We Need Govt’s Endorsement For Technological Advancement – IEEE Chair

IEEE Chairman, Mr. Oyewole John Funso-Adebayo.

The Chairman, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers(IEEE), Mr. Oyewole John Funso-Adebayo has disclosed that government’s endorsement was required by the institute for technological advancement in the country.

Mr. Adebayo said, endless and persistent writing and submission of letters for government’s endorsement in the last four years yields no results.

He said, the institute had written to the presidency, National Assembly, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Speaking to selected journalists in Abuja, Mr. Oyewole John Funso-Adebayo said that he has been to the presidential Villa several times to submit letters in the last four years 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), with acknowledged copies attached. We have written and taking letters to the Villa. I led the team to the presidency and for the past four years no single response,” he lamented.

Mr. Adebayo said, “at IEEE, we advance technology for humanity. IEEE is the organization that makes Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and all these advanced technologies. And it is the largest professional body in the world, having over 400, 000 members, with membership in over 200 countries. You
don’t have to be an engineer to be a member because we have over 50 societies. The initial motto of the IEEE was networking the world but it was later changed to advancing technology for humanity.

“That is why 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. 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.

On government support, he said, all that the IEEE needed was government endorsement: “If people see Technology as Government driven initiative than you forcing your technology on them, it will encourage them. When it is supported by federal ministry of health; it goes a long way than me pushing it and putting just my company name there.

“Endorsement is a critical point in branding and that is the only thing we need from the government. The private sector gives what they think is okay for them because there’s no endorsement from anybody to say we did a KYC on this people and we know who they are, and they can actually deliver.

“A second challenge is about professional organizations. There is need for cohesion. I have been teaching NCC about 5G for the past two years. As a Telecom expert, even though am younger, I can explain that 5G is not a conspiracy theory. Why emphasising on existing dangers of infrastructure just to shut down the future technology? It’s because there is no partnership across board in all professional bodies.

On the side of the private sector, he said though the 2% partnership is not encouraging they won’t relent in their efforts to empower the age gaps.

“For the private sector we have got 2,% response: from Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission ( NERC) and from MTN Nigeria. NERC funded our labs that we did in seven states. The 2% collaboration or partnership is not sufficient for 36 states of 200 million of all age gaps. We are looking at age 18-65 and we are looking at empowering different categories as entrepreneurs. As senior citizens you don’t need them to be productive but you need them to be sustained, to live comfortably. Right now there is no one who cares about them. No one partners the unemployed or entrepreneurs; nobody cares about them for partnership. But for the students that want to code, programming or those that want to learn, yes, a little support for them but not from the government.

And “there’s a partner we have with the Nigeria Energy Forum (NEF), based in the UK. We have renewable conferences, organized workshops and sponsored projects for all African countries every year.”

On funding for projects that the organization is undertaking, he said, the IEEE Headquarters and a few private sector support is responsible for the execution.

In his words, “People keep wondering where we are getting the funds from? We cannot underestimate the power of partnership: by and large our partners gives us resources not the money per say. When you are hungry and you have food to eat you don’t need money or when you are hungry and you have a job, you don’t need money. Because your job will be based on your performance. Our partners have sustained our passion to drive technology to those areas by providing the right work force, right resources and the right tools for us.

“The Headquarters gives us counterpart funding based on what we are able to raise amongst ourselves. Like I said, our focus is not on money, you give the resources we need: we lease it out to you, if you want to provide the transportation, fine or hotel accommodation: direct funding is not encouraged by the Headquarters. But by the time they monetise all the resources available they provide their own direct funding from the Headquarters, because by the end of every year, you provide the account balance sheet. IEEE takes away greed from voluntary services. They monitor everything: income, inflow and expenditure directly from the Headquarters,” he said.

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