Wale Jagun, Oluwaseun Ajayi, Modinat Adekojo, Ayobami Adejare & Folarin Joseph
The Rector of Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Ikorodu, Mr Samuel Sogunro and other resource persons, at the 3-day international conference organized by the institution’s School of Engineering, have called for the diversification of the country’s economy in order to achieve economic sustainability.
The call was among other resolutions at the Conference which focused on Engineering, Innovations and Technology Development and themed, ‘Science, Engineering & Technology: Imperative For Economic Diversification’
It was held at the 500 Seaters Auditorium at the Ikorodu Main Campus of the Institution between Monday, December 5 to Wednesday, December 7, 2017.
Other resolutions at the conference are that science and technology are key to diversification, need to improve on students based-teaching, need for collaborative creativity, need for Nigerians to involve in agriculture activity and make foreign earnings and the need for Nigerians, especially those in academics, to engage in critical thinking in providing solutions to the nation’s economic woes and challenges among others.
The conference, which started in a grand style, had Prof Peter Onwuali, FNSE, FAENG, of Material Science and Engineering, African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Abuja as the lead discussant.
In his welcome address, Mr Sogunro stated that conferences and other academic engagements that are geared towards proferring solutions to the problems and challenges of the country and humanity are being encouraged by the school.
“It is our regular academic exercise in LAPSOTECH to organize conference of this nature where issues that bother on our national development are discussed. As I speak with you now, a similar exercise is currently ongoing in the School of Technology”.
“To our credit, LASPOTECH, in collaboration with University of Johannesburg, South Africa, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana and Bells University of Technology, Ota, will be hosting a world-class international conference tagged, “ICIDA 2018” in March next year. The conference will be hosted in LASPOTECH, Ikorodu Main Campus” , Mr Sogunro informed the audience.
“The theme for this year’s conference is strategic and timely, especially at this time of economic turmoil. There is no gainsaying, that Nigeria operates a mono-economic policy; our over-dependence on oil has led the country into economic recession in recent time due to fall in oil prices. In order to avoid reoccurrence of this economic hardship, urgent steps must be taken by all stakeholders to diversify the nation’s economy. It is interesting to know that Nigeria is top on the list of African countries with bothy Natural and Human resources that are capable of facilitating economic growth. However, these potentials have remained relatively untapped over the years since the discovery of oil in the 1960s”, Mr Sogunro recalled.
“The importance of economic diversification cannot be over emphasized in that it helps support multiple businesses and the benefits is that the economy is not tied to a single industry or market sector”,the Rector submitted.
Mr Sogunro also called for a new roadmap that would chart a better direction for Nigeria to achieve its sustainable economic development.
Engineer Michael O. Ashaolu, the Dean School of Engineering, LASPOTECH, in his opening remarks stated that appropriate technology use will enhance other Industries such as: Banking, Agriculture and Health among others.
In his keynote address, Engineer Ahmed Mansur of Dangote Group of Companies, stated that though, Nigeria has enough man power, it lacks skilled manpower .
He challenged those in academics to evolve innovations that would help in technological and scientific advancements.
Professor Gbadamosi, Chairman, LASPOTECH Governing Council, in his address, congratulated the institution, especially the School of Engineering, for hosting the 3rd edition of the International Conference.
He expressed his delight in the number of students in attendance and enouraged them to put up positive attitude so as to become a global ambassador.
Prof. Peter Onwuala, in his lead paper on the first day of the conference, stated that agriculture plays important role in economic development and enjoined Nigerians to invest and engage in it.
According to him, agriculture is a major activity in Europe, adding that for Nigeria to get out of its economic woes, the country must endeavour to develop its agriculture produce for local and international market consumptions.
He cited the example of cocoa which he described as a produce that Nigeria can derive foreign earnings from if properly harnessed.
Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, the Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, presented the lead paper on the second day of the conference.
Speaking on the sub-theme, “Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation”, Prof. Ogundipe stated that the inability of Nigerian youths to innovate poses a major problem to the country’s economic diversification.
He opined that saving and investment, education and good governance among others would help the country develop.
Among papers presented as sub-themes at the conference were Economic Diversification through Agricultural Sector Development, Promoting Local Production of Food and Raw materials as a means of Economic Diversification, Economic Diversification through Engineering Technologies for Industrialization, Sustainable Manufacturing System and Techniques as a means of Economic Diversification and Development and Application of Engineering materials for Economic Diversification among many others.