By Felix Alade
The Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc recently donated a brand new Toyota Hiace bus to the School of Technology, Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech) to mark the School Annual Lecture/Exhibition/Fund Raising event.
The Group Managing Director of FMN, Mr. Paul Gbededo, an alumnus of the College was ably represented by General Service Manager FMN Mr. Olalekan Adebekun who presented the bus to the College. He said that the donation was part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) to the school vis a vis the College.
During the opening remarks, the Rector of the institution, Engr. Obafemi Omokungbe commended the School of Technology for being a pacesetter; living up to expectation in the College, and for organizing 2019 Annual lecture titled “Restructuring Education and Research Systems for Technological Advancement in Nigeria” which is relevant and timely even at a time our dear country is yearning for improvement in every aspect of her national development.
According to him, the goal of our founding fathers for establishing the College in 1947 was to achieve national development using technology education as a veritable tool. In its over 70 years of existence, the College has been at the forefront of Technological and Vocational Education in Nigeria. Education, he said, plays a key role in the development of any nation particularly in the areas of manpower development, research and innovations.
“In the face of rapid technological changes in the 21st century, tertiary institutions must keep abreast of contemporary global trends and be able to adapt cutting edge technologies, innovation and research for the growth and development of their environment. It is important that Education must be given priority even in the allocation of Budget by the government. The relevant agencies and bodies must also pay particular attention to the course content and curriculum to meet the needs of a developing nation.
“As responsible management, we would continue to support activities and programmes that will enhance the academic standard and qualitative lecture delivery. We have redirected our energy to replicating the industry in the classroom. The Central Research Laboratory was for this reason re-energized and commissioned for research purpose. I want to assure you that the management will continue to provide support to the departments and schools in pursuit of their mandate”, the Rector affirmed.
While receiving the bus Omokungbe expressed appreciation to FMN for the donation, he congratulated the Dean of the School, Dr. Peter Okolie for using his influence to bring developmental projects to the school. He promised on behalf of the management to renovate 20 classrooms in the school of Technology as their contribution towards the fundraising, while Adebekun on behalf of FMN pledged to equip offices in the school with good furniture.
Earlier during the welcome address, Dr. Okolie stated that the school has grown in leaps and bounds producing graduates in various fields that have proved their mettle and have become captains of industries, entrepreneurs, government officials, and experts.
He appealed to the management of the College to keep striving to improve infrastructural, physical and laboratory facilities and human capital to bring the school and the College at par with its contemporaries worldwide. Likewise, an appeal was extended to the captain of industries, alumni members who graduated from the school and other well-wishers because according to him “Together We Can Do More.”
The Guest Speaker of the Annual lecture, Former Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNNAB) Prof Olusola Oyewole, did justice to the theme and thereby made the following recommendations; Compulsory Education for all Children and youths, Promotion of Skills Acquisition and Defined Learning Outcomes (All Polytechnics in Nigeria should be converted to University of Technology as it happened in Ghana recently), Re-Orientate Learning from Staff Centered to learner-centred, Affiliate all Research institutes to Universities and support increased workforce for research, Promote internalization at Home and Abroad and Set Up Research Granting Bodies.