Former UNILAG VC Charges Govt On Economic Advancement Through Innovation, Technology

Kunle Adelabu

-Commends LASUSTECH inauguration of founder’s day

Prof. Oluwatoyin Temitope Ogundipe, FAAS, FAS, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), has urged governments at all levels to invest in innovation, science and technology, in order to develop sustained economy.

Ogundipe, who was the guest speaker at the inaugural Founder’s Day of the Lagos State University of Science and Technology (LASUSTECH), Ikorodu, emphasized that such investment promotes competitiveness, sustainable economic growth, and general prosperity.

The inaugural Founder’s Day lecture, themed, “Nation Building Through Innovation, Science and Technology”, took place at the 500 – seater auditorium of the Ikorodu main campus of the institution on Friday.

Speaking on the theme of the Founder’s Day, Prof. Ogundipe said that a country’s ability to innovate and use technological advancements is closely linked to its economic development, stating that United States of America, South Korea and Singapore are good examples of nations that these have helped in their economic development.

He said that technological and innovation – driven countries always have Sustained Economic Growth, Globally Competitive, Employment and Industrial Growth, Infrastructure and Connectivity among others.

“The need for nations to invest in innovation, science and technology, in order to promote competitiveness, sustainable economic growth and general prosperity, is emphasised by the economic imperative of these fields’ effects on nation-building”, the guest lecturer said.

Prince Waheed Kasali, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Tertiary Education who represented the Commissioner with Prof. Odusanya and others at the Founder’s Day

“Innovation is a key factor in economic growth, frequently resulting from advances in science and technology. Countries that allocate resources towards research and development (R&D) foster an atmosphere that is favourable for technological innovations, resulting in amplified productivity and efficacy throughout various sectors.

“Using cutting edge technologies boosts productivity and enables countries to produce more with less resources. Studies such as the Industrial Revolution have shown that increased efficiency leads directly to economic growth.

“Innovation- and technology-driven nations frequently have an edge over rivals in the international arena. Leading developments in fields like biotechnology, information technology, and renewable energy, not only boost a country’s export potential but also draw in foreign capital, solidifying its place in the international economy.

“Countries that can quickly adapt are better positioned to compete globally in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era, which is defined by technologies like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. The ability of a country to utilise and incorporate these technologies into its services and industry is essential for its economy.

Prof. Ojikutu, Pro Chancellor LASUSTECH (middle) presented an award to the Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Lagos State (left). With them, LASUSTECH VC

While stating that industrial development brings about employment opportunities to countries, Prof. Ogundipe charged government to focus on supporting the development of Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMEs) which he said plays crucial roles in nation’s development.

“New industries are encouraged to emerge through investments in technology and innovation. In addition to producing highly skilled jobs, the expansion of industries like biotechnology, clean energy, and information technology, also supports ancilliary businesses, which boosts overall employment and economic diversification”, he said.

“Environments that encourage entrepreneurship are often conducive for innovation. Governments that support small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the technology sector, foster economic dynamism by assembling a group of creative companies capable of propelling economic expansion”.

Other areas of a nation that the former UNILAG VC mentioned that innovation and technology help propelled are Social Development and Inclusivity, Healthcare, Sustainable Environment and Defense and National Security.

The former VC, who commended the LASUSTECH management for initiating the celebration of the day that the institution was founded, also described the school as strategically placed for progress than any other in the state.

LASUSTECH VC, guest lecturer at the Founder’s Day with members of the LASUSTECH governing council

“You may not know what you are doing today, but in 20, 40 or 100 years’ time, people will remember that February is the institution’s founder’s day”, Prof. Ogundipe said.

“A child that remembers his/her birthday is celebrating the day he or she is giving birth to. February 2nd is a day that this university will always remember.

“This university is strategically placed in such a way that very soon, it will be far ahead of other universities.

“If you look at other universities in Lagos State, this university is strategically placed, exposed in terms of location, interactive and connectivity to other areas, approach – the environment is more conducive and friendly.

“So, it is strategically placed to make more progress than other universities in Lagos”, the former UNILAG VC emphasized.

Prof. Olumuyiwa Omotola Odusanya, Vice Chancellor, LASUSTECH, said that the significance of the founder’s day is to celebrate the institution and share its achievements with the public.

Prof. Ogundipe delivering his paper on the Founder’s Day theme, “Nation Building Through Innovation, Science and Technology”

He thanked the Governor of the state for establishing the university and making necessary funding available for it to kick – off.

“Every institution has a purpose or mandate. Our celebrating the founder’s day is to share with the large society our achievements and impact in fulfilling our mandate”, he said.

“Our celebrating founder’s day today is to institutionalise it and make it a permanent feature in our calendar. It is indeed a time of reflection, and also to look at the future to garner resources for the university.

“We acknowledge the uncommon transmutation process involved in making the erstwhile Lagos State Polytechnic to become the Lagos State University of Technology on February 2nd, 2022.

“We are deeply grateful to Mr Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu, for establishing the university which is an integral part of his THEMES Plus agenda. We thank Mr Governor for the deployment of huge resources to being our university”, Prof. Odusanya added.

The VC said that the goal of the institution is to become a highly – competitive, much – sought, globally acclaimed, world university which vison focusing on infrastructural development, manpower development, productivity and prosperity of the university community, a strong university culture of excellence in teaching, research and community services and catalyst for Lagos State agenda.

Cross section of University dons

Prof. Odusanya, who said that LASUSTECH now have 40 programmes, including three new ones, approved by the Nigerian University Commission, also added that the institution has completed an academic session with its pioneer students now in second year.

Master Ogunbiyi Jubril Olamilekan, a student studying Accounting in the College of Applied Social Sciences, was announced as the overall best student for the 2022/23 session in Lagos State University of Science and Technology (LASUSTECH). He scored 5.0 CGPA.

Recall that the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu, signed the bill that established LASUSTECH into law on February 2, 2022.

Hon. Musliu Folani, former Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Lagos State and other guests at the LASUSTECH Founder’s Day.
LASUSTECH tudents at the inaugural Founder’s Day celebration on Friday

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