PRESIDENT IORMS ADDRESS
ADDRESS OF PROFESSOR RASHEED KOLA OJIKUTU, THE PRESIDENT OF THE INSTITUTE OF OPERATIONAL RESEARCH AND MANAGEMENT SCIENCES OF NIGERIA AT THE THIRD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE INSTITUTE OF OPERATIONAL RESEARCH AND MANAGEMENT SCIENCES OF NIGERIA TAKING PLACE IN LAGOS
ON NOVEMBER 17-19, 2020.
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Olusola Babajide Sanwolu,
Our Host, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe,
The Vice Chairman of IORMS, Dr Asaolu,
Distinguished Members of IORMS,
Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I welcome you all to the third International Conference of the Institute of Operational Research and Management Sciences of Nigeria. The role of Operational Research in resource management cannot be over-emphasized . Therefore, experts in this unique area of human endeavor and professional uniqueness are expected to raise the intellectual bar by rising to the occasion in defense of the people of the world whenever random shocks attack the commonwealth , scarce resources and endowments bestowed on humanity. It is in this regard that the theme of this year’s conference titled “OVERCOMING the impact of COVID 19 pandemic: An Operational Research optimization approach” is contemporary, timely and most appropriate.
Humanity has faced serious and dangerous challenges since the emergence of Coronavirus in Wuhan, China in February 2019. The epidemic that emerged from that remote corner of the world has transformed into a global pandemic with immense effect and with such rapidity that has left humanity with its mouth agape. The fact that the research world with its huge intellectual endowment and human capital have not been able to emerge from the rubbles of the devastation and wanton damage unleashed on it by the virus with a positive cure almost two years after its discovery shows the level of unpreparedness and confusion to which the human community had been subjected during the period. Unfortunately, the virus continues to rides freely over the global terrain damaging without serious check the human and material resources of the world.
For months, the global productions line of the world were locked down, factories, offices , schools transportation and human movements and mobilities and all engines that make humanity thrive were completely shut down . Consequently, the world economy nose-dived to near ground zero with such rapidity that palpitates the human heart.
The World Health Organization statistics shows that as at 14thNovember 2020, over 53,174,803 confirmed cases of Coronavirus were recorded all over the world with 1,300,576 deaths. There were 657,312 New Cases. The Americas is leading the pack with 22,707,430 confirmed cases, followed by Europe with 14,792,945, South-East Asia has 9,964,225, the East Mediterranean with 3,512,233, Africa has 1,393,792 and West Pacific with 793,437 confirmed cases. The statistics of mortality in these regions are equally damning while the world is expected to face enormous reduction in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which resultantly will have dare and lasting consequences on the well- being of the people.
In all these and with the emergence of fresh cases, it doesn’t look as if public health measures put in place to stem the tide have succeeded in completely eradicating the scourge of the pandemic. As at today, the fear of renewal and resurgence of the virus with renew vigor all over the world is becoming a reality. The question is “With the economy of the world already in a prostrate position and resources at the near bottom of its container, can the world survive another global lockdown?”
With near total collapse in human output and a consumption pattern that is not dwindling, one can foresee a disaster to the human race if decisive management sciences tools are not quickly employed to match production with consumption. Operational Research techniques are available to provide answers to several questions in this area.
The three-day Conference of IORMS which comes up from November 17 to November 19, 2020 is designed to provide answers to some of the socio- economic challenges posed by scourge of COVID 19 .The lead paper on the first day , November 17, 2020 titled “ Operational Research Methods and tools for online education amidst COVID 19 pandemic” will be delivered by Professor Adedeji .Badiru of the Air Force Institute of Technology, Ohio, USA. This will be followed by four parallel sessions on day 2 in the morning and a plenary session in the afternoon with a paper titled “ Optimal Management of COVID 19 using a combination of distancing and testing strategy” delivered by Professor Christopher Thron of the Texas A&M University, Central Texas, USA.
On November 19,2020, that is on day 3, Dr Paula Carroll, an Associate Professor at the University College Dublin, Ireland and the chair of WISDOM ( Women in Society Doing OrMs) will deliver the paper titled “ Sustainability Modeling and Optimization Contribution to affordable and Clean Energy” at the third plenary session. This will also be followed by two parallel sessions.
I do hope that all of you present at this opening ceremony will stay glued to the Programme at it unfolds it’s academic and intellectual contents to this challenging societal and global problems.
I cannot conclude this address without paying glowing tribute to Late Professor Olufunsho Akingbade, the founding father of IORMS whose doggedness and resilience make it possible for us to gather for knowledge sharing on this occasion. May his soul Rest in Peace.
Once more I welcome you to the third international annual conference of the Institute of Operational Research and Management Sciences of Nigeria. I wish you a happy and fruitful deliberation.
Professor Abdur Rasheed Kola Ojikutu