The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has said that the lack of domestic capacity to produce modern technologies in Nigeria is fueling poverty, unemployment and insecurity in the country.
The agency decried the dominance of foreigners in the nation’s Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), online banking service and mobile telecommunication.
It noted that the implication is that current and future generations of Nigerians would remain consumers of imported products.
Speaking at the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) Annual Scientific Conference in Abuja, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NASENI, Prof Mohammed Haruna, noted that wealth creation, peace, progress and stability are by-products of a knowledge-based economy and not commodities that should be imported. He observed that development in frontier technologies has shown tendencies to widen the socio-economic gap between the advanced and developing countries.
Haruna observed that despite opportunities and high potentials for sustainable development brought about by the elements of the fourth industrial revolution, technology could increase and create a digital divide.
According to him, only home-grown solutions rooted in massive soft and hard infrastructure can rescue the country from its economic woes, adding that Nigeria needs to wake up and catch the technology waves not only to maintain its position as the giant of Africa but also ascend to the rank of nations at the forefront of industrial development.
He stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has motivated some developing and developed countries to take full advantage of a global lull to transit into the next industrial revolution, thus expanding science, technology and innovation (STI.
He lamented that Nigeria is not prepared to catch up with this technological wave, copying, imitating, adopting and adapting to the ongoing industrial revolution.
The President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Prof. Ekanem Braide, said that the conference with the theme, ‘Science and Technology Innovations for National Growth and Development’, was aimed at reviewing sustainable national development and how its obstacles could be addressed.
She noted that the academy has continued to implement its mandate to develop and advance STI to bring scientific knowledge to bear on policies and strategic direction.
She said: “The academy, therefore, provides advice on specific problems of scientific or technological nature presented to it by the government and its agencies, as well as a private organisation and brings to the attention of the government and its agencies problems of national interest that science and technology can help solve. The NAS establishes and maintains the highest standards of scientific endeavours and achievements in Nigeria.”