By Chinyere Nwachukwu
Lagos, Dec. 14, 2018 (NNN) The Vice-Chancellor (V-C) of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, has lauded the university’s aggressive entrepreneurship, saying it will enable the university to dominate the innovation space.
The Vice-Chancellor said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) on Friday in Lagos.
He said that with the entrepreneurial development centre in place, most of the students were already going through the path of rediscovery.
“Most of our students are endowed with uncommon skills and potential which needed to be harnessed and showcased.
“We are not sleeping here in this university.
“We are coming up with so many programmes that will challenge the creative thinking and innovative skills of our students to ensure that they are well equipped.
“Today, for instance, we are coming up with the Robotic programme that will showcase the skills of our students cut across all disciplines.
“ It is to show how one can manipulate an engine to do the task you want it to do,’’ he said.
Ogundipe said that it was designed to expose the students to innovation.
“We are going to see various aspects of it. One is about a football match while the other will be about exploration.
He said that it would resemble the last programme tagged “Impact Week”, that the university organised.
“We are about to see another set of high display of raw skills by the students,” Ogundipe said.
According to the don, the students have proved that aside their chosen fields of studies, they have also developed several things that will go into incubation and then funding.
“We have seen students from our College of Medicine, Faculty of Law, and other disciplines doing excellently well in our entrepreneurial programmes.
“Having said this, we have also discovered that there is the need for us to scale-up what we are doing by putting them into practice.
“That is why we are soliciting support from companies and informing them that they can use the platform to showcase themselves,” he said.
He said that the university was not getting enough support from the private sector and, therefore, there was the need to invest more in venture programmes.
“Just recently, an international organisation invested about N70 million in organising a programme here for our undergraduate students, and that is the way to go.
“Such gesture should be emulated by others for us to be able to expose our students more to skills’ acquisition, thereby, making them relevant locally and be able to compete globally,” he said.
Dr Chika Yinka-Banjo of UNILAG’s Department of Computer Science and the coordinator of the programme said that robotics was the future and that Nigerians should be prepared to embrace it.
According to her, the essence of the programme is to create awareness about the benefits of robots as engines.
She said that the university intended to see how the students and the general public could leverage on what was happening in the field of robotics.
“This is because robotics is the future and whether we like it or not, it is coming to take away some jobs and so, we must be prepared.
“It is no longer news that robots, which are machines, now carry out assignments such as performing operations in hospitals and serve as house-helps in homes.
“They are equally used for security purposes like surveillance.
“But, they will equally create jobs too and challenge human beings to think out of the box as well as come up with other ways of doing things that robots cannot do,” she said. (NNN)
Edited by Angela Okisor/Peter Dada