By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
The Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, Dr. Hephzibah Oladebeye, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to factor engineering innovations into his much touted economic diversification programme.
Oladebeye appealed to the federal government to allocate more resources for improved engineering innovations in order to boost the economy of the country, saying the sector can strengthen the economy and bolster the economic diversification programme .
The Rector made the call while delivering the 23rd edition of the Prof. E.K. Obiakor inaugural lecture series titled ‘Engineering innovations towards sustainable national development in the pre and pro COVID-19 pandemic era’ in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday.
The Mechanical Engineering expert advised Buhari advised Buhari to use engineering innovations as a focus in the diversification policy, saying sole reliance on agriculture to drive the policy, may impede the success of the programme.
The Mechanical Engineer said: “Governments of developing economies like Nigeria should look beyond agriculture in their diversification programme and focus more on engineering innovations through increased educational research and development”.
He further advocated for synergy between the town and the gown in order to produce scientifically and technologically- inclined citizens needed for economic development, while calling for exchange of information and documentation between industries and educational Institutions.
The Poly Rector, however, stated that necessary recognition should be accorded to indigenous Engineers and other personnel in the profession, saying this remains the best way to develop human capitals and managerial skills of experts.
“They should be patronised as consultants and contractors for high-level projects instead of engaging foreign contractors who have little knowledge of the working environment”.
He, however, stated that diversification of the economy should be geared towards engineering innovations, which could only be derived through investment in mathematics, science and technology.
Oladebeye, a fellow, Nigerian Society of Engineers, (FNSE) further called for the application of knowledge in all engineering disciplines for the development of the country’s social economic sectors.
“Sectors such as transportation, telecommunications, water supply, agriculture, energy, industry, environment, health and biotechnology must be developed yo help the diversification programme.
“The sectors are pivotal to economy because they help in providing information for wealth creation, boost citizens’ skills and make them self independent, rather than to be job seekers”.
The Prof. E.K. Obiakor lecture series of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, is a inaugural lectures’ series of the Polytechnic named after the pioneer Rector of the institution, Prof. Edward Kanu Obiakor, the Rector of the institution from January 1977 to December 1985.