By Omololu Ogunmade
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday said Nigeria was going through one of the worst health and economic crises in history and only innovative ideas could make a difference.
The vice-president made the submission at a virtual conference of the Centre for Lion Gadgets and Technologies organised by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka with the theme: “Technological Innovation for Holistic Sustainable Development.”
He said Nigeria in a search of recovery must deploy a method it never saw and used to fight the battle.
“We are in one of the worst health and economic crises in living memory and our recovery must be innovative – we must employ never-before-seen methods to fight the never-before-seen plethora of issues before,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria must also deploy technology and innovation that are similar to what is obtainable in advanced countries to contend against attendant challenges.
A statement by the vice-president’s spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, who said the event also featured a virtual interaction between his principal and students from both the university and secondary school on UNN campus, said Osinbajo insisted that deployment of technology is key to recovery.
He said Nigeria’s hope lay in the ability of young ones to think out of the box.
“Whether we are discussing the delivery of social services to vulnerable communities and promoting financial inclusion or we are talking about boosting agricultural productivity and promoting the security of our communities, how we harness technology is crucial.
“The future will be decided in groups such as yours, where young Nigerians are actively thinking about how to deploy technology in creative ways for problem-solving,” he added.
Osinbajo said the needed innovative ideas must be deployed in an inclusive and accessible manner and all Nigerians including the poor and the vulnerable must be involved.
“In thinking about solutions to our developmental issues, we are expected to be both creative, relevant, and ingenious, which is what innovation is all about.
“But we must also be faithful stewards of our environment, we must be inclusive, innovation must be accessible to all especially the poor and vulnerable.
“So, innovating for sustainable development involves creating environmentally friendly low cost and contextually relevant technological solutions to our most pressing challenges,” he said.
Akande said earlier in his remark, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Prof. Charles Igwe, said the university had, over the years, prioritised the deployment of technology in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It listed other participants at the conference to include former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, the Most Rev. Paulinus Eze Okafor, among others.