Vice Chancellor of Mountain Top University, Magboro, Ogun State, Prof. Elijah Ayolabi, has condemned the N242 billion being proposed by President Mohammadu Buhari proposed to the National Assembly for the 2019 elections, saying it should be channeled to people-oriented programmes.
Prof. Ayolabi said that Nigeria did not need such an amount for elections, stating that rather, it should be used for the technological advancement of the country.
The don explained that if Nigeria had a digital gadget that detects election malpractices, what happened in the just concluded Ekiti election would not have taken place, where there were alleged vote-buying, snatching of ballot boxes, intimidation by security agents, and other electoral malpractices.
Prof. Ayolabi made this statement during the 4th Distinguished Lecture of the University tagged: ‘Potency of Science and Technology in Sustainable Development’.
Ayolabi, who highlighted the importance of science and technology to national development, said taming of corruption and control of economic leakages would position Nigeria in its glory among nations.
“There would not have been any point where the electorate would come together as technology would have designed an application that would have taken care of it”, he stated.
Speaking in the same vein, Director/Chief Executive Officer, Centre For Atmospheric Research, National Space Research & Development Agency, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Kogi State University Campus, Anyigba, Kogi State, Prof. Babatunde Rabiu, said that over 62 per cent of Nigerians live in extreme poverty.
He regretted that moves by the Federal Government to tackle poverty has not yielded much or improved the life of anyone.
Rabiu, who was the Guest Lecturer at the event, said Mark Zuckerberg (Founder of Facebook) recently was named third world richest man just for developing software technology that has enriched him and improved the lives of many, who has benefited immensely from this technology that he developed.
According to Prof. Rabiu, “If government can channel resources and sponsor research project of organised institution, it would go a long way to solve the major obstacle of poverty hindering our development as a nation.”
He added that the security challenge of insurgence and herdsmen killings can be tackled with technology.
Prof. Rabiu continued, “Most persons that engage in terrorism and other vices would not have engaged in such because they would be gainfully employed and engaged in things that will develop them and the nation.
“Most youths now create legitimate jobs for themselves using the internet without engaging in cyber-crime like yahoo, yahoo and other internet fraud.”
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to invest in research work, saying it is a veritable tool to national development, adding that a lot of researchers have frame work but cannot sponsor such research projects because of the huge amount involved.