Vice President Yemi Osinbajo expressed this view in his keynote address at the First Board Meeting/Fund Raising dinner in aid of the establishment of the Nigerian University of Technology and Management (NUTM) on Wednesday in Lagos. Stating that Nigeria needs an institution that will produce cutting edge Artificial Intelligence applications for education, business, medicine, security among others.
He said, “We gather to give life to an elite school of Science and Technology. Indeed, there must be an institution whose sole objective is to inspire innovation, inventions and research that address the most crucial problems of the nation and the world.
“How do we solve peculiar African health challenges such as Sickle cell Anaemia, fibroids and cancers?
“Clearly we need an institution able to provide the atmosphere to invent agricultural inputs that will guarantee the huge yields per acreage or volumes in dairy and livestock to meet the food security needs of a country headed for the third position in population size in a few short years.
“An institution that will produce cutting edge AI applications for education, business medicine, and security.
“One that can design the educational innovation required to train millions of children in or out of classrooms all across the country and provide the techniques for delivering opportunities in technology on scale.’’
Osinbajo said that Nigeria must produce world class economists, managers of commerce in a world increasingly disrupted by technology and innovation and convert its best young minds to creative thinkers, innovators in science, technology, the economy, commerce and public finance.
According to him, Nigeria already has several tertiary institutions of science and technology and management sciences all over the country but NUTM comes with a difference.
“But what is proposed is an institution intentionally created as a world class centre for the training of the best Nigerian minds and talents.
“The institution must also engage the best academics and scholars, locally and internationally.
“This is not an institution that we have seen the likes before locally; the comparators are the deliberate creation of thinkers in the public and private sectors like ourselves all around the world.
“The vision is clear but the key of course is funding.
“As is the case with comparable institutions all over the world, the NUTM must have considerable resources to support high quality research.
“The implications of this are vast; to excite research NUTM ought to be able to attract to residence Nobel laureates and international leaders of thought and innovation; that will cost money,’’ he said.
He said a remarkable thing about the initiative was that the people behind it were all people who had been successful in creating high-quality institutions in other fields whether it be in the private or public sector.
The vice president pledged Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring that the initiative succeeds as it was not just a project but a vital national resource.