University of Limpopo Don Harps on Effective and Sustainable Transport Management at SMAT Annual Lecture
A Professor at the African Centre for Sustainability Accounting and Management (ACSAM), School of Accountancy, University of Limpopo, South Africa, Michael Bamidele Fakoya has described effective transport management as critical to economic development. He stated this while delivering the key note address at the 2nd international conference of the School of Management Technology (SMAT), Federal University of Technology, Akure held on Thursday, June 27th, 2019 at the T. I Francis Auditorium. Fakoya, a Chartered Accountant who spoke on the topic Developing Technologically-Driven Transportation System for Sustainable Development said “we all know the importance of transportation in our daily lives. The question of whether it should be improved or not needs no further argument. We can ask ourselves whether our current transportation system is sustainable or not.”
Emphasizing the important role of technology to all human life, the don said “the impact or influence of technology in our daily lives cannot be overemphasized. Currently, technology is shaping almost everything in the world. As such, transportation as a significant part of our existence cannot be left out. In blending technology and management approaches to promote sustainable transportation, we should seek to develop strategies that save money, improve human health and reduce current environmental footprint.”
Professor Fakoya spoke on the significance of transportation to economic growth and development. He said the movement of people and goods is crucial to our daily existence and wellbeing and thus called for improved and sustainable modes of transportation (road, rail, air, marine) to boost Nigerian economy. Speaking on the relevance of technology to transportation he said “transportation as a significant part of our existence cannot be left out. Automobile manufacturers around the world are moving away from conventional systems of powering the different forms of transportation. Aeroplane, vehicles, ships are digitalized and powered by computer/technological automation. These are positive developments. They make our lives convenient and safe.”
The don who also spoke on sustainable transportation management said the way out is Green Transportation. He described Green Transportation as a transportation that is non-reliant on fossil-based energy, a natural resource that has a finite life expectancy. He said Green Transportation supports our urban lifestyle which makes life easier through good and safe environment and improved health; decongest our roads by encouraging people to commute using electric powered system that is less costly and safer because of self-driving cars with less carbon dioxide emissions and related emissions from transportation.
On the social level, the guest lecturer said there will be enhanced interactions among people through carpooling or carsharing. He added that it will also reduce automobile related deaths.
Professor Fakoya called on Nigerian Universities to make their research focus on recommendations that will inform government policies not only about building good roads but that will encourage the development of sustainable energy models to accommodate the technological changes in the transportation sector. He said “as scholars, it is our responsibilities to sort out challenges from a scientific point of view and proffer ways to make it more sustainable. Our ability to appropriately identify the challenges will assist in finding appropriate solutions to desirable sustainable transportation systems we seek.”
He urged transport experts to consider collaborating with someone in the field of technology. “It is acceptable to teach the technology of transportation in your modules, but it is way more different to develop the desired technology without the collaboration of a technology expert. I am just saying that collaborative engagement is the way forward to bridge the divide between theory and practice” he added.
Addressing governments as policy makers he said “on the issue of sustainable management of transportation, we cannot relegate the role of governance. We need policy direction from the government. However, the challenge is that politicians have the agenda that brought them to power. We need to show them the implications of not being pro-active or reactionary. The transport department or ministry needs to come on board and champion policies that will address the issue raised in conferences. Funds will have to be made available for research into ensuring future transportation systems in our various countries.”
Chief host and Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape who declared the conference open said the theme of the conference was not only profound, but also timely as a potent instrument for reawakening research values and reevaluating policy concept in transport technology management and sustainable development in Nigeria. Fuwape commended the Dean, School of Management Technology, Professor Tomola Obamuyi for his visionary leadership and all staff of the school and encouraged them not to relent in their passion for excellence towards taking SMAT and FUTA to new heights.
Speaking earlier, the Host and Dean, SMAT, Professor Obamuyi renewed his plea for the restoration of management courses to FUTA. He said “I wish to humbly and sincerely appeal to all well-meaning Nigerians to intervene urgently on behalf of the staff and students of all specialised Universities, to ensure that the Federal Government and the management of the National Universities Commission (NUC) and Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) restore all the Management courses in the specialised Universities.” He added that it was counterproductive for universities to ignore the importance of management in technological development in these days of interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary approach to solving complex socio economic problems including Science and Technology.
He expressed his confidence that the conference will bring important technical conclusions on the subject of Transport, Management and Sustainable Development.
The Vice Chancellor , Professor Fuwape , the guest lecturer, Professor Fakoya and Dean , Professor Obamuyi all bagged SMAT Award of Excellence at the occasion.