The Chief Executive Officer of MainOne Cable Company, Ms. Funke Opeke has argued that Nigeria still has a lot to cover in terms of technological innovations, saying there is little progress in the fields of electronic devices and instrumentations.
She made the observation while delivering a speech themed “The Role of Electronic Devices and Instrumentation in National Development”, at the Public Lecture of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
The event was in honour of Professor Lawrence Kehinde and Professor Gabriel Adegboyega who retired from the department after illustrious careers at the institution.
Opeke observed that despite possessing a large pool of lecturers who are able to play on the global stage, Nigeria is still scratching the surface in terms of technological innovations. She added that the gap in the department’s capabilities and world-class standard have grown within the past thirty years.
According to Opeke, who was an alumni of the university, the leadership of the department in i-Labs is a testament to the continued yearning to provide students with relevant laboratory or practical experience in a university environment where funding is no longer available to keep pace with technological developments.
On how to grow the nation’s drive to technological innovations, she advocated for partnerships with leading companies, foundations and other research-intensive institutions, stressing that such partnerships will go beyond transferring knowledge from lab to practice but also provides critical funding for talented faculty and students to pursue foundational research on technologies that can solve local problems.
Opeke said that “These problems include unfavorable climatic conditions, low cost e-learning devices, power, security leading to spin-offs or patents which can be commercially exploited in the immediate market. It will also enable students and faculty to exchange ideas with the very best minds inside and outside the academy and, most importantly, help to prepare students to be citizens of a rapidly changing world”.