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How to encourage science & technology in Nigeria – by EC Elombah

Education should be made cheap & affordable. There are innovative minds in Nigeria who can be educated to advance the course of science & technology. 

Nigeria needs to develop technologically. Basic goods are imported from overseas. 

But Nigeria is rich in mineral resources and there is a large span of inhabitable land. 

Also, many Nigerians are talented in arts and science. What is needed to harness to all these material and human resources? 

The government seems to be trying to put things in order but it is obvious that more needs to be done.

Even simple materials are imported. These include electrical sockets, bulbs, extension wires, lamp holders etc. 

Then there are kitchen appliances like knives, cups, matches etc. 

The same thing goes for plumbing materials and carpentry tools among others.

If these simple materials cannot be produced in Nigeria, what can be said of such materials as electrical pressing iron, radio, calculator, phone charger etc.?

But there are many Nigerians who know how to make inverter by combining electronic components. 

Nigerians can build radio station. 

Science is taught in the nation’s higher institutions and many Nigerians have graduated with distinction. 

Many Nigerians also have the money to establish business. Yet despite all these abilities, basic materials are lacking.

What Nigeria needs is the ability to produce materials, even basic electrical materials like sockets. 

There are plastic manufacturing companies in Nigeria. Nigerians can produce shoes, buckets etc. 

Then why can’t electrical sockets be produced? Casing is lacking for those who design and produce inverters. 

Foundry workshop should be well established. 

The Nigerian government can lead in this direction. This will involve trial cases and models. Individuals may not be able to do this. 

Some cases will fail and others will succeed. Those that succeed will serve as examples.

The government can also give incentive for private companies and individuals to do this. 

People should be trained to go into manufacturing. They can also be encouraged by giving them soft loans. 

They can be given government contracts. The government can also provide them raw materials at a cheap rate.

Nigerians can also work with their foreign counterparts who are engaged in various manufacturing processes. 

People can be sent on training to acquire skills essential in different manufacturing processes. 

The nation’s technological institutions can align with the industry, local and foreign. 

This will help students to acquire technological know-how which they can utilise on graduation.

One of the challenges of science and technology in Nigeria is corruption. 

Corrupt individuals would divert money meant for research and development into their private pockets. 

Hence matters should be entrusted into reliable hands in the industry. Education should be made cheap and affordable to the masses. 

There are many innovative minds in Nigeria who can be educated to advance the course of science and technology. 

If there is free education in Nigeria, it will help many of these people to acquire knowledge that will help them to exploit their potentials. 

The government should also award scholarships for those who perform exceptionally well.

The Nigerian government should recognize the crucial role of science and technology in the nation’s development. 

It will help to utilise the abundant resources in the country. 

Technology should be given the same recognition that basic food materials are given. 

Today, the government is giving loans to farmers because of the crucial role of availability of food in the society. 

What about the materials necessary for the production and utilisation of those food materials?

Science and technology are also necessary to save scarce resources. 

Without these, the government will continue to spend foreign currency in the importation of basic materials. 

When the goods needed by the people are produced locally, more people will be able to afford them and this will improve the standard of living of Nigerians.

The benefits of science and technology are many and varied. Nigerians teeming youths are looking for employment. 

Thousands of graduates are turned out each year from the nation’s numerous tertiary institutions, apart from those that are not able to make it to that level. 

The improvement of the condition of science and technology will make it possible for most of these to join the work force.

Nigeria should be able to look inwards to find out why it is so technologically backwards. 

Not too long ago, China was having the problems of over-population and poverty. Perhaps, Nigeria was better off. 

But today China is among world goods manufacturers. A similar thing has also happened with India. 

Both countries can be closely studied to know how they rose to world goods manufacturers.

From Ephraim Elombah; Email: elombahe@yahoo.com, Phone: +2348055516177


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