Nigeria’s prosperity lies in technical education, says Fashola
OUTGOING Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, has emphasised the need to create, remodel and revive all technical schools in the country owing to their importance in the nation’s technological growth and advancement.
Speaking at the official commissioning of the Festo Authorised and Certified Training (FACT) Centre at Government Technical College, Ikeja, Lagos, Fashola said that it was in realisation of this fact that his administration, through the Technical and Vocational Education Board (TVEB), strove to revive all the five technical colleges in the state and bring them to full operation.
FACT centre is an industrial automation laboratory built by a renowned German industrial automation company, Festo Didactic Limited, in collaboration with the Lagos State government, through the Lagos Eko Project.
Fashola who expressed delight over the project, shortly after the tour of facility, informed the students that the era of teaching and making reference to textbooks or video documentaries only was over as they will henceforth experience life demonstration of what they were being been taught.
He said by this initiative, Lagos has taken one step towards realising made in Nigeria goods, by domiciling the knowledge and practical experience in the school.
His words, “If you look across the world today, particularly in Europe, the German economy is one of the most resilient economies and it is a reputation that has come from a lot of innovation, automation and engineering. So when you drive a German vehicle or use German equipment, you are often time using some of the most competitive engineering standards in the world. This is a partnership we have struck. We have brought you one of the very best in the world.
“As I always say, the road to prosperity in this country lies in only three words, ‘Made in Nigeria,’ and the more made in Nigeria that we begin to see around us, the more prosperity we will experience. We have to re-equip all the technical schools in the country to be able to achieve prosperity and have more made in Nigeria goods. But we won’t have made in Nigeria goods without industrialisation, and you wont have industry without the processes and automation. Those are the things students will be interacting with in this laboratory.”
To the students he said, “Now I have been inside this laboratory and I can tell you now that most of the things you will probably see only in your textbooks, in video documentaries, you will now interact with in life demonstration, and they would hopefully enable you understand better, the basis and processes behind pneumatics, which is pressure for air and liquid, automation which is the basis of industrialisation and processing.
“What this means is that many of the trainings that we usually spend money to send people overseas to experience is now being done in Nigeria.”
Special Adviser to the governor on Lagos Eko Project, Ronke Azeez, said the objective of the FACT centre remains the development of skills that would lead directly to employment.
She said the partnership with the industries will keep the curriculum up to date and ensure that the centre meets industry demands and requirements at all times.
She said, “Lagos state is investing significantly in technical education in order to make it attractive as a career option; create opportunities for entrepreneurship and increase opportunities for further academic pursuits. It is our belief that the centre will produce the most competent automation and mechatronic technicians who will sustain the huge investments in these critical areas.”