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ABUAD, a Catalyst for Change in Nigeria, Says Afe Babalola 

ABUAD, a Catalyst for Change in Nigeria, Says Afe Babalola 

Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti

The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, says the university has become a major catalyst for positive change in society in Nigeria, Africa and across the globe.

Babalola stated this when the Director of the Smart Infrastructure Research, Department of Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom, Prof Bamidele Adebisi, presented a lecture titled ‘Smart Infrastructure: Catalyst for sustainable development’ to staff and students at the Alfa Belgore Hall of the university.

While describing ABUAD as a catalyst for development, he said the whole of ABUAD itself is becoming a global brand of excellence as the university’s students are catalysts anywhere they go.

“I wanted my university to become one of the best hundred in the world. Today we are not only number one in Nigeria, a country of 221 universities, but we are also ranked number 341 in the whole world out of a million universities,” he noted. “so when I see anything good, anything that can bring change, I look for it and bring it here.”

The ABUAD founder pointed out that for Nigeria to meet its human development targets of dramatically increased access to housing, education, electricity, food, security, etc., there would be a radical shift in its educational sector by embracing smart infrastructural development through ICT.

According to Adebisi, smart infrastructure is a contemporary approach in urban planning and design for sustainable infrastructure development because of its integrated ICT approach to sustainable development.

The don posited that smart infrastructure approaches could be applied to achieving sustainable development to bring about “smart” interventions in the socio-economic status of the people, the environment and society.

He highlighted areas smart technology development approaches such as smart concepts, virtual city development, and other intervention mechanisms could be deployed to address the challenges of urban settlement and achieve sustainable development.

Specifically, Adebisi explained that a smart, sustainable city is an innovative city that uses ICTs and other means to improve the quality of life of the people.

He pointed out that the challenges of sustainable urban development are rising daily, adding that the normal planning approaches to tackle these challenges are not yielding the desired results hence the applicability of smart infrastructure to achieve sustainable urban development.

The Nigerian-born scholar and ICT guru submitted that only sustainable development with ICT compliance would help strengthen community bonds, improve quality of life and provide hope for a better future.

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