By: BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
The Special Adviser Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Education, Dr. Bisi Akin-Alabi on Wednesday hinted that Oyo state government is to explore Information Technology to tackle mounting difficulties in waste collection and billing system, indiscriminate refuse disposal and other environmental challenges confronting Nigeria.
Dr Akin-Alabi dropped this hint in Ibadan at a joint press conference by the state and its partners on the project, Tagged the ‘OYOMESI Festival of learning, including leading waste collection company, West Africa ENGR Limited (WAEL) held at the Technical University
The Special Adviser declared that Oyo state government and the development partners have concluded plans towards ensuring the actualization of the usage of the Information Technology and that towards accomplishing the task, the government had concluded arrangements with the partners to organize the first ever hackathon in Nigeria to address environmental issues besetting the country, which, would be held at the university.
“This event aims to promote learning as a lifelong activity necessary for all. This is in support of the UNESCO Learning City Status conferred on Ibadan in October 2016. As such, other zones in the state must become Learning Neighborhoods, whilst we strive to achieve the qualifying criteria for a UNESCO Learning City Progress Award.” she said.
According to Dr Akin-Alabi, the weeklong event was opened to students of tertiary institutions, technology enthusiasts and other education stakeholders and that
participants are expected to form clusters and peach based on ideas and tasks that would be assigned to them, which would be presented to a panel of assessors.
The Special Adviser emphasized that the hackathon was targeted at development of applications and IT solutions to tackle waste collection, billing and payment system, reporting of illegal dumpsites, city enumeration and management as well as recycling measurements and reporting, saying, “the ultimate objective was to screen the chosen APPs and subject them to further development in relevant companies in the UK, which could be commercialized for use across Nigeria and other African countries.”
The Festival of Learning will allow a wider audience of teachers, educators and businesses to collaborate and network on new approaches to classroom practices. At the end of the programme, participants are expected to be full of ideas to inspire their pupils. It is an opportunity to market products and engage with other stakeholders. It will afford participants the opportunity to also attend and participate in various workshops that will take place during the festival. “
Dr Akin-Alabi added that the project was targeted at promoting learning as a lifelong activity necessary for all, as prescribed by United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Learning City Status, which was conferred on Ibadan in October 2016.
“This event is a high-energy, all-night, problem-solving session to imagine and develop IT solutions that directly respond to a variety of specific environmental management challenges; specifically, waste collection billing and payment system, reporting of illegal dumpsites, city enumeration and management, as well as recycling measurement and reporting.”
Speaking further, Dr Akin-Alabi said the three top ideas from the event would attract the N2million worth of investment, with the top idea attracting N1million investment, while the first and second runners up will benefit from a N.7m and N.3m worth of investment respectively.
Vice Chancellor of the Technical University, Professor Ayobami Salami in his remark declared that it was instructive that the festival of learning in the state coincided with the first anniversary of the university, stressing that the Technical University was established to proffer indnovative solutions to human challenges on a daily basis, which, he said, was also the focus of the Hackathon competition.