality skilled workforce. “
The governor stressed that it becomes imperative that the current skill training institutes need to be upgraded with capacity to train in relevant sectors especially in advanced and high technology manufacturing processes.