Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State says Nigeria can attain economic greatness if it integrates science and technology into its socio-economic development process.
He made the assertion at the opening ceremony of the maiden Oyo State Science and Technology Summit held on Monday at the House of Chiefs in Ibadan.
The two-day summit was organised by the State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in collaboration with Office of the Special Adviser on Information, Communication and Technology.
The theme of the summit is ‘Repositioning the Economy through Science and Technology: A Collective Responsibility.’
Mr Ajimobi, who was represented by his deputy, Chief Moses Adeyemo, said with the integration of science and technology, Nigeria would attain its vision of becoming one of the largest economies by 2020.
The governor said that the integration of science and technology into the nation’s socio-economic development process would guarantee competitiveness within the continent and globally.
Ajimobi, who listed his administration’s effort in the promotion of a technological-driven economy in the state, said one of such efforts was the summit.
“The only form of investment that allows for increasing returns is in building the stocks and flows of knowledge that a country or organisation needs.
“Adopting appropriate technologies leads directly to high productivity which is the key to growth.
“This summit aims at promoting the values of science and technology to economic growth and diversification,” he said.
Ajimobi expressed the hope that “the seed being planted’’ would stimulate greater interest among the youths to embrace science and technology as a way of life.
In his remarks, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela, the State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, said the summit was in line with the administration’s commitment to further set the pace in the country.
He said that efforts being made was to reposition the state on the modern highway and ensure it becomes the technological hub of the nation.
The lead speaker and staff of the Faculty of Technology, University of Ibadan, Prof. Ayodeji Oluleye, said the nation’s economy must be repositioned from a mono product one to that which allows science and technology take centre stage.
“The reason why we continue to ask for aid is because the nation has refused to focus on science.
“Our government must prioritise her investment on productive sectors, while Nigerians must begin to ask question.”
Femi Ipadeola, the acting Rector of The Polytechnic Ibadan, said that there was need for involvement of marketers, business-inclined individuals and legal practitioners in the promotion of research in science and technology.
“Technology is good and for it not to be restricted to the workshop, there is need to involve business-inclined person as well as marketers to take the products of technology to the market,” he said.
Aderonke Makanjuola, the Chairman of Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, said the essence of the summit was to place the state as one of the front liners in the science and technology sector.
NAN reports that the summit featured the exhibition of technological innovations of students from institutions across the state.