A former Vice-Chancellor, Ladoke Akintola University of Science and Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho, Professor Adeniyi Gbadegesin and a Mathematician from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Professor Samuel Okoya have agreed that if Nigeria is to meet its Scientific, Environment, Economic and Socio-Cultural challenges, it must take action at the community, national and global levels.
The scholars who were Guest Lecturer and the Lead Paper Presenter respectively, reached this consensus at the International Conference on Developmental Science and Technology, organised by the College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS), with the theme, “Advancing Scientific Frontlines for Sustainable Development and held recently”.
On his part, Professor Gbadegesin while speaking on the topic, “Sustainability Science and the Issue of Sustainable Development in Nigeria” stressed the need for the nation to take into consideration some Sustainable Developmental Goals such as Gender Equality, Good Wealth and Well-Being, Quality Education, Clean Water and Sanitation, among others.
He defined Sustainable Development as Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, adding that “The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) addressed the need for Development to take into consideration Clean Energy, Water and Sanitation, Climate Change, as well as Terrestrial Ecosystems and Biodiversity”.
Professor Gbadegesin who is of the Department of Geography, University of Ibadan (UI), Ibadan also stressed the need for Universities to be seen as a community of scientists with the aim of providing leadership and producing future leaders that will harmonize the Economic, Social and Environmental goals.
He posited that Tertiary Institutions should establish regional framework for integration of scientific research, advising that government should work towards developing national policies and programmes to enhance and support Universities.
Reiterating the means to achieving a Sustainable Development, he said, while various trends and developments should be considered, the country should work towards meeting the needs of the increasing population with the infusion of new values into the economy.
He further advised that scientists should shift from familiar scientific approach to approaches that will involve working together with the public at large to produce trustworthy knowledge and judgment that is scientifically sound and rooted in social understanding.
On his part, Professor Okoya who presented a Paper titled, “Predictions Based on Mathematical Models for National Development”, concluded that there is need for interaction in the form of consultancy between Scientists and the Government/ Industries, in order to further enhance development in the country.
He stated that technological advancement has made it easy to collect, store and analyze data with emphasis on statistics, modeling and elevating prediction to a science that permeates everyday living.
Professor Okoya said, “If there is no big database, there is no prediction; no theoretical study, no prediction and if there is no probability, there is no prediction”.
He concluded by tasking Nigeria and Nigerians to embrace long term earthquake monitoring, while studies on big data should be carried out and supported.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of cultural dance by the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) Theatre Troupe.