• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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‘Higher education should drive science, technology development’


In the ever changing world of development that we live it today, there is no gain saying the fact that science and technology aspect of education has a repository of potentials capable of transforming economies and has been behind the advancements in developed countries. Despite this knowledge, this aspect of education has not received adequate attention needed to push the growth in Nigeria.

It is against this backdrop that industry watchers have reiterated the need for Nigeria to pay adequate attention to science-based education in order to achieve the needed development in the country.

Oye, Ibidapo-Obe, the vice chancellor of Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo (FUNAI) in Ebonyi State while assessing the current situation in the country observe that universities and other higher institutions as innovation hubs have major roles to play in using science and technology to drive development by building capacities in agriculture/ food security, engineering, health and so on.

According to him, “Developing economies, such as ours, can only fast-track and/or leap frog their growth through targeted research and development. A practical way to do this is to do what is generically referred to as reverse engineering. It is these institutions that must provide the road map to circumvent those road blocks to indigenous technology enhancement necessary for driving innovation and development of the nation.

“The nation must be prepared to invest heavily in the higher education cutting across both the public and private- The research facilities must orchestrate the brain power of the staff, take responsibility for training new generation of talents and participate in the transformation of the nation’s science and technology base.”

Ibidapo-Obe noted that the world has moved from commodity-based and military power ranking to knowledge economies/societies, adding that the paradigm shift is propelled by advancements made through science and technology innovations.

The Universities in Nigeria must therefore be the focus for the modernizing of forces of the society, for the promotion of the “values of science and technology” and for mediating between the political and industrial spheres of national life.

He called for a coherent national Science and Technology strategy with framework developed in consultation with the National Academies of Science to specify the national priorities for research and development with the appropriate funding commitment, while disclosing that countries like China followed this path some 50 years ago to transform their economy.

“The challenges of our development, epitomizes largely by corruption, poverty, disease, and poor implementation of good policies can be surmounted if the citizenry is sufficiently educated to make long-term good decisions. It is our higher institutions that are expected to be at the vanguard of the national moral rebirth and exit us from the ‘poverty cycle’ as ‘when poverty increases, honesty decreases,’ Obe stressed.