VP Osinbajo underscores importance of technology to national development

Timothy Choji

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo says understanding the way technology works and thinking out of the box is the way to go in the world of today.

He therefore says government has launched a special Presidential initiative on technology and start-ups, in its quest to make the country the technology hub in Africa.

He says the federal government will also be training a pool of 100,000 software developers, hardware service professionals, animators, graphic artists, building services professionals, artisans and others.

Budgetary Support

According to the Vice President, it is in recognition of the central role of innovation and technology in national economic growth plan that the federal government in the current budget provided extensively for technology and innovation.

“This year we are establishing technology hubs across the country. Two super hubs in Abuja and Lagos and 6 regional hubs in the six geopolitical zones. In partnership with several technology companies, the hubs will be fully resourced with infrastructure and capacity building. 50 of the most innovative technology start-ups would soon be invited to the Presidential Villa to meet with major technology and innovation companies as well as collaborating with the federal government. ” he said.

Professor Osinbajo disclosed this while delivering the second Foundation Lecture of the Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State, entitled “The Future is here earlier than we thought.”

He said the path to greatness, and development is in critical thinking, and also coming up with innovative ideas.

The Vice President gave a long list of major and global advancements attained through technology and innovative ideas, including how some Nigerians have also taken due advantage and called on Nigerians to be even more creative and inventive.

“I urge you to create a network of peers where participants interact and share in the value creation. People can no longer just be, for instance, an economist, an accountant, a graduate of international relations, Mass Communication or Performing Arts. Rather, multi-skilling is crucial today “you must learn to be a versatile operator not a mono-skilled graduate…everyone has a right to be rich, age is not a barrier. The old way of doing things are gone with the advances of technology,” Professor Osinbajo told the students.

Agricultural Solution

During a question-and-answer session, the Vice President said embracing agriculture is the fastest way to overcome current economic challenges.

“We are not earning enough from oil and taxes anymore, the nation is blessed, every state can feed itself and also export if we engage in agriculture,” he stated.

On suggestions being made in some quarters about restructuring the country, Professor Osinbajo noted that calling for such simply because the federal government controls a bigger portion of the resources may not be helpful to the country.

According to him, “Even if states are given half of the resources of the federal government, the situation will not change; the only change is to diversify the economy.”

While at Ilara-Mokin, the Vice President paid a courtesy call on Oba A. Adefehinti, the Alara of Ilara-Mokin and later commissioned a Divisional Police Station in the town.

Nnenna.O