Nigeria needs institutions that can solve problems, says Osinbajo
He maintained that there must be an institution whose sole objective is to inspire innovation, inventions and research that address the most crucial problems of the nation and the world.
Osinbajo in his keynote address at a board meeting on the establishment of the Nigerian University of Technology and Management (NUTM) in Lagos asked rhetorically, “How do we solve peculiar African health challenges such as sickle cell anaemia, fibroids and cancers?
“Clearly we need an institution that will be able to provide the necessary atmosphere to invent agricultural inputs and guarantee the huge yields per average in dairy and livestock to meet the food security needs of a country headed for the third position in population size in a few short years.
“An institution that will produce cutting edge artificial intelligence applications for education, business, medicine, and security. One that can design the educational innovation required to train millions of children in or out of classrooms all across the country and provide the techniques for delivering opportunities in technology on scale.’’
Osinbajo said that Nigeria must produce world-class economists, managers of commerce in a world increasingly disrupted by technology and innovation.
He said the nation must convert its best young minds to creative thinkers, innovators in science, technology, economy, commerce and public finance.
He noted that although the country already has several tertiary institutions of science and technology as well as management sciences, with NUTM, it is a different story.
“What is proposed is an institution intentionally created as a world-class centre for the training of the best Nigerian minds and talents. The institution must also engage the best academics and scholars, locally and internationally. As is the case with comparable institutions all over the world, the institution must have considerable resources to support high-quality research.
The vice president pledged the Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring that the initiative succeeds, as it was not just a project but also a vital national resource.
On his part, a board member, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, said the aspiration was to build a world-class university in Nigeria that would provide such academic excellence and rigour that would be globally competitive.
The immediate past minister of trade and investment said the proposed institution would play a central role in repositioning Nigeria and Africa for competitiveness in the 21st century.
“It will provide top-tier education for our children and unlock the many benefits that the ecosystem of a world-class school will produce. The school will specialise in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and its positioned to be a landmark centre of excellence that will serve not only Nigeria but also Africa and beyond,” he said.