Prof. Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, says government ought to pay more attention to reviving technology as it holds the key to virile development of the country.
Represented by Prof. Mohammed Bello, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Galaxy Backbone, Pantami made the observation at the second annual general meeting of the Relevant Technology Old Students Association (RETOSA) in Jos.
He explained that functional relevant technology education would impact the necessary skills on the people, adding that vocational training would address unemployment in the country.
“Technology remains the path way to sustainable development; it the way for the digital transformation of people in the society.
“Relevant technology mixed with Internet Information and Communications Technology (ICT) will move many out of poverty in Nigeria.
”Technology holds the key to sustainable development because it has the potential to fully transform our society,” he said.
Prof. Mohammad Haruna, the Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive of National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), attributed the dearth of professionals in construction industry and other critical sectors to the collapse of relevant technology education.
“The deteriorating condition of relevant technology is reason we have incompetent workforce in our building and construction sector, industries and even ministries responsible for service provision,” he said.
Prof. Emmanuel Garba of the University of Jos, who spoke on the topic: “Reposition Relevant Technology Centres for Sustainable Economic Development: The Role of Stakeholders”, said that there was need for government to revive relevant technology education.
The don noted that a functional relevant technology would ensure capacity building that would in turn expedite the spate of growth and development in the society.
Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau maintained that the state government had put modalities on ground to improve relevant technology education in the state, adding that it had approved the recruitment of more teachers for centres across the state.
The governor, represented by the Mr Benjamin Jang, the Commissioner for Science and Technology in the state, said that it has constituted a board in that would boost relevant technology in the state.
Lalong added that government had mandated agencies, ministries and departments, including contractors, to panatronise the centres by buying their products to make them self-reliant.
Similarly, Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, represented by Alhaji Abdul-Hakeem Bala, Permanent Secretary, Political Affairs in the office of the Secretary to the State Government, said that his goverment had done a lot in terms of skills development.
”We have a functional incubation centre, skills acquisition centre and have not only renovated our technical colleges, but equipped them with modern facilities.
”We took these steps because we believe in skills development as a tool for national growth,” he said.
In a goodwill message, the Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Gyang Buba, said that a functional relevant technology would reduce poverty and insecurity because when young people have skills, it will take their minds ways from crime.
He promised that traditional institution we would support all that government would do advance the course of vocational education in the country.
Mr Caleb Yiljura, the National President of RETOSA, said that the theme for its 2022 convention “Repositioning Relevant Technology for Sustainable Economic Development”, aimed at reflecting on the values the sector plays toward addressing the challenges currently facing the nation.
He said that the relevant technology could offer better contributions toward tackling unemployment and economic development if properly harnessed.
Stakeholders at the event noted that relevant technology education is key to the growth and development of the nation’s economy which government ought to take seriously.