How research can solve social problems, by Fashola
THE Minister for Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), on Tuesday urged universities to come up with research that will enable the nation overcome security challenges.
The minister noted that criminals devise various methods to threaten security of life and property.
He said anti-social elements were becoming more daring and creative due to the revolution in information and communication technology (ICT).
Fashola was the keynote speaker at the maiden Lagos State University (LASU) Research Fair with the theme: Driving National Development Through Research and Innovation.
Speaking at the Aderemi Makanjuola hall of the institution, the minister said the country has enough challenges, ranging from corruption, insecurity, robbery, theft, ritual killings, abduction, maladministration and internet fraud, among others.
He called attention to kidnappings, which he jocularly called gbomogbomo in Yoruba and its transformation into a societal monster.
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Fashola noted that abduction used to be a very rare phenomenon in the 1970s and 1980s but had transformed into money-making enterprise for bandits.
“What we used to experience in those days was robbery in our homes and bank robberies almost on daily basis. However, owing to advancement in technology, people hardly keep money in their homes now, unlike before.
“There are areas of academic research because what I realised was that these kidnappers suddenly woke up and felt ‘since people no longer keep cash in their homes, why don’t we kidnap the owner of the cash and demand ransom?’”
He added: “Another area of research is the level of insecurity in our various communities.
“Do we also have conversations about crime generally where we live? Do we ask questions on what happens in our neighbourhood? Do we appraise the CDAs (community development associations)?
“Do we take note of how many vehicles without number plates are in our areas because atrocities could be perpetrated with unregistered vehicles? Do we seek to know how many houses in our areas are inhabited because this could provide hideouts for criminals?”
Fashola said the recurring decimal of industrial, ethnic and religious disputes are also areas of research.
The minister noted that as an institution in the commercial heart of the nation, LASU should be able to provide a platform for politicians intending to rule the state to analyse their manifestos to the masses.
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