The need for Researchers, Scientists and Technologists all over the country to come up with pragmatic scientific and Technological approaches to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and its Socio economic challenges has been emphasized.

Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Dr. Dayo Oladebeye gave the charge in his remark before  declaring opened the 3rd Biennial International Conference organized by the Centre For Research, Innovation  and Development (CRID) which has as its theme ‘Scientific and Technological Approaches to mitigating the impact of Covid-19 pandemic and its Socio- Economic challenges’ on Tuesday 22nd of June, 2021.

Dr. Oladebeye asserted that the pandemic has brought about a lot of changes now described as new normal to human lives, especially the Socio- Economic status through poor environmental standards, poverty, inadequate infrastructure, low industrial output and many more, all of which have served as  threats to National development, progress in the lives and livelihood of the people in Nigeria.

He emphasised that the Socio-Economic situation in the country has become worrisome as the youth are bothered about what will become of them in the future as things are not working well in the society and noted that “as at 31st of December 2020, Nigeria debt rose to $86billion (32.9 trillion) according to the Debt Management Office (DMO) as oil price have also declined by 60% and the rate of unemployment has raised to 27.1% to 32.5%.”

He further stated that Science and Technology remain the solid foundation and bedrock for any Nation’s development as it has contributed immensely to eliminating the continuous spread of COVID-19 and therefore urged participants to make the conference revealing and solution driven in order to be pragmatic in addressing the Socio- Economic challenges of the Nigeria nation.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Director of the Centre for Research, Innovation and Development (CRID), Dr. Michael Kolade Adu opined that the conference was to address issues of COVID-19 through the instrumentalities of Scientific Research and Technology and take steps to address its attendant Socio- Economic problem for a lasting solution.

In his own submission, the keynote speaker, Professor Boniface kayode Alese highlighted some of the Information and Technology measures that could be leveraged upon to curtail the damages of the COVID-19 pandemic to include Data Analysis, COVID-19 Application, Digital Distancing, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence Enabled Robotic Drone, Digital Contacting Tracing System and Social Distancing.

Speaking further in the Keynote Address, Professor Boniface Alese noted that a global crisis requires a global response, hence the need for researchers and academic institutions not to relent on their oars in coming up with researches that can forestall other health crisis that may emerge.

One of the four Lead Paper Presenters at the Conference, Dr. Olapade Olalusi, who spoke on the theme ‘’Scientific and Technological Approaches to Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic and its Socio- Economic Challenges: the Built Environment in Perspective’’,  stated that a good Urban planning in special design buildings accommodating use of open spaces to aid inhibition of infections, enhancing natural ventilation among other measures, will serve as tools in mitigating the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Olalusi, a registered builder and former Dean of the School of Environmental Studies noted that the separation of Health and Environmental Science can be dangerous as our attitude towards the environment could either contribute or mar our health. He also urged the people to maintain a proper way of waste disposal, social distancing, as well as clean and open spaces to enhance natural ventilation in their buildings.

The highlight of the event was the Awards given to the Chairman of the event, Dr. Dayo Oladebeye and His Royal Majesty, Oba (Dr.) Francis Adefarakanmi Agbede, Ogidi III, the Olowa of Igbara- Oke Kingdom, who was the Royal Father at the event as well as two other prominent persons.

The International Conference, which drew participants from different walks of life across four continents, was held by physical and virtual mode with over 250 paper presentations.