Some experts on Thursday advocated collaboration between the academia and the industry as a way of ensuring a robust national economy and reducing unemployment in Nigeria.
The experts made the advocacy at the maiden edition of the Industry-Academia Collaboration Lecture Series of the Igbinedion University, Okada, near Benin.
The theme of the lecture was: ‘Industry-Academia Collaboration: A tool for Driving the Nigerian Economy: Our Tertiary Institutions, a Starting Point.’
In his opening remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Lawrence Ezemonye, said industry-academia collaboration was essential to reduce the level of unemployment.
Ezemonyye said there was a wide gap between the industry and the academia a situation which had not helped mitigate the unemployment crisis in the country.
He said the lecture series would help extend the frontiers of academic activities for researchers to impact the society with their discoveries.
The vice chancellor added that research and development must have demonstrable programme, which could be deployed to society.
Delivering the keynote address, Dr Queeneth Kingsley-Omoyibo, said that there was a huge disconnect between what was taught in universities and actual industrial practices.
The Subcommittee Chairman, Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration Committee, College of Engineering, Igbinedion University, said there was the need to bridge the gap through collaboration.
She said the industry and the academia should be in a mutual relationship in which the industry trained undergraduates in transforming researches from the academia into services and products.
Kingsley-Omoyibo said collaboration was a beneficial practice because funding came from the industry thereby creating employment pipeline.
She said that industries were yearned for talents and ideas as they had technologies, but need intellectual properties to commercialise the ideas.
Also, Dr Tunde Adegboola, Chief Executive Officer, African Language Technology Initiative, said that there was the need for the industry and the academia to work more closely.
He stressed the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to public policies to ensure a robust economy.