Scholars have urged the Federal Government to create ways to build a sustainable environment for the nation in a bid to boost confidence of Nigerians in this present administration.
According to former Vice-Chancellor of University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Ibidapo-Obe, such environment will replicate the human environment in a nearly static and non-static fashion for efficiency and search for ways of ensuring that life is more abundant to the people.
Ibidapo-Obe said: “That is why we have been talking about diversifying the economy for a long time, but which we have not done because the country is getting money from somewhere else and now we are faced with the situation that has to be addressed optimally.”
The don, in his keynote address during a symposium organised in honour of Pa. Ezekiel Iyiola Omisore, an engineer, and the eldest of the Omisore Dynasty to commiserate his 90th birthday, however, noted that what is important now, is to ensure steady progress anchored on prosperity, equity and justice.
“It is our collective duty to work together towards an egalitarian society. We must bake the bricks, lay them and fasten them together as appropriate. This is the way foundations are made. Ideally, the foundations are well made but sometimes because of the human factor, some are weak and cannot carry the designed loads. We redesign and support with columns or pillars or beams,” Ibidapo-Obe stressed.
He said the current debate on restructuring should not be reduced to mere political level, as the call for dismember of the country might miss the issue.
Stressing further, participants at the symposium, who took a critical look at nation building through an engineers’ perspective, insisted that engineers are to do it right at all times in a systematic and scientific manners based upon agreed terms and conditions.
According to them, it is appropriate that whenever the terms and conditions vary or change, then we have to redesign to incorporate the amendments.
Extolling the virtues of Pa Omisore, they pointed out that he belongs to the first generation of Nigerian Engineers, a pioneer builder of the nation.
Towards this end, they hinted that “we must continuously discuss and stimulate thoughts that will enhance national development, even as one of the sons of the celebrant, Tokunbo Omisore, said the symposium had no doubt would go a long way to provoke the country’s renewed approach to restructure our educational system as a priority.
He noted: “A nation such as ours will remain challenged in developing our own research and development (R&D) if education quality remains in this appalling state. My question is do we hope to develop our local content properly when our institutions to execute the researches are not funded? In addition, we must control our population to commiserate with our economy and human development. For whom do we grow the teeming population, bereft of education and unemployed at the expense of infrastructural developments?”
To have a sustainable environment, Tokunbo added that as a nation, we must support affordable development, and to stop buying what we could not afford as a country.
On his part, Deputy Chief Coordinator of Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Mr. Patrick Aderinwale, wondered that the entire infrastructure built had been bastardised by inept, corrupt and mindless leaders that took over from the founding fathers of modern Nigeria.
He said, “There is urbanization of poverty as in development of slums in city centres and the erosion of our city master plans and public utilities like railways have been reversed against man and nature.”
He stated that the challenge of unsustainable environment is a consequence of failed leadership and a largely uninformed, docile and subservient followership, insisting “that nothing will change, except we change ourselves.”