While saying technical education remained the harbinger of hope for Nigeria’s desired speedy technological advancement, he added that the sector needed adequately funded to realise the desired result.
Dr Mathew Okpebholo, chairman of construction giant, RayRoyal construction company Ltd. , says if adequately funded, technical education can address Nigeria’s current unemployment challenge.
He said further that if adequately funded, technical education would remain a sustained harbinger of hope for Nigeria’s desired speedy technological advancement.
Okpebholo made his thoughts known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN ) shortly after being honoured with the prestigious Fellowship award of Auchi Polytechnic on Saturday in Edo.
He maintained that I there was no shying away from the fact that technical education which ought to be the beacon of hope for solving the nation’s unemployment crisis, had been neglected either through underfunding or policy shift.
He noted that technical institutions worldwide provided students with the conducive training environment to become inventors and entrepreneurs.
According to him, these two qualities are what usually prepares them to face future challenges in life.
“They become not just self sufficient but also employers of labour helping to redirect government policy direction, nay its economic, social and technological growth’ he said.
He said his early training and acquisition of technical skills in steel works aptly prepared him for his life journey ” when I established in 1970 an enterprise known as Royal Steel Works which metamorphosed into Rayroyal construction company Ltd, a civil engineering construction company”.
He added that his company, being a major player in road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance in Nigeria, had made massive contributions to national infrastructural development of the country.
While Okpebholo called on policy makers and those in decision making positions in Nigeria to have a better understanding of the many gains the country stands to benefit through adequate funding of technical institutions, he urged the graduands of school to demonstrate to the world that the skills acquired were no fluck.
NAN reports that Okpebholo, whose philanthropy has earned him many awards including two honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Benin and Ambrose Alli university, Ekpoma, both in Edo, bagged additional fellowship award of the Auchi Polytechnic during the institution’s 25th convocation ceremony, for his selfless service to humanity.
Rector of the institution, Dr Sanusi Jimah said management had become more determined to ensure the products churned out were best in their chosen fields and become good ambassadors of themselves and their alma mater.
Jimah said because “our students deserve the best in instructions, the Polytechnic has continued to enhance its staff development policy.
‘Through the TETFUND interventions, the Polytechnic in the past two years has sponsored 75 staff to acquire higher degrees ranging from masters and doctorate degree programs in Nigerian universities and abroad.
‘We have also been able to sponsor nine members of staff to both local and international conferences while seven have been engaged in institutional based research”, he said.
He disclosed that in addition to the currently running accredited 61 programmes in the Polytechnic management had approached its supervisory agency, the national board for technical education for approval of elev9 new programmes to be run in the proposed school of Health science and Technology.
‘The process leading to the founding of the new school and others have been sent to the executive Secretary of NBTE for approval while efforts to introduce diploma programmes in welding and fabrication technology have reached advanced stages, “” he said.
NAN reports that the Otaru of Auchi, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Aliru Momoh, Ikelebe 111, inaugurated several TETFUND projects executed by the management of the Polytechnic to herald the convocation ceremony.
A total of 28,325 graduands were presented awards of post Higher National Diploma, Higher National diploma and National diploma for the 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 academic sessions respectively.
NAN adds that 382 of the graduands bagged distinction equivalent of first class at the HND and ND programmes. (NAN)