PROFESSOR Pat Utomi has called for an organised drive towards achieving the nation’s development goals.
Utomi, who spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Repositioning Universities as Drivers of National Industrial Development, at an event to mark the retirement of Professor Anthony Arinze from active service at the University of Port Harcourt, said it was time the nation constructed a system to move from the point of misery and underdevelopment.
He said that the nation should evolve a clear national strategic plan with appreciable focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. According to him, weak institutions were largely responsible for failures in Africa, noting that sound leadership has the capacity to change the country and the African continent.
Utomi who made reference to Singapore, said its development history could also be applied to achieve similar feat in Nigeria.
He said it was sad that a nation that was producing 5,000 megawatts of electricity under the tenure of former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon in the 70s, has suddenly dropped to below 2,000 megawatts about four decades after, noting that the foregoing was a reflection of the inconsistencies in Nigeria’s growth plan.
Retiring Professor Arinze in a chat later with newsman enjoined government to effectively fund university education in the country, saying that a situation where science practical’s are taught without the needed tools was unacceptable.