Isaac Ajayi, the vice-chancellor (VC) of WellSpring University in Edo, says Nigeria won’t achieve the growth it desires if it fails to prioritise science, technology, and vocational education.
The professor spoke on Friday about how Nigeria can leverage human capital to facilitate economic development.
He said there’s no doubt that the prosperity and wealth of nations rest largely on innovation and entrepreneurship.
The VC also disclosed that many varsities in the western world are leading in innovation and entrepreneurship but those in Nigeria still trail behind.
Ajayi, while arguing further, said his trips to some leading countries in the world exposed him to the innovative works going across world universities.
He also said Nigeria’s higher education and its gaps in commercial research put the country far from the digital age.
“In a rapidly changing world, which has become knowledge-driven, the global economic landscape has become increasingly more competitive,” Ajayi said.
“Only nations that are committed to imbibing entrepreneurial spirit through innovative ideas will remain relevant in the current global economy.
“From the industrial revolution of the 1800s to today’s digital revolution, innovation has been the driving force of economic growth and development.
“The evidence from developed economies shows that universities are the engine room of national development as they drive innovation, supply quality human capital, and influence democratic development.”
Ajayi said until the university system prioritizes skills development to equip Nigerians with the right competencies for employability, the nation will not witness the desired development.
The VC also said that development can be achieved through investments in key programmes, particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and technology, vocational education, and training (TVET).
“The failure of this sector to make a positive impact on national development is linked to such factors as funding challenges, lack of infrastructures, and brain drain,” he added.
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