DEMONITIZATION OF POLITICS, PROMOTION OF INTEGRITY PREQUISITE FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
A Professor of Development Economics in the Economic Policy Research Department, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER) Ibadan, Professor John Adeoti has said for Nigeria to tap into the gains of the 4th Industrial revolution, politics must be demonetized and the country must demonstrate to the young generations of Nigerians that values of integrity, hard work, risk taking and excellence are critical to creating businesses that would succeed and make global impacts. Professor Adeoti stated this while delivering the 31st Convocation Lecture of the Federal University of Technology, Akure on 18th December, 2019 titled “Techopreneurship and National Development”. He said value re-orientation and a strong commitment to Nigeria’s economic development especially among the political elite are fundamentals without which no platform for Techopreneurship and national development can effectively address our development challenges. According to him these values are the hall marks of Technopreneurs that are fast changing the world in the emerging fourth industrial revolution.
He defined Techopreneurship as the application of technological innovations into successful products or services that solve social and economic problems. Adeoti listed some prominent Technopreneurs to include Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve jobs (Apple), Larry Elissio (Oracle) Jeff Bezos (Amazon) Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) Jack Ma (Alibaba) Jack Dorsy (Twitter) and Kevin Systrom (Instagram) adding that the world as we know it has been permanently changed and will continue to be changed by new technologies thus everyone must be ready to adapt by learning how technology works. The lecturer stated those policy makers and other development stakeholders in the public and private sectors should invest in research and development activities, encourage venture capitalist activities and support innovation policies that are focused on creating a new breed of Technopreneurs for national development.
He called for the establishments of more technology hubs, where Technopreneurs can begin their journey of creating disruptive technology solutions that power businesses and eventually make the economy to become globally competitive citing the Yaba Computer Village (Yabcon valley) and Akure /FUTA Tech hubs as one of such hubs. He called on students to be forward thinking and providers of solutions to societal challenges. Adeoti said modern competitive economies are knowledge based on innovation driver, thus Techopreneurship can therefore be a platform for policy makers to forge a Nigerian economy that is knowledge based and innovation driven.
The don also advised that the country’s current leadership should declare a state of emergency in the education and health sectors at all levels to enable Nigeria engender development and prioritize the health needs of its population. He suggested that 40% of annual budget should be allocated to the two sectors during the period of emergency.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape in his remark at the occasion, described the lecture as insightful and timely at this period of Nigeria’s development. He said the blend of technology, expertise and entrepreneurial skills are known to be the important drivers of the development of enterprise in many nations. Professor Fuwape pointed out that for Nigeria to make its mark in building Technopreneurs, particularly among the youths for sustainable development, there must be interplay between science, Technology and innovation. The Vice Chancellor said, FUTA along with the Ondo State Government has established a Techhub and on its own the Technology and Incubation Park to facilitate transfer of technology, promote local enterprises and also create an environment for innovativeness.