The Dean Faculty of Technology, University of Ibadan, Professor Olaosebikan Fakolujo says Nigeria must cease from being a consuming nation and catalyse rapid industrialisation by leveraging and investing in technology.
The Don who stated this at the induction of 293 2018/2019 graduates of the Faculty as graduate member of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), stated that Nigeria must cease from becoming a consuming nation and invest in technology to fast-track industrial and economic development.
According to Professor Fakolujo, the induction which ought to have taken place in 2020 was postponed due to “the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic, ASUU strike and other nationa/global issues”.
He disclosed that 43 of the inductees graduated with a first class in various technology fields while 112 made second class honours upper division.
“I am highly excited to inform this gathering thatforty-three (43) of them, which constitute 14.7%, graduated with First Class Honours. Two(2) are from Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, One(1) is from Department of Civil Engineering Eighteen(18) are from Department ofElectrical and Electronic Engineering, Ten(10) are from Department of Industrial and Production Engineering, Nine( 9) are from Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Three(3) are from Department of Petroleum Engineering. One hundred and twelve (112) of them graduated with Second Class Honours, Upper Division. One hundred and twenty-seven (127) of them graduated with Second Class Honours, Lower Division, ten (10) of them graduated with Third Class Honours and one (1) of them graduated with a Pass Degree. it is crucial for you to identify with the reality that Nigeria need to cease from being a consuming nation and wake up from her slumber by engaging in productive activities that can guarantee rapid industrialisation, earnings from exportation and economic transformation. Technological development is undoubtedly a prerequisite to industrialisation and economic development in any nation of the world”
Professor Fakolujo urged the graduands to acquaint themselves more modern technical and management skills to be relevant engineers nationally and internationally.
“I am glad and confident that the today’s inductees have received very sound engineering training that will make them a spectacular workforce desired for impactful national and international technological advancement and growth, there is need for you to continuously acquaint yourselves with modern technical and management skills acquisitions that will make you an excellent asset for the emerging economy of the world. To be relevant Engineers in the emerging economy, you are expected to constantly be at breast with the state-of-the-art skills and technology in order to be well prepared for critical role in the following core areas”
While speaking in an interview, the best graduating female student, Favour Victoria Aiyegbeni stated that she became the best graduating female student by hardwork and due to her passion for engineering.
“I was not actually aiming high and making sure I understand my courses. I didn’t want to go out there without knowing what I know. It was such a motivation to be the best at what I knew that pushed me. I see myself doing a lot on robotics and AI. I have actually started working on stuff like that and I see myself also delving into business as a consultant and business owner. We need to create awareness and enabling environment by government to those pushing innovation. I have seen a lot of people build some things which are fine but are not cool for African settings. So its good to be innovative but it must be tied to solving a societal problem”
On his part, the best graduating student, male, Emmanuel Nwachukwu urged government to make environment conducive for thinkers and innovators to thrive.
“Africa’s greatest resource is her people. They are bright, intelligent and have the potentials but when the environment is not set right for you it will be very difficult to flourish. I don’t see looking oversees as an end; it’s a means of building competence. I can then go and know how to do it better and come back here and solve problems. I am investing in myself to leverage on technology knowledge, programming languages and data science.