Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Friday, disclosed that he is yet to acquire knowledge fully in computer literacy, despite technological advancement globally.
He said during a two-day robotics training workshop for pupils, students and undergraduates from some selected schools in five states of the federation, organised by the Public Affairs Session of the United States Consulate General, Lagos and RoboRave International, USA, in Abeokuta.
He said that about 300 participants were drawn from 22 schools to be trained in robotics education, describing it as the “future.”
Obasanjo underscored the need for the younger generation to embrace computer knowledge, saying he did not have the opportunity to be computer literate because he was not born in the computer age.
He seized the opportunity to educate Nigerians who are of the opinion that robots would in no distance time be responsible for job loss, saying that robots will rather provide massive job opportunities.
He said: “Judging from our level of education, people will be wondering what robot is all about. The future is here, we better start to move with the future, so that we will not be left out of the cutting edge technology and engineering of the future.
“We are still far behind in where we should be in general education, so robotic training is about learning how to move along so that we are not far behind.
“It is true that we have problem of employment and we need to create massive jobs for our teeming youths. And contrary to the apprehension that robots will deny people jobs, rather, other jobs will emanate from robotics.
“That had been seen in the past, when the steam engine was built, people thought roads and land transportation would become obsolete. Railway too came and also aeroplane, but roads are still being built and expanded everywhere. Airports are being rebuilt and enlarged. If we plan very well, robotics will throw more jobs up, not only in Nigeria or Africa, but globally.
“So my advice to you is to see this as a play but a serious play. This is because an adage that says a play today is the pain of tomorrow. I am yet to be computer literate because I was not born in the computer age. Therefore, take robotics with all the seriousness it deserves, and combine it with your own knowledge and understanding of computer”. Obasanjo stated.
The United States Consul General in Nigeria, John Bray, stressed the need for the younger Nigerians to acquire knowledge in robotics education because ” it touches on science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“It capture the imagination of children and young adults around the world and provide platform for global partnerships and economic development.”