Be ready for emerging world of robots, Obasanjo tells youth

Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday said the adoption of robotics education in the country would not increase the unemployment rate as being speculated.

He, therefore, urged Nigerian youths to embrace robotics education while their formative and impressionable age last, because of its potential to prepare them for global leadership roles.

Obasanjo, who admitted that Nigeria is far behind, in terms of general education, harped on the need to embrace robotics education for the country, so as not to further extend the gap in technological and scientific education obtainable in developed countries.

The former President, speaking in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, during a two-day robotics workshop held at OOPL, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, with over 300 students drawn from five states of the federation in attendance, jointly organised by the United States (US) Consulate General, Lagos, RoboRAVE International, a US-based robotics education academy and the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), allayed fears that robotics education would escalate unemployment rate in Nigeria.

He said: “What will normally happen is that there would be jobs that would emanate from robotics. The jobs would compensate what robotics will take over.

“We have seen that through history. When train came, people thought there would be no way for road transportation. Same thing happened when railway came. People also thought when aeroplane came, that railways and cars would not be useful. But, today roads are being constructed and we have not even done enough. Yet, airports are being built and enlarged.

“So, if we actually plan well, robots will have a place and other jobs will be created for our teeming population, not only in Nigeria and Africa, but also all over the world.”

He urged the participating students to take advantage of the robotics education to better their future.

“Children, take it as a play, but at the same time take it serious, because the play of today is the pay of tomorrow. And while you are still young and manageable, unlike me, even now, I am not computer literate yet, because I was BBC (Born Before Computer).”

In his remark, the United States Consul General in Nigeria, F. John Bray, said robotic education would help the country in providing global partnerships and economic development, disclosing that US was deeply committed to supporting the country’s economic development.



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