From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Friday, disclosed that despite his age and achievements, he was yet to be a computer literate. Obasanjo, stated this in his remarks at the opening of a two-day robotics workshop for elementary, secondary and university students in Nigeria.
The workshop, organised by the Public Affairs Section of the United States Consulate General Lagos and RoboRave International, USA, had over 300 students from 22 schools, drawn from five states, participating at the event, which held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Library (OOPL), Abeokuta.
According to Obasanjo, he missed the opportunity of being a computer literate because he was not born in the computer age. He admonished the students to combine their understanding of computer and training in robotics, to enhance technological development of Nigeria.
He said, though, Nigerians will be wondering what robotics is all about, adding that the country should start in earnest, to encourage and train the young ones, to embrace what he termed “the future”.
The former president, added that in order not to be left out of cutting edge breakthroughs in science, technology and engineering, new innovations in technology design and manipulation, should be embraced by Nigeria. He said: “Judging from our level of education, people will be wondering what robotics is all about. The future is here, we better start to move with the future, so that we will not be left out of the cutting edge technology and engineering of the future”.
Obasanjo, however, said that contrary to the erroneous belief that robots will cause massive job loss, deployment of robotic engineering and technology, will rather create several jobs for Nigerians.
In his own remarks, the United States Consul General in Nigeria, John Bray, explained that the programme was designed to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in Nigeria.
Bray, observed that children who receive STEM education via robotics training will be better prepared to solve real life problems, with more creativity, critical thinking and effectiveness.
Noting many developed countries have hinged their continued economic growth on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the Consul General, stressed that, “through the RoboRave programme, Nigerian children will be inspired to learn more about the importance of STEM and the importance of creation, innovation, and product development”.