‘Why Nigeria must prioritise research in internal security’

The immediate past Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, has warned that efforts at driving economic growth may be fruitless if research in internal security that will ensure safety of investment, protect welfare of citizens and resources, is not prioritised.

Ogundipe, who stated this in his keynote address at the 2023 summit of Education Writers Association of Nigeria (EWAN), held at Radisson Blu, Ikeja, noted that insecurity leads to stunted economic growth, which negatively affects social cohesion and unity. He spoke on the theme, “Research for national development: Nigeria’s internal security in focus.”.

The former vice chancellor, who is the chairman of Lagos State Research and Innovation Council, noted that the country has been contending with internal security in various forms over the years.

“And most of the time, the challenges arise from competition for resources, land water among others. Insecurity affects infrastructural development, while human capital development won’t be enhanced.

“Foreign relations and diplomacy is badly affected too because insecurity that does not go away keeps foreign investors away. The ways that internal insecurity has hampered our national development are many, but i know that research, science and innovation can play pivotal roles to enhancing internal security.

“Analysis and intelligence gathering is important. Using drones, CCTV cameras to monitor situations is necessary. Regarding cyber threats, some universities can be given the assignment to set up centres that would nip cyber crimes and threats in the bud,” he said.

In their goodwill messages, UNILAG Vice Chancellor, Prof. Folashade Ogunsola, Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Tolani Ali-Balogun, who was represented by Director, Education Resource Centre, Akinlade Omolayo and Chairperson, Nigeria Labour Congress, Lagos State chapter, Funmilayo Sessi, said security is a collective responsibility and EWAN is blazing the trail with proactive discussions and solutions towards securing Nigeria internally.

Earlier, EWAN Chairman, Mr Mojeed Alabi, said the summit was an avenue for researchers, policy makers and academia to brainstorm on the way forward. While seeking a lasting role in governance for educational institutions, researchers and journalists to achieve relatable solutions, Alabi pledged the readiness of EWAN to continually contribute to national development.

The summit had three sessions that looked into specific issues raised. The first session, moderated by veteran broadcaster, Mrs Bimbo Oloyede, had representatives of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on the panel that discussed Ogundipe’s paper.

The second session, themed: “Financial security and future of banking in Nigeria, what needs from researchers,” was sponsored by UBA Plc. The third session, themed: “Food security, health safety and environmental sustainability: What nexus? Researchers’ perspectives,” had Prof. Taibat Lawanson speaking on urban and regional planning.


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