The Wife of Ondo State Governor, Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu -Akeredolu, has described science and technology as drivers for sustainable development which could only be achieved through practical strategies and proper implementation.
Mrs Anyanwu-Akeredolu made this known at Elizade University, Ilara -Mokin during the first Faculty of Basic and Applied Sciences Conference on Monday.
The Ondo State First Lady who spoke on the theme: “Quest For Sustainable National Development: Science and Technology as drivers”, said that no nation could develop without consistent practicable policies on science and technology.
Mrs. Akeredolu described sustainable development as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
She added that the aim of conserving resources for future generations was one of the major features that distinguished sustainable development policy from traditional environmental policy, which also sought to internalize the externalities of environmental degradation.
She noted that a country must master the necessary tools of industrial production and socio-political development which are based almost exclusively on science and technology in order to be an effective partner in the emerging global market.
According to her, implementation of a national development plan which is based on the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), commitment on the part of the leaders and absence of corruption are key to achieving sustainable development in Nigeria.
She cautioned policy makers on negligence of female folks in schemes of national development, berating any move targeted at reducing potentials of women.
Mrs. Akeredolu urged parents to train their female children with their resources, saying that women contributions in modern society could not be jettisoned.
She cited her pet project tagged BEMORE, an annual summer programme for girls that trains on ICT and Solar technology, which had benefitted and transformed many lives of young ones through science and technology.
In his address, the state Commissioner for Education, Hon. Femi Agagu, commended the vision of the founder of Elizade University, Chief Michael Adeojo, for being among the few who were advancing the course of rapid development of science and technology education in Nigeria.
Hon. Agagu explained that the theme of the conference was very relevant to the current socio-economic realities of the country and observed that universities had played a critical role in national development.
“Sustainable national development has become the major quest of all countries in the world and it is driven by science and technology.
“Therefore, in realization of the fact that science and technology remains the panacea for a sustainable national development, Nigeria enacted the first university of Science and Technology in 1980.
“This led to the birth of a number of specialized universities in the country, including Federal and State Universities of Science and Technology and University of Medical Sciences which have further brightened the hope that Nigeria will soon occupy her rightful place among the comity of nations in this knowledge and innovation age,” Agagu said.
The Commissioner also appreciated the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, for recognizing the importance of science and technology in national development.
He stressed that the state government was putting in place a number of measures to revive science and technology education in the state.
Director General, Institute for National Transformation, Prof. Vincent Anigbogu, who was also the guest speaker, called on universities across the country to produce independent students instead of dependent ones as he maintained that the educational system in the country should do more to build on human capital.
“The only capital at our disposal is human capital and to make headway in developing human capital, there must be a shift in the way we structure education.
” There must be a shift to the third generation of education which emphasises learning for life improvement and not to acquire certificate.
“To remain competitive globally, Nigeria must become one of the leading international centres of excellence and reference in science, technology and innovation systems research, training and capacity building, communication and sensitization, knowledge brokerage, policy advocacy and outreach in Africa.
” To attain such status, there must be a deliberate effort to improve the quality of science, technology and innovation systems research and policy making by strengthening capacity for science and technology knowledge generation, communication and dissemination, use and mastery for sustainable development,”Anigbogu explained.
In his opening speech, the Vice Chancellor, Elizade University, Prof. Olukayode Amund, opined that the role of science and technology for sustainable future had become a topic that was being discussed across the world . He added that with the gradual depletion of available resources in Nigeria it has become imperative to find a solution.
“Technology plays a crucial role in sustainable development, be it Social, Economics or Environmental, the role of technology to meet the goals of sustainable development cannot be denied.
” Today, science and technology has progressed by leaps and bounds in all fields.
” Countries across the world are building models of sustainable growth based on the assumption that technology can help create new or alternate source to the depleting resources,” Amund said.
The vice chancellor stressed the need for research to harness science and technology as a way of fulfilling sustainable development, advising the participants to educate themselves with the latest developments in sustainable science.
In her welcome address, the Chairperson, Local Organising Committee, Dr Bukola Onyekwelu , who welcomed everyone to the occasion, particularly thanked Mrs Akeredolu for her presence.
Onyekwelu explained that the goal of the conference was to foster discussion and exchange of research ideas in the area of science and technology as effective tools for national development which according to her led to the theme of the conference.
“A sustainable national development is a major heartcry, especially in our nation today.
” Some of the areas that will be covered in this conference include, Mobile Health Application, Entrepreneurship in Science and Technology Education, Intrusion Detection among others.
“It is hoped that the programme will lead to the achievement of its aim of national development and further research in areas where results have presented in the proceedings,” she explained.
In the remarks of Dean, Faculty of Basic and Applied Sciences, Elizade University, Prof. Bayode Fakunle, said that research was the bedrock of academic development that could give global visibility to universities.
“It is also our belief in our faculty that neither good teaching nor applied research can be sustained without an ongoing basic research.
” We therefore place high premium on research and do encourage every academic staff of our faculty to engage in quality research to promote scholarship,” Fakunle stated.