By Jessica Dogo
The Chairman, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), Nigerian Section, Mr John Funso-Adebayo, has solicited the Federal Government‘s support to achieve its optimal potentials.
Funso-Adebayo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja, that IEEE had in the last four years submitted letters to solicit support from the federal government without any being acknowledged.
He explained that in spite of the private sector’s support, endorsement was critical in branding, which was the only thing that the organisation needed from the government to move forward.
“We have been to the presidential Villa severally to submit letters yet nothing positive has come out of it, same with the National Assembly, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We should not shutdown the government of the day, but African governments do not encourage indigenous ideas.
“They like to import knowledge and resources. So, it is not about the present Nigerian government but it is about the African culture.
“We have written and taken letters to the Villa. I led the team to the presidency and for the past four years no single response.
“The government has never for once acknowledged our letters. I take them to the Villa myself.
“The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs has our letter, the office of the Senior Special Adviser on Sustainable Development Goals at the federal secretariat has our letter, the National Assembly too.
“If people see technology as a government-driven initiative than forcing it into the people’s throat, It will be an encouragement to them,” he said.
The chairman, who assumed duty in January, said that the IEEE had come up with some innovations in the form of palliatives, one of which was to provide internet access across the country.
He said that the Internet access was to enhance online skills acquisition while other palliatives included provision of locally made hand sanitizers, production of radio jingles to prevent spread of COVID-19, hand washing equipment to IDP camps, among others.
“We created these opportunities and we brought it to Nigeria at this period so that we can enlighten our people on how to live better as humans because there are structures in everyplace; even the ants move in a structured way.
“In Nigeria, we have embarked on few palliative measures to ease the burden of COVID-19 for unserved and underserved areas, through advanced technologies for humanity.
“Human beings actually have lives to protect through technology.
“So IEEE advances these technologies for human lives, to give them comfort, purpose and hope for living even when they lose their jobs as volunteers and to give them more opportunities in the academic research,” he said.
According to Funso-Adebayo, while a few private sectors give two per cent of financial support, IEEE’s headquarter gives counterpart funding based on what members are able to generate internally.
He said that though the financial percentage partnership of the private sector contribution was still low IEEE was committed and would not to relent in its efforts to empower entrepreneurs.
“People keep wondering where we are getting the funds from? We cannot underestimate the power of partnership: by and large our partners give us resources not the money per say.
“For the private sector we have gotten two per cent response, which are Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission ( NERC) and from MTN Nigeria.
“NERC funded our homs on labs that we did in seven states. The two per cent collaboration or partnership is not sufficient for 36 states of 200 million of all ages gaps.
“We are looking at ages 18 to 65, and we are looking at empowering different categories as entrepreneurs.
“Our partners have sustained our passion to drive technology to those areas by providing the right work force, right resources and the right tools,” he said.
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