By Ayo Ajayi
President Bola Tinubu has challenged academics to respond creatively to contemporary challenges and foster innovation by fabricating tools for the development of agricultural and manufacturing industries.
The president threw the challenge on Thursday while addressing the audience at the 35th Convocation Ceremony of the 2021/2022 academic session of the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos. The president’s address was delivered by a Director of Legal Services at the Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs. Blessing Asorbo.
Tinubu noted that the Federal Government recognised the role of polytechnics in driving science and technology in national growth and promised government’s support to the sub-sector; even as he called on all stakeholders to complement govern initiatives.
“We collectively recognise the pivotal role of Science and Technology in national growth. As a primary driver, the polytechnic sub-sector occupies a central position in our quest for technological development. The Federal Government remains committed to supporting this sub-sector, emphasizing a renewed focus on the 70:30 admission ratio favouring science and technology programmes.
“I call on all stakeholders, particularly industry leaders, to complement government initiatives through contributions to research, structural development, scholarships for underprivileged students, capacity building, and graduate employment. This partnership will significantly augment the accomplishments facilitated agencies like TETFund, PTDF, and International Development Partners.
“Simultaneously, we encourage regular curriculum reviews to infuse indigenous technology through local content, fostering harmonious relationship with host communities,” Tinubu said.
In his address, the Rector of the College, Dr. Ibraheem Abdul reels out the scorecards of his administration in the last six months of assumption of office as the 7th Rector of the institution and promised to take the college to the next level through a five-year strategic plan code-named ‘ERECT’.
“The major focus of this plan and by implication the focal point of this administration will hinge as drivers on empowering the entire workforce in the College, repackaging all academic and skills development programmes of the college, exploring the creation of the industry advisory committee, consolidating and expanding all resources of Internally Generated Revenue of the college, tapping into National and International Grants and Endowments for funding vital infrastructure,” he explained.
The Rector added that the College had maintained and sustain her ranking as the best 6th Polytechnic in the country for the 6th consecutive time, but he envisioned that by the end of his five-year tenure, the institution would be first in the ranking of all tertiary institutions in the country, adding that the institution would produce knowledgeable, skilled, employable, entrepreneurial self-reliant and innovative graduates.
The highpoint of the event was the awards of Diplomas and Certificate to 7, 717 graduates of which 254 got distinction, 1, 893 in the Upper Credit division, 3, 940 in the Lower Credit division while 1,630 are in the Pass grade.
Also, three distinguished Nigerians were awarded the Fellowship of the College. The former First Lady of Lagos State and Matriarch of the Otedola’s Family, Lady Christine ‘Doja Otedola, a former Labour Leader and an Alumnus of the College, Alhaji Hassan Sunmonu as well as the Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Zulum.