The Lecturer, Prof. Olusegun Folorunso making a salient point while delivering the maiden leadership lecture of the

The Lecturer, Prof. Olusegun Folorunso making a salient point while delivering the maiden leadership lecture of the

For any nation to achieve knowledge-driven development, research in Information Technology must focused towards proving solutions to the Country’s local problems using existing technologies and tools.

This was the submission of the pioneer Director, Centre for Innovation and Strategy in Learning and Teaching (CISLT), Professor Olusegun Folorunso while delivering the Maiden Leadership Lecture of the College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS), titled “Information Technology, Knowledge Economy and National Development: The Inseparable Triplets”.

According to the University don, investment in human capital, is essential in all spheres of human endeavour as it contribute to emerging knowledge economies.

He noted that “with this trend, focusing on applied research in Information Technology (IT) and supporting Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in Nigeria will go a long way in solving our national problems”.

The University don defined national development as the ability of a nation or country to improve the social welfare of the people by providing social amenities like quality education, potable water, transportation, infrastructure, medical care, among others. He stressed that national development is critical and essential to the sustenance and growth of any nation.

According to him,a country is classified as developed when it is able to provide qualitative life for the citizenry and Nigeria, in the last fifty-eight years has been battling with the challenges of development in spite of the huge human, material and natural resources it is endowed with.

The Professor defined Information Technology as anything that is related to computing technology, such as networking, hardware, software, the Internet, or the people that work with these technologies.

Cross section of guests, participants and members of staff and students of COLPHYS during the lecture
Professor Folorunso disclosed that the world is presently in the information age and IT Departments are the nerve centre of all activities in many organizations, FUNAAB inclusive. He added that most organizations cannot survive the pressure of their daily transactions without IT as it has provided opportunities for employment of professionals, such as computer programmers, network administrators, computer engineers, Web developers and many other IT- related jobs.

Recommending the way forward for the nation, Professor Folorunso advised that research in IT must be tailored towards solutions to both local and national problems for national development; Government should invest more in IT training of its citizens as against outsourcing. This will reduce the level of unemployment among the youths who are 60% of the Nigerian population. The focus of government on entrepreneurship should be supported by government agencies like NITDA, NCC, BOI and CBN while soft loans should be given to IT based entrepreneurs in Nigeria.

In his recommendation to the University, Professor Folorunso disclosed that Computer Science is one of the most viable programmes in the University in terms of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), however, the population of the students to lecturer is not encouraging when compared to other universities hence, the need for more staff (academic and Non-teaching staff) to be recruited to allow for the emerging knowledge economies to thrive in Nigeria.

There should be synergy between the Department of Computer Science and all other units involved in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the university, so as to promote ICT development in the University.

Local and International training on ICT is essential and should be accorded priority for both staff and students, while there is the need for state-of-the-art computer laboratories for the Department.

In his Address, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kolawole Salako who was represented by the Chairman, Committee of Deans and Directors (CODAD), Professor Johnson Adewumi commended the College for the worthy initiative which he said would help prepare lecturers for their Inaugural lectures. He lauded the quality of the lecture and tasked other Colleges to emulate COLPHYS.

Earlier in his welcome Address, the Dean COLPHYS, Professor Amidu Mustapha thanked the University management for all the support enjoyed by the College, stating that the Leadership Lecture was one of the initiatives the College adopted from the erstwhile College of Natural Sciences before the College was split into College of Biological Sciences (COLBIOS) and College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS).

He pointed out that aside providing research breakthroughs, the lecture also serves as a form of mentorship for younger lecturers and students.

Dignitaries present at the lecture included academic and non teaching staff from Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY) and Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED).