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ASUP Holds 3rd National Conference, Laments Lack Of Innovation In Nigeria, Tertiary Institutions

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By Daniel Dafe
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Delta State Polytechnic Ogwashi-uku, has held its 3rd National Conference.

The programme which took place at the institutions ICT Centre on the 8th and 9th of September, 2020, had its theme as: “Innovation for Sustainable National Development: The Challenges of the 21st Century,” and attracted stakeholders from various institutions, particularly universities and polytechnics.

The conference was a unique one as it was the first time the polytechnic witnessed a virtual participation of a large percentage of conferees via the Zoom technology.

The event with over 60 persons in attendance was declared open by the Rector of the Delta State Polytechnic Ogwashi-uku, Prof. Stellla Chiemeke, ably represented by the Deputy Rector, Mr. Ojogbo.

Also in attendance was the Registrar of the Polytechnic, Mrs.  Nweke and representatives of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics from the National, Zonal and Chapter levels.

The event kicked off with an opening remark by the host, Comrade Iwezu Joseph Iwezu and a welcome address by the Rector of the Delta State Polytechnic Ogwashi-uku, Prof. Stellla Chiemeke.

Comrade C. B. Asomugha, the immediate past National President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics delivered the keynote address.

The lead paper titled: “A Nation without Innovation is on the Path to self-Destruction”, was presented by Assoc. Prof. Emmanuel Ufuophu-Biri, an erudite scholar of the Delta State University, Abraka.

The participants, during an interactive session, brainstormed on how to tackle the current problem of dearth of innovation in Nigeria, especially in tertiary institutions.

According to them, in spite of the fact that Nigeria is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, it has remained in abject poverty, adding that other countries that were classified on the same level with her some decades ago have overtaken the nation in terms of development.

A communique from the said conference said “this was because these other countries, unlike Nigeria, embraced innovation.”

They identified lack of courage on the part of the general populace and the fear of taking risks, government’s lackadaisical attitude towards innovation and cultural orientation that views technologies with suspicion and superstition as responsible for the lack of Innovation in Nigeria in general, and tertiary intuitions in particular.

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Speaking further, ASUP added that the fact that innovative ideas from the Western part are assumed to be superior to those from the country’s immediate vicinity was also a limitation to the enhancement of Nigeria’s growth in the area of innovation.

They therefore called on academics to engage in sincere, productive and achievable researches that are capable of turning out laudable innovations in order to contribute to a sustainable national development, adding that the government must wake up to its responsibilities and pay attention to individual and collective innovations by not only supporting innovations, but creating an atmosphere for innovations to thrive.

Furthermore, they urged the government to establish research institutions to be adequately funded and made to function optimally, saying that the government should also consider establishing appropriate agencies that will be charged with the task of funding, evaluating and promoting innovations.

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