There is the need to control innovations in the field of Science and technology because of the
likely dangerous effect unbridled inventions can have on human and the environment.This caution was given by a Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Olorunisola Peter Fapetu, while delivering the 65th inaugural lecture at the Federal University of Technology,Akure recently.
Professor Fapetu spoke on the topic “Synthesizing the Fabrics of Engineering Structures for
Technological Emancipation.” Going down the memory lane, Professor Fapetu said, “when
Albert Einstein in 1905, armed with his theory of special relativity, propounded the mass-energy equation, little did he realize that engineers would use it to develop the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945”.
Professor Fapetu, an advocate of innovation, said one of the essential ingredients for technological advancement of any nation is the creation of a field of innovations/inventors. He however said“we cannot unendingly continue to innovate without control. For instance by rapidly innovating and churning out exponential brands of automobiles in the last decade, some auto manufacturing organizations have been recalling millions of assorted brand of
their car products which I will attribute to uncontrolled innovative activities in the said organizations”.
Diagnosing the low technological status of Nigeria, the don recommended and advised the
Nigerian University system to encourage and stimulate innovative/inventive minds by creating an enabling environment. He said university authorities should avoid interference in the works of creative minds except in the provision of necessary funding. He further pleaded
for adequate funding of the Universities, Polytechnics and Trade Schools and recommended
a 50% allocation of the excess crude oil revenue to these institutions and also called for prudent management of available funds.
Addressing University administrators, Professor Fapetu said “innovative/inventive activities in the Universities should be accorded premium recognition in the assessment of staff for provision and award of excellence while the quanta of published journals should have secondary value;”
Finally, Professor Fapetu called on Federal and State Governments to adopt the Industrial Initiatives and Innovation Cooperation Projects (IIICP) as propounded by the United Nations Development Project (UNDP) to stimulate cooperation between companies and Universities and research Institutions.
In his remarks at the well-attended ceremony, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Adebiyi Daramola who chaired the occasion appreciated Professor Fapetu’s dexterity in delivering
the lecture in spite of the complexity and technicality of the engineering field. He said “Professor Fapetu has watered down engineering technical language to the understanding of the layman. This is a rare feat in the history of presentation in the field of engineering”.
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