By Uche Bibilari
The Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja (UniAuja), Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, has reiterated the need for educational community to embrace advanced technology, especially in automobile.
Na’Allah made this submission during the university’s 27th Pre-Convocation Lecture on Friday in Abuja.
He said that Nigeria had all required in terms of resources and technical know-how to have a robust technology, adding that it was time for Nigerians to think on the way forward.
The vice chancellor said that the Nigerian train system 20 to 50 years ago was far better than what was obtainable at present; hence the need to focus attention on automobile technology.
On his part, the Guest Lecturer, Mr Jelani Aliyu, Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), said Nigerians had important role in creating the new and advanced Nigeria of peace, progress and prosperity.
Aliyu said to achieve the new Nigerian future, citizens must first of all imagine it, adding that the country had all it took to be at par with other developed countries of the world.
He said that the problems of Nigeria were artificial phenomenon that should not be allowed to define it as a nation.
“We must only be defined by our inherent capabilities, or be defined by what we can build; but by what we can achieve for a better tomorrow.
“We are all born with special talents; everyone has incredible gifts that when nurtured and developed, will enable the realisation of amazing achievements.
“When we look at countries like Germany, U.S., U.A.E, Japan or China and see the incredible progress they have made, such developments can also happen in Nigeria,” he said.
He said that advanced technology could help to expedite the ushering in of a new Nigeria.
Aliyu called on all graduating and other students as potential builders of a nation that could be at par with any advanced one in the world to take advantage of advanced technology.
“We must seek and adopt relevant advanced technology that would enable us uplift the lives of every man, woman and child.
“Technology, which is intelligent and understands our specific challenges; we must search, adopt and develop advanced technology in energy, agriculture, transportation and housing.
“Automobiles and transportation are my passion; I have always believed that we must not be afraid of adopting the most advanced technologies in that sector.
“Hence my commitment to help in bringing and develop vehicle electrification in Nigeria,” Aliyu said.
According to the guest lecturer, NADDC has developed 100 per cent solar powered EV Charging Stations in three universities in the country.
He said that the fourth Hybrid was at its headquarters in Abuja.
Aliyu said discussion was underway with UniAbuja to build another solar powered EV Charging Station in the campus.
The guest speaker said NADDC had set up the facilities to bring advanced technology to the doorsteps of students; so they could understand it and come up with more applicable solutions for Nigeria and Africa.
He advised the graduands as they went into the world not to be afraid of leveraging and developing advanced technology.
More so, the Minister of FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike, advised the graduands to use the wealth of knowledge and skills they had acquired to make positive change in the country.
Wike, who was represented by the Secretary of Education, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Dr Danlami Hayyo, said that the university had consistently showed its commitment in finding solutions to the challenges facing the territory.
“You are leaving this institution with your wealth of knowledge and skills, the future of the nation lies in your hands; I want you to use it to make positive change in our society.
“Don’t stop learning; this is just the beginning; stay focused and be an ambassador of change not only in FCT but for our country Nigeria,” the minister said.
The University Orator, Prof. Nkem Azuike, while reading the citation of the guest lecturer, said that he had brought significant development to the Nigeria automotive sector.
Azuike said that Aliyu had driven private investments by automotive companies, reaching over 1 billion dollars.
He said that the companies, with a combined production capacity of over 400,000 units per annum, were effectively producing different models and configurations of vehicles in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the highlight of the event was the presentation of plaques to the guest lecturer by the vice chancellor. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Dorcas Jonah and Chijioke Okoronkwo