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Nigeria failing on SDGs metrics – Don

Olugbenga Bello of the Department of Chemistry, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, has alerted that Nigeria is on the verge of failing again to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Bello raised the alarm recently in Ilorin while delivering the maiden Annual Faculty Lecture of the Faculty of Physical Sciences, University of Ilorin.

The theme of the programme is entitled: “Research Innovation and National Development in Nigeria: Best Practices, Challenges and Future Prospects”.

He observed that the SDGs agenda is scheduled to end in 2030, which is just around the corner.

He lamented on the failure of many underdeveloped countries, including the largest black nation, Nigeria, to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The expert on Physical and Environmental Chemistry averred that to determine if a nation is developing or not, the status of poverty, inequality and unemployment bears the answers.

According to him, unemployment bites harder on Nigeria’s youthful population, with 53.3 per cent of the labour force unable to find a job at the prevailing wage rate.

He asserted that inequality is evident in the fact that the social class, which already has more than enough is the one getting all sorts of allowances off the Nigerian state while citizens in rags have no access to the basics of survival.

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He warned that this is leading to violence, crime and social disorder.

“The most immediate source of the disconnect between Nigeria’s wealth and its poverty is a failure of governance at the local, state and federal levels,” he said.

On the place of the university in national development, the don pointed out that “there is a yawning gap between universities and the quantum of research expected from them.

“Only a limited amount of university research reaches a commercial state,” he said.

He advised Nigerian universities to identify their respective areas of strength and concentrate on those strengths.

Bello also called for more collaboration in the form of staff exchange and regular inter- institutional workshops and seminars between the university and the industry.

Earlier, Wahab Egbewole, the Vice Chancellor of Unilorin, noted that to be a global player, we should define the kind of research we conduct and the researches must be oriented towards the needs of the community.

The vice chancellor also pointed out that this is the way to drive development and it is the path for Unilorin to achieve its vision.