By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Federal Polytechnics and Higher Technical Education Institutions in Nigeria, Hon. Danladi Suleiman Aguye has commended the leadership of the House for what he described as sense of timely innovation in the formation of a Committee to specifically oversee technical education in Nigeria.
Hon. Aguye made the remarks as part of his goodwill message as the Special Guest of Honour at a One-Day Research Products’ Exhibition and Award Ceremony organised by the Nigerian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (NSBMB) in Abuja.
The lawmaker, who was represented by his Aide, Ahmed Balarabe Sa’id, noted that, the consideration by the House leadership to give the required attention to technical education through proactive legislation informed the necessity for his Committee in the current dispensation.
He acknowledged that funding and policy enablers are crucial to research and innovation, adding that, the role of the National Assembly is critical to the realization of this goal, in the realization of the overall objective of building a sustainable synergy between ‘town and gown’.
“Our interface with stakeholders under the dynamic leadership of my Committee Chairman, from our inception, has indicated great prospects for harnessing vast potentials for mainstreaming innovation and enterprise development within the technical education sub sector”, he affirmed.
While acknowledging the many challenges identified with realising this, he expressed optimism that, closer collaboration between the legislature and crucial stakeholders like the NSBMB will activate the needed incubators to position Nigeria in the emerging knowledge and innovation economy.
“The realities of the new knowledge economy may challenge the capacity of our educational, technical institutions including our enabling laws. In the era of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and the new thinking of mainstreaming digital technologies in nearly all endeavours, I want to assure you that, the National Assembly shall remain innovative in complimenting sustainable initiatives that will create more opportunities for our people, particularly at the grassroots, such that, we shall gradually begin to have innovation hubs and technology parks in our communities”, Hon. Aguye said.
The lawmaker, who represents Lokoja-Kogi/Koton Karfe Constituency, commended the NSBMB for the theme of the event, “Research, Innovation and Development in Nigeria”, describing it as a relevant call to action in the country’s current peculiarity.
Earlier, the host of the event and President of the NSBMB, Prof. Mathew, Owhonda Wegwu, in his welcome address, informed that, the objective of the event is the exhibition of breakthroughs in research endeavours by the Society, noting that, all of the innovations have local relevance and global acceptance.
Chairman of the occasion, Acting Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Mr. Chris J. Maiyaki, acknowledged the significance of the event and the benefit identified with the opportunities as it relates to Nigeria’s journey to greatness. He specifically commended the Guest Lecturer, Former Vice Chancellor of University of Portharcourt, Prof. Joseph Ajienka for his wealth of insight on the subject matter.
Highlight of the event was the recognition of a number of notable persons in various categories of awards.
They include Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Barr. Nyesom Wike, Former Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Muhammad Kaoje Abubakar, the Vice Chancellor of University of Maiduguri, Prof. Aliyu Shugaba and numerous others.