The Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos; Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe FAS has passed a vote of confidence in the intellectual capacity of scholars and researchers in the University to compete and collaborate more effectively with ivory towers globally for groundbreaking multidisciplinary researches aimed at proffering solutions to societal challenges.
Speaking at the Arthur Mbanefo Resource Centre of the University of Lagos, venue of the National Inception Workshop of the UKRI/ARUA Research Excellence Programme for a Research Project on Migration Urbanization and Conflict in Africa (MUCA), Prof. Ogundipe who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics and Research; Professor Oluwole Familoni described the research project as part of intellectual efforts aimed at unraveling the complexities surrounding migration and urbanization in Africa, its attendant conflicts and developing a full proof plan for peaceful urban futures.
The gathering, according to the Vice-Chancellor, seeks to establish a forum for collaboration among all stakeholders as well as co-create a sustainable roadmap to ensure lasting peace in urban centres.
In his remarks, Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development; Dr Idris Salako who joined the event virtually, commended the efforts of the University of Lagos and other collaborators especially in mobilising expertise towards ensuring a comprehensive approach to addressing challenges associated with rural/urban migration.
The opening session of the National Inception Workshop featured a keynote presentation by the pioneer Dean, Faculty of Multidisciplinary Studies, University of Ibadan, Professor Olawale Albert who advocated a multidisciplinary cum blended approach among state actors, academic researchers and industry players in developing roadmaps to address conflicts associated with migration and urbanization.
Speaking on the theme; Migration, Urbanization and Conflict: Research and Development options, the professor of African History, Peace and Conflict Studies solicited a new academic research culture which promotes a multidisciplinary research design and multisectoral approach in identifying challenges and proffering solutions.
Prof. Albert proposed what he called the triple helix model which harps on the need for Scholars and Researchers to go beyond knowledge acquisition and impartation into development of relevant skills and passion which would fuel the implementation of their research recommendations.
In his remarks, host of the event and the Director, Centre for Housing and Sustainable Development ARUA Centre of Excellence on Urbanization and Habitable Cities, Professor Timothy Nubi commended all stakeholders for buying into the research project and emphasized on regeneration of both urban and rural centres as the way to go to address conflicts and other urban migration challenges.
Other speakers at the event which had delegates from Jos, Lokoja and the Federal Capital Territory as well as representatives of relevant government agencies in Lagos state, included the Principal Investigator for the Migration Urbanization and Conflict in Africa (MUCA) Research Project, Dr. Fana Gebresenbet from the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia as well as Co-Investigator and Country Lead of MUCA Research Project (Nigeria), Professor Taibat Lawanson.
The duo of Dr. Gebresenbet and Prof. Lawanson assured of robust engagement among all stakeholders which would ensure proper analysis and understanding of issues associated with migration and urbanization, the resultant conflicts as well as facilitate recommendations which would drive the establishment of peaceful and habitable urban cities.