From Toluwa Agboluaje, Ibadan
Director-General, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Ambassador Ayo Olukanni, has urged researchers and academics in the country to commercialize their research findings in order to realize the potential of human capital and intellectual capacity.
Ambassador Olukanni stated this during the two-day University of Ibadan research and development fair organized by the university in collaboration with Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, DAWN, Commission with the theme: “Societal Need-driven Research for National Development”.
The programme , which took place at the International Conference Centre of the institution was chaired by the former ambassador.
Olukanmi, who pointed out that Nigerian universities were blessed with intellectuals with capabilities that could put the nation’s name among the First World countries, called for harnessing of the nation’s human resource.
According to Olukanni:”In my entire career as a foreign service officer for 35 years serving Nigerian missions, one thing that comes out clear is it is the human resources of respective country that is the most important.
“I remember when I was serving as Ambassador in Australia, the Australian history is the history of mining sector and the history of mining is the history of Australia, the Western Australia earned $60 billion from it mining asset and resources. Then I was in discussion with some of the mining officers whom I told that we looked forward to seeing you in Nigeria to harness our mining resources and the response was that what you have under your feet as mining resource is not as important as what you have under your head; it is not encouraging to have mining resources but not a mining nation. Please, go development your human resources and provide the environment.
“I think that message is quite clear that the greatest resource we can have is human resource. And that is what UI fair has demonstrated that we do have the resources in our country, we have the capability, we have the brains in our universities. Our researchers and members of the academic segment of our society in the universities are, of course, there for us. All we need to do is to harness the resources and be able to put it into implementation and use it for development purpose to meet basic social need, to be able to provide electricity, water, proper sanitation, food security and educate ourselves.
The Acting Director-General of Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Mr. Oluseye Oyeleye said a country cannot develop without relevant innovation and research.
Oyeleye emphasized that innovation must contribute to the challenge of growth and development.
Presenting a paper titled, “Future Skills and Innovation in Corporate Organisation: Striking Partnership with Universities”, the keynote speaker and Group Managing Director, Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Mr. Adewale Raji, said the university should strive to carry along other stakeholders in the process of research findings to translate outcome of research works to national development.
Earlier, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Idowu Olayinka in a message through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Prof.Olanike Adeyemo hinted that the programme was put together to fashion out ways of birthing innovations for national development.
In a goodwill message, Prof. Ibi Ajayi of the Department of Economics of institution, lamented that universities no longer get grants for research.