How Science & Technology Can Help Nigeria To Prosper In To A Wealthy Nation

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Given the challenges Nigeria is facing currently regarding politics, terrorism, poverty, unemployment and poor education, can the nation make a fresh new start in the field of science? Let’s take a look…

Developing Science & Technology – A New Era In Nigeria

In October 2004, UNESCO established a global advisory board to restore and renovate the state of technology, innovation system and science in the country, at a request of the Nigerian Government. One of the main activities of the reform programme is to conduct a joint review of innovation, industry and investment in the nation involving WIPO, UNIDO, UNCTAD and UNESCO.

The review is equally financed by Japan Funds-in-Trust, UNESCO and the Government of Nigeria to an amount of US $1 million. It is incorporated as a part of the preparatory work for a donors’ conference Nigeria which the country is gearing up to request to fund implementation of a long term plan of action on innovation, technology and science. Some of the other global agencies who are set to take part in the reform programme include the International Association of Universities, the World Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Making A New Start

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 In fact, there is a pretty good chance that science is about to make a fresh start across Nigeria. From the shift to civilian rule back in 1999, which was consolidated with the election of the second Obasanjo government later in 2003, the country has definitely showed some strong signals of revived interest in science and technology.

Nigeria launched a low Earth orbit remote-sensing micro-satellite in October 2003 in order to analyze the environment and offer valuable data for substantial infrastructure development. This dexterity and readiness has empowered Nigeria to participate in a Disaster Monitoring Constellation with the United Kingdom, China, Vietnam and Algeria.

Since then, President Obasanjo has declared Nigeria is developing a Nigeria Special Funds-in-Trust for Science by investing US $1 million within UNESCO. The Special Fund will prove to be of great benefit to the country and also support various other African nations in creating and developing project proposals for reforming the state of national science systems in those regions. It will also aid in boosting managerial capacities, according to a 2004 statement by Professor Turner T. Isoun, Minister of Science and Technology.

Nigeria Is A Wealthy Nation 

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The truth is Nigeria has significant human potential and also includes 65 research institutes, 44 polytechnics institutes and 60 universities for the 133 million population. But there are some severe problems and challenges as well which need to be dealt with such as, poor management, inadequate funding of research and development, insufficient macro-level co-ordination and serious dearth of associations between universities or research institutions and industry.

Right now there is a strong need for reform of education & other aspects, which has become apparent after 40 years for military domination highlighted by rising foreign debt and state corruption, since the independence in the year 1960. The reform has started in perhaps the most ideal time as the country has experienced a GDP growth of almost 10% in 2003 and is driven by agricultural growth of around 7% and noticeable oil receipts. The benefits of the reform could eventually spell excellent rewards for Nigeria as it can certainly become a wealthy nation when properly utilized and exploited.

What do you think? Feel free to share your opinions and views on this topic by commenting below.

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