By Emmanuel Elebeke
WITHÂ the conclusion of 2009 science week , organised by the Lagos state ministry of science and technology, recently, at the state secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja,the state government may have kicked off a conscious campaign of reawakening the youths through the the use of ICT.
The three -day programmeÂ was aimed at awakening the dwindling consciousness of Nigerian youths on science and tech.
It also targeted at grooming theÂ young talents for the sustainability of economic growth and national development.
Apart from students drawn from various schools in the state, the annual event also brought together experts, professionals and stakeholders in the science and technology industry and allied fields to brainstorm on how to save the environment, and preserve it from total degradation and collapse. It was also aimed at creating awareness on science and technology and showcasing research works, innovators, inventors and development results inÂ Nigeriaâ€™s science and technology sector, with the aim of commercializing the results.
The event which featured the finals of quiz competition among primary and secondary school students in the state and an exhibition by both students and industry operators had the theme â€œEnergy and the Environment: Tools for Sustainable Development.â€
In his address, the governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola. represented by the commissioner for special duties, Dr. Tola Kazali said the event was packaged to direct the focus of the government on the potentials and importance of science and technology to the nationâ€™s technological and economic greatness.
Though, an annual event, the governor praised the thoughtfulness and vision of the commissioner in choosing the theme, which he described as timely and current. A topic he said had continued to dominate discussions at the global arena..
â€˜â€™Your theme for this yearâ€™s NASTHCH week is very appropriate considering the interconnectivity between energy and a people-friendly environment for sustainable development of any nation.
The currency of the theme has occupied the centre stage in many global fora in recent times. The issues involved such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and Ozone layer depiction have no geographical boundaries. These issues are so large that they cannot be addressed by countries acting independently.
It requires a collective and concerted effort. â€œ said the governor. He then charged participants at the occasion to come up with viable solutions to the environmental issues to save the country from possible extinction and to ensure its sustainable development.
To achieve this, the governor said there must be an agreed programme of action and strategics geared towards sustainable development, which according to him would involve the participation of national, state and local governments. As part of the governmentâ€™s contribution towards developing the state, the Lagos Chief executive said his administration has already embarked on a rescue mission for the environment from segregation through tree planting, landscaping, beautification of loops, road setbacks â€˜ median and open places among others. The deputy governor of the stale, Princess Serah Sosan, represented by the commissioner for industry and commerce, Prince Oyemade Adeniyi said.
â€œThe theme of the programme wouldnâ€™t have come at a better time, considering its relevance to events around the world at this time where issues of climate change and other energy related matters were on the focus.
â€œ1 challenge the youth to embrace technology and to join hands \sect plain with the state government in concert in its efforts at sustaining the environment, as well as keeping it green with enthusiasm.â€ said Sosan. Earlier his welcome address, the commissioner for science and technology. Dr. Hamzat Kadri whosaid the essence of the science and technology week was to promote science and technology by way of raising peopleâ€™s awareness about various scientific developments and issues around the globe. According to him, the week is also meant to encourage the society to take active interest in science and appreciate its power and unlimited possibilities. He said the theme was carefully selected to reflect the importance the administration attached to the issue of energy and environment regeneration, for sustainable development of the state and the nation at large.
He assured the commitment of the ministry at ensuring that the people of the state share the benefits of science and the role it can play in their lives. Apart from connecting schools with ICT tools and training of teachers, Dr. Harnzat said the ministry had commenced the building an e-learning centre in the Lagos Island. On completion, he saidÂ the centre will serve as a one stop shop to assuage every technology need of Lagosians. In his own presentation, the guestsâ€™ speaker of the occasion, Professor Babajide Alo of University of Lagos said energy and environment were critical and essential in development of any economy and sustainable growth.. Professor Alo observed that the African environment had greatly been abused with unfriendly energy, leading to the depletion of the Ozone layer, and attributed it to industrialization, fossi-fuel source and poverty in the land. Professor Alo who blamed this on African leaders, warned them to reverse the trend through policy formulation or face the consequences. Recommending renewable energy as a viable alternative to fossi-fuel in the country,the professor of Chemistry said full deployment of technology would help mitigate the menace of environment in Nigeria. Highlights of the event was presentation of awards to all the participated schools at the state quiz competition..
Filename: Science weekÂ – 23/11/2009