I feel so much honoured and delighted for the grace and opportunity to address the Second National Conference of the School of Applied Sciences of Kogi State Polytechnic. I would therefore like to commend and congratulate the Dean and members of staff of the School of Applied Sciences for bracing the odds to organise the Conference, albeit a virtual one, at this challenging time. 

I would also like to welcome and appreciate our guests and participants (both in-person and virtual) for responding to this all important call. It is my hope and desire that the inputs made at the Conference will deeply refresh and equip us with the technical and scientific know-how required to surmount myriads of socio-economic challenges related to the issues it tends to address. 

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, permit me to reflect on “Security: A Platform for the Attainment of the Fourth Industrial Revolution” which is aptly captured as the theme of this conference. When I first learnt of the choice of the theme, I must confess that I was deeply delighted that it has been considered a subject of broad scholarly attention at this challenging time.

This is because SECURITY and INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION are the fundamental keys required to unlock the growth and development potentials of our nation. While it is clear that both keys are grossly deficient in supply in recent time, what cannot be denied is the manpower and technical know-how required to harness them for our common good. It is therefore a thing of pride for me that the great brains in the School of Applied Sciences of the Polytechnic have chosen to be in the forefront of the efforts to streamline a synergy between Security and industrial growth in the country. 

The effort is even much more significant when considered against the fact that Security not just a matter of serious concern in the country right now, but it is also considered fundamental to the attainment of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”. As we might have been aware, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a hybrid of the Third Industrial Revolution. While the Third used electronics and information technology to automate production, the Fourth, is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.

My conviction therefore, is that for the strength and opportunities embedded in the Fourth Industrial Revolution to be fully utilized, Security is not just critical for the attainment of the said industrial height, but also for the improvement of the entire socio-economic fabric of the society. By extension, therefore, effective security architecture is a prerequisite for productive research and technical inputs required for industrial growth. That is why taking cognizance of the fact that we are an institution designed to be a hub of research and technical excellence, we have prioritized security as a strategic governance vision since our assumption of office. 

So far, we have actualised that vision through the erection of a strategically located Model Security Building, blockage of multiple security loopholes, effective time management of our security personnel and introduction of motivational measures for the security staff. But that is not all: in line with the digital trend which the Fourth Industrial Revolution rests on, we have also concluded plan to provide digital facilities like radio, CCTV, solar-based energy, etc for the effective surveillance of our environment and nipping of security threats. What this suggests is that we as an institution needs the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to ensure the protection of the human and material resources required for the sustenance of industrial advancement. 

So if the egg-chicken, chicken-egg relationship between security and industrial growth must be sustained, the academia owes the nation a duty to conduct research and provide expertise needed to meet such vision. It is therefore a challenge for us not just to gather here, present papers, discuss and write a communiqué that will never address the beautiful issues outlined thereto. We have to take further steps by concretising those ideas through conception and design of digital security apparatus that will serve as milestone in the Fourth Revolution reality.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I welcome you once again to Kogi State Polytechnic Lokoja for the Second National Conference of the School of Applied Sciences. Even though the Conference is a virtual one, I urge you all to use the virtual platform to tap into the abundant hospitality of the Confluence State and have the best of deliberations. 

Thank you all, and God bless.

Salisu O. Usman, PhD, fcia

Ag. Rector