YABATECH alumnus advises govt on industrialization

A chalkboard at the engineering department of YABATECH

An octogenarian, Mr. Omo Uwaifo, has blamed the absence of two-stroke engine foundries in the country on the closure of the technical school arm of the then Yaba Technical Institute.

He said this on Friday at the Alumni Awards and Appreciation Ceremony organised by the Yaba College of Technology Alumni Association for old students of the institution. The Yaba Technical Institute later metamorphosed into the Yaba College of Technology.

Uwaifo, an alumnus of the polytechnic, who chaired the ceremony, said the technical school produced quality engineering.

The octogenarian, who is a retired electrical engineer, said, “When I left the junior school in 1953, I thought to myself that Nigeria was probably only 10 years away from an industrial country. Mr. Stephenson, our metalwork and workshop practice instructor, had made the engine block in the foundry at the Nigerian Railways.

“Assisted by the students and using several of the machines in our workshop, they machined the block and built a single-stroke engine from the scratch. I do not agree with those who said that the closure of the technical school was in the interest of the nation. If it was, there should have been another school to carry out a better role than what YTI did. If there was no such school, the closure was against the very best interest of Nigeria.”

In his address, the President, YCTAS, Pastor Oluwafemi Martins, said the award ceremony, which started in 1999, had honoured many distinguished alumni who have contributed to the growth of the association.

He added that the expansion of the third edition of the award was to include former and serving lecturers and chief executive officers of the institution.

Commending the Rector, Dr. Kudirat Ladipo, for her efforts toward the establishment of a Centre for Sustainable Development in the college, Martins solicited a better work relationship between the management and the alumni association.

Among those honoured on the occasion were Ladipo, Mr. George Okufi, a former rector of the college; Prof. Yusuf Grillo, renowned visual artist; Prof. Fola Lasisi and a former vice-chancellor, Crescent University, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

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