The Chairman, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), Nigeria Section, Engr John Funso-Adebayo, says the organisation needs the Federal Government’s support in terms of funds so as to move forward.
Funso-Adebayo disclosed that in the last four years, IEEE had submitted letters to solicit for support from the presidential villa and some Ministries Departments and Agencies of the government but none have been acknowledged.
He revealed that in spite of the private sector’s support, endorsement was a critical point in branding, which was the only thing that the organisation in Nigeria needed from the government to move forward.
“We have been to the presidential Villa severally to submit letters yet nothing positive has come out of it, same with the National Assembly, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We shouldn’t shutdown the government of the day but African governments do not encourage indigenous ideas. They like to import knowledge and resources. So, it is not about the present Nigerian government but it is what is the African culture.
“We have written and taking letters to the Villa. I led the team to the presidency and for the past four years no single response.
“The government has never for once acknowledged our letters. I take them to the Villa myself. Minister of Humanitarian Affairs has our letter, the office of the Senior Special Adviser on Sustainable Development Goals at the federal secretariat has our letter, the National Assembly too.
“If people see Technology as government driven initiative than forcing it into the people’s throat, It will be an encouragement to them,” he said.
Funso-Adebayo said that the IEEE Nigeria Section had recorded a number of projects in some parts of the country, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic to alleviate the suffering of the people.
He said that some of the projects included: Internet access as palliative to enhance online skill acquisition, provision of locally made hand sanitizers and radio sensitisation for prevention of COVID-19, helping hands COVID-19 for IDP camps, among others.
“We created these opportunities and we brought it to Nigeria at this period so that we can enlighten our people how to live better as humans because there are structures in everyplace; even the ants move in a structured way.
“In Nigeria we have embarked on few palliative measures to ease the burden of COVID-19 for unserved and underserved areas, through advancing technologies for humanity.
“Human beings actually have lives to protect through technology. So IEEE advances these technologies for human lives, to give them comfort, purpose and hope for living even when they lose their jobs as vunlonteers and to give them more opportunities in the academic research.
Regarding funding, Funso-Adebayo disclosed that a few private sectors give two per cent of their support and IEEE’s headquarters gives counterpart funding based on what members were able to raise amongst themselves.
He, however, said that it was only in special cases of organising conferences and workshops that the organisation gets another alternative to source for income, adding that the focus was not on money gotten, but the resources needed.
He said that the private sector informed that though the two per cent partnership was not encouraging but they would not relent in their efforts to empower entrepreneurs.
“People keep wondering where we are getting the funds from? We cannot underestimate the power of partnership: by and large our partners gives us resources not the money per say.
“For the private sector we have got 2 per cent response, which are Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission ( NERC) and from MTN Nigeria.
“NERC funded our homes on labs that we did in seven states. The 2 per cent collaboration or partnership is not sufficient for 36 states of 200 million of all ages gaps. We are looking at age 18-65 and we are looking at empowering different categories as entrepreneurs.
“Our partners have sustained our passion to drive technology to those areas by providing the right work force, right resources and the right tools for us, but the basic that we get is membership dues and it is a non profit,” he said.
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