Nigerian government reiterates commitment to revamp Relevant Technology centres

Omolola Fadile, Jos

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The Nigerian Government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring that Relevant Technology centres in Plateau and Nasarawa States, both in North Central Nigeria are revamped with modern day equipments.


The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami gave the assurance at the 2nd Annual General Meeting/ Award presentation of the Relevant Technology Old Students Association which held in Jos, Plateau State Capital with the theme ‘Repositioning Relevant Technology for Sustainable Economic Development’.


Pantami who was represented at the event by the MD/CEO, Galaxy Backbone Limited, Prof. Muhammad Bello Abubakar, said the theme for this year’s event is apt considering the manner with which technology has advanced around the world.


He said the world has experienced three Industrial revolutions and about to experience the fourth, “1st in 18th century charchacterised by the use of steel power and mechanisation, 2nd came forth as a result of the discovery of electricity, the third from the use of computers and the third revolution has given birth to Information Communication Technology.


He said Technology is a game changer that gets people out of poverty.


“From the recent reports relased on August 26th by the National Bereau of Statistics, Information Communication Technology sector contributed 18.44 percent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the 2nd quarter of 2022. We must begin to invest in ICT if we must advance as a nation,” he said.”


Speaking on revamping the centres, Pantami said Governments is already making plans to ensure that they are renovated


“We are doing all we can to bring these centers back. Vocational and human resources are the back bone of modern societies. We will ensure well trained teachers are employed so that students can be well equipped to meet up with the standards of the developing nations,” he added.


Earlier in his welcome address, the National President of Relevant Technology Student Association (RETOSA), Mr. Caleb Yiljura said the second Annual General Convention is coming at a time when Nigeria is in dire need of social and economic transformation.


“A general cry for solution dominates minds of the populace and as techinicians and craftmen, we are not left behind. This has informed our choices of this year’s convention theme to reflect the value and the role our sector can play in the overall search for National solutions. We feel our subsector can offer better contributions to economic developments if properly harnessed. Today, self-reliance and self-employment are the most relevant ways of tackling unemployment,” he explained.


In a paper presentation titiled ‘Repositioning Relevant Technology Centers for sustainable Economic Development: Role of Stakeholders’, Professor Emmanuel Garba of the Mathematics Department, University of Jos said Relevant Technology witnessed a decline in its operations which is mostly attributed to underfunding.


He said there is an urgent need to adequately revive the Relevant Technology program through adequate funding.  He said repositioning Relevant Technology is a joint effort and a shared responsibility by stakeholders.


Governor of the State and chief host, Simon Lalong congratulated RETOSA for yet another general meeting.


He said Government is doing a lot to improve the conditions of Relevant Technology centers.


“We have considered and approved the training of more teachers to the centre. We are developing deliberate government policies to ensure that every Ministry, Agency patronises the RelevantTechnology Centres and we reiterate the commitment of this Government to re-organise the Relevant Technology Board for greater impact,” he said.


Relevant Technology was established in 1974 in Jos as a collaboration between the then Plateau State Government and a Non-Governmental International Organisation, (Bernard Van Leer Foundation) to train Primary School leavers including those with disabilities in simple design construction work of equipment for local use while using locally available materials.

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