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Expert calls for increased education funding to tackle brain drain

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An expert, Evi Viza, on Wednesday urged the federal government to increase education funding in order to keep a skilled workforce within the nation and reduce the problem of brain drain.

Viza, the programme leader, quality project management at the University of the West of Scotland, spoke at a symposium on data analysis and research for undergraduate engineering students.

The symposium, which took place at the Lagos State University of Science and Technology (LASUSTECH), had the theme “Engineering Skills Where They Are Needed Most”.

It was organised by Nenis Engineering Ltd in partnership with University of the West of Scotland, Lloyd’s Foundation and the Royal Academy of Engineering, and tagged ‘Engineering X’ and other professional partners.

Viza, a mechanical and manufacturing engineer, said various countries had failed in keeping skills within their boundaries, noting that she was also a victim.

“There is a strong diaspora, but countries need to keep the skills within for their own benefits.

“Nigerian government should invest more in education,” she said.

Viza, who also spoke about the theme, said that the concept of data and research was needed to understand problems for solutions.

The expert said that the validation of data had become very important, especially with the advent of fake news, where Artificial Intelligence (AI) was being used to manipulate data to distort facts.

Viza said she was the only female student during her undergraduate studies and therefore, encouraged more ladies to take engineering and science courses.

Osazoduwa Agboneni, project manager, Nenis Engineering Ltd, said the purpose of the data analysis and research symposium for the students was to put them at par with their global counterparts.

Agboneni said that engineering was needed for the future and data was the key for any economy to move forward.

She said that the event was organised for 130 best students of LASUSTECH who had CGPAs above 3.5, with the aim of sharpening their skills for commercialisation.

The project manager said that the engineering partners were using the programme to bridge the gap between academia and industry, to ensure research commercialisation.

“We are also problem solvers and that’s why engineering is needed in all aspects of life by creating ideas that can solve problems through research and innovation, using data analysis,” she said.

Agboneni, a fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers, stressed the need to have more boys and girls to become engineers and develop passion for science courses through STEM education.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

One of the students at the event, Stephen Bonu, a 100 level student at the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department, said the training helped him to identify and seize business opportunities.

Bankole Yakub, dean, College of Engineering and Technology, LASUSTECH, said the programme was not going to end with the training but with further collaboration with the partners.

Yakub said things were changing hence the need to embrace outcome-based procedures in school curriculum.

He said Nigeria was now a member of the Washington Accord and other engineering bodies that help to make the nation to domesticate curriculum in line with peculiar needs.


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