Frontline aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Anambra governorship race, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, yesterday in Awka, promised to massively fund technological research and development in all tertiary educations institutions in the state.
Okonkwo, who is widely expected to win the June 26 primary election of the party, stated this when he addressed staff and students of the Faculty of Engineering of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University during the maiden lecture of the faculty titled ‘Role of Engineering in Sustainable Agriculture.
Addressing the audience which consisted of the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Charles Esimone, Dean of the faculty of Engineering Prof. Joseph Nwabanne among academic and non-academic staff, Dr. Okonkwo said that the way into Anambra’s future was through technological advancement
He argued that such advancement can, however, only be possible through massive funding of research and development, which he promised to do when elected to govern the state.
He said that as governor of the state, he would also attract direct foreign investments into the education sector and create the necessary liaison for institutions of higher learning in the state to partner with their counterparts in Europe, America and Asia for the qualitative development of human resources.
Okonkwo, who was chairman of the event, said there are great prospects for the future of the state adding that his mission into politics was basically to change the narrative on Anambra and create the opportunity for the people to achieve their full potentials.
He noted that though Anambra state was disadvantaged in land area as to pursue large scale farm holdings, it was still possible to transform agriculture in the state using technology.
“Look at ranching for instance, the question of open grazing of animals and its attendant problem of herders/farmers clashes, which has cost this country a lot in both human and material resources, is one that could be resolved with ranching. Ranching comes with the deployment of the right technology that would help find solutions to the right kind of grass which is also technologically improved upon to be of more nutritious value to animals.
“Also, with the ranching option comes the challenge for the development of the right technology for animal care including medical technology. With that, we create a new value chain that also challenges us to develop the right technology for the conversion of other by-products of such animals into consumables for society.
“Ranching would task our economic system with the development of technology for the conversion of hides and skin into quality leather for the industrial sector that needs them for the creation of other products. It will also task us to create the right kind of technology for the use of animal bones, horns, and hooves for the creation of other products that satisfy human needs. With these also, comes the creation of more job opportunities.
“These, ladies and gentlemen are just a little insight into what a technologically driven ranching system could do for a society that is willing, and ready, to convert wastes into opportunities for growth and development”, he said.
Okonkwo, who was decorated with the University’s award or excellent leadership, further urged the students to remain focused on their education adding that the prospects for a more prosperous and fulfilling future begins with the right kind of education.