19th September, 2021
By Chijioke Okoronkwo/Lagos
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said Nigeria needs to invent and produce cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications for education, business, medicine and security.
He said that effective collaboration between public and private sectors to build world-class institutions focused on innovation in science, technology and management sciences would help proffer solutions to the country’s challenges.
Osinbajo spoke Saturday to the founding class (2021) of the Nigerian University of Technology and Management (NUTM), Lagos.
The event was the institution’s maiden graduation ceremony of its flagship Scholars Programme.
NUTM is a top-notch school of innovation and technology focused on nurturing leaders in Nigeria and Africa, promoted by Dr Okey Enelamah, immediate past Industry, Trade and Investment Minister.
“The most significant problems of this generation, especially in Africa, will require innovation in science, technology and the management sciences, especially entrepreneurship and innovative leadership if we are to stand a chance of resolving them.”
The vice president said that the graduands of the NUTM programme had what was required to be among those who would in the future, provide solutions to national and global challenges in different sectors.
“I think sitting before us today, the graduands of the NUTM Scholars Programme, we might just be beholding the men and women with the answers to some of the world’s most significant challenges.
“And there are many challenges indeed. We need to invent and produce cutting-edge AI applications for education, business, medicine and security.
“We need to design the educational innovation required to train millions of children in or out of classrooms all across the country and on our continent, and provide the techniques for delivering opportunities in technology on the scale,” he said.
Osinbajo said that in Agriculture, Nigeria needed to invent advanced devices, precision agriculture methodologies and robotic systems.
He said such inventions would guarantee the huge yields per acreage or volumes in dairy and livestock to meet the food security needs of a country headed for the third position in global population size in a few short years.
“And we are waiting for the breakthrough in the treatment of peculiar African health challenges such as sickle cell disease, fibroids and cancers.
“There is so much to do. But we know that ground-breaking innovation in technology or commerce will always be the product of the work of well-trained people.
“Which is why the NUTM Scholars Programme was designed to offer cutting-edge knowledge in Technology, Entrepreneurship and Design; Management; Perspectives in breakthrough Leadership ideas, Critical thinking and Writing.”
According to him, the goal of the university is to train and equip highly sophisticated crack technology, innovation and management experts.
“The students are the first cut of that dream team. And, we are holding our breath waiting for you to step into your destined roles.
“First, every major innovative breakthrough in science, technology or the social sciences was the product of patient collaborative work, sometimes across nations.
“There is no innovation yet around the hard and, sometimes, long task of creating rare value,” he said.
According to him, the second reason why most people will never attain significance is because they are only interested in themselves and their personal successes.
“But to earn significance, one must do something much bigger than oneself, a big idea, a massive game-changer should always be your target.
“Third is developing a mindset that you are as good as anyone who has ever developed a game-changing idea.
“Problem-solving innovators are, after all, men and women not spirits. And this is important because the way not to achieve is to have a mind that is incapable of seeing huge things,” he said.
While commending the founders, management and academics of the NUTM for the great work, Osinbajo told the graduands that those who built Dubai were men and women, not spirits.
In his welcome remarks, Enelamah, who is also the Chairman, Governing Board of the University, thanked the vice president for attending the event.
He added that NUTM was a pioneering higher education institution that had been established to nurture leaders and innovators to create an impact in Africa and other parts of the world.