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Author Topic: Science, technology as missing link in Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020  (Read 3764 times)
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Francis Umeoguaju
Expert in Bioscience Issues
Posts: 657

« on: April 22, 2011, 06:02:46 am »

Nigeria’s vision of becoming one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2020 may just be a mere pipe dream unless the government takes active and urgent measures to inculcate a veritable science and technology component into the project, scientists and science journalists in the country have observed. 
At different fora, both groups identified that science and technology are key factors necessary to make Nigeria a contender among the big global economic players. 
Past president of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Professor Anya O. Anya, pointed out during a recent forum in Lagos that very little effort has been devoted to science and technology development, the reason Nigeria is trailing other developed economies.
“A look around shows that every country that has grown phenomenally has done so by developing her science and technology prowess,” Anya said. 
Similarly, the current President of the academy, Professor Oye Ibidapo-Obe noted that science and technology is conspicuously missing in the vision 20:2020 project. 
“I have taken time to peruse the vision 20:2020 project and discovered with dismay that science and technology is conspicuously the missing link,” Ibidapo-Obe said. 
Meanwhile, Science journalists in Nigeria rose from a recent conference in Abuja with a consensus that Science and Technology is key to the attainment of Vision 20:2020 just as it is to development in Nigeria and anywhere for that matter.
They, however, decried the relegation of this fact by successive government, which they say gives little attention to Science and Technology, evident in the weak funding of agencies in the sector.
“There is a communication gap between researchers and industrialists as well as between science and technology ministry and other government bodies, making the research results of the various institutes in the country redundant,” the journalists observed in a communique issued at the end of the inaugural science communicators conference organised by the Nigerian Association of Science Journalists (NASJ) in Abuja.
Director-general, National Office for Technology Acquisition & Promotion, Dr. Umar B. Bindir, said development in Nigeria has been hampered because the scientists, technologists and innovators are not working in harmony to drive national development.
According to him, knowledge-based economies, hence called on Nigeria’s STIs to communicate effectively, adding that it is the only way that Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020 could be achieved. 
Bindir called for the establishment of a National Council on Science and Technology in Nigeria to be chaired by the president, comprising of ministers of Science and Tech, Agriculture, Education, Health and Industries, among others. This, he said would create a platform for collaboration among the sectors for indigenous productivity that would make effective use local research results.
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