The Federal Ministry of Education says there is an urgent need for Nigeria to catch up with the fast pace of technological advancement in order to remain relevant in the comity of nations.
The Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, said this at the inauguration of UNITes CiSCO “Internet of Things’’ innovation centre at the Federal Science and Technical College (FSTC) Yaba on Thursday in Lagos.
The `Internet of Things’ (IoT), refers to the ever-growing network of physical objects with IP address for internet connectivity and communication that occurs between them and other internet-enable devices.
“We are in a world where we are running a race with technology and as it is today, human beings are almost being relegated to the background by robots.
“Today, technology has taken over as most of the jobs being done in developed countries are being done by robots and if care is not taken, in the next 20 years, almost all humans will be out of jobs.
“However, our hope still remains that technology is man’s creation, we can always make computers subject to human dictates.
“ We must strive to rise up to the various challenges thrown to us by technology and strive to move with the trend, otherwise, we find ourselves on the feet of comity of nations,’’ he said.
Anwukah noted that the internet has come to stay, as it is entrenching itself as a basic commodity that Nigerians cannot do without if the country was to be in the forefront of technological changes in the fast changing world.
According to him, it is imperative that the nation embraces the IoT innovation as well as consciously make efforts to bring about changes in a digitized form.
He added that the IoT was also expected to be effective even in the teaching and learning system.
Anwukah noted that the Federal government had made deliberate investments in the area of Science and Technological development through education.
“It is therefore needful to state here that no effort is enough and thus, collaborative efforts are welcomed so as to achieve gains in the area.
“In the zeal of this amazing feat, it is usually anticipated that the students and teachers alike will take advantage of the benefits the centre will offer, thus, also encourage all to ensure that the aim of this project is not thrown over board.
“I want to thank UNITes CISCO for their efforts in partnering with the Federal government to move the nation to greater heights in technology,’’ he said.
He assured that government would consider the replication of the centre in its technical colleges and Federal Universities of Technology across the country.
Mr Tayo Olatayo, initiator and Chief Executive, UNITes CISCO, said that the objective of the IoT centre was to digitalize both the communities and the homes.
According to him, the centre will seek to create technology solutions that will unlock opportunities at a speed of rapid prototyping as well as showcase what is possible with digital transformation and IoT.
He said that it would also raise a new generation of technology creators who would become problem solvers and job creators.
Olatayo said that it would also help local and global organizations improve business outcomes by making the most of smart data and digitalization.
He added that the UNITes CISCO Networking Academy has concluded arrangements to establish a network of IoT innovation centres in Secondary Schools and Universities across the country.
Earlier in his address, the Principal of the college, Rev. Chris Ugorji, said that the innovation was an intelligent connection of things where a community or an environment would become completely digitalized.
He noted that elsewhere in the developed world, a lot of innovations in technology were being deployed in a number of activities such as control of erosion, fighting poverty as well as arresting climate changes.
“Today is a memorable day in the history of this school because UNITes CISCO has opened this innovation centre in FSTC and it is particularly remarkable because our school is the first in sub-Saharan Africa to have an IoT centre.
“Therefore, our teachers and students will not only be global community of problem solvers but also IoT creators,’’ Ugorji said.