Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, on Thursday charged tertiary institutions in Nigeria to embrace demand-driven research and courses capable of solving the country’s peculiar challenges.
He also urged them to pay closer attention to technical courses and ICT that would make their certificates globally competitive.
The governor gave the charge while inaugurating an information technology building donated by his wife, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi to her alma mater, The Polytechnic, Ibadan, as part of activities marking her 59th birthday.
Ajimobi, who described technology as the bedrock of development, said without deliberate focus on technical education, Nigeria would continue to produce graduates who would not be able to contribute effectively to the country’s socio-economic development.
He also emphasized the importance of ICT, saying that most of the successful entrepreneurs in the world made their fortunes through information and communication technology.
The governor said the state had taken the lead in tackling this problem by establishing the first technical university in Nigeria which he said was equipped to impart `practical and practicable’ skills in its students.
He urged the students to take the advantage of the opportunities provided by the new ICT centre to improve their skills.
The governor said: “Our new education structure in Oyo State is built around technology because the illiterates of tomorrow are not those who cannot read and write but those who cannot harness the power of technology.
“This is why I am calling on our tertiary institutions in Nigeria to embrace demand-driven research and courses that are capable of solving our peculiar challenges as a country.
“My wife has, through this donation, contributed to the advancement of technology in Nigeria. I urge you, the students, to take the advantage of this facility to horn your skill in technology.’’
In her address, Mrs. Ajimobi said she was motivated into donating the ICT centre by the growing influence of information and communication technology and how it is changing the world.
She said: “I have been engulfed with a burning passion to spread its gospel as far as I can. In furtherance of this, I have built and completely equipped three ICT Centres which are today operating at maximum capacity.
“Today, to the glory of God and in commemoration of my 59thbirthday, I am donating the 4th ICT Centre to my alma mater, the Polytechnic Ibadan because I realise there is a great need for this intervention in the institution.
Mrs. Ajimobi expressed the hope that the centre would provide more opportunities to the students, and indeed, the entire institution’s community.
She enjoined well-meaning individuals to, in their own little ways, continue to give back to the society, saying this was one of the ways to ensure rapid growth and development.
The birthday celebration started with a thanksgiving service at the Government House Chapel, Agodi, Ibadan.