The executive secretary of the committee of Vice Chancellors, Prof. Michael Faborode said in a meeting that ‘countries that are managing prosperity today are doing so because they base it on the use of science, technology, and innovation.’ It is against this backdrop that experts have stressed that for ICT growth to be immensely achieved in the country, the government must work with academic institutions.
As you may know, the country is many miles away from technological advancement and experts are proposing that the bridge between the Federal Government and the academia must be closed in order to attain economic and industrial growth which can only be achieved through the adoption of technology.
At the just-concluded International Conference held at the institution in Ile Ife, Osun State, the Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University stressed that the Federal Government, Industries, and the academia are widely disconnected and this factor is a major constraint hindering the country’s development. In his opening remarks, he emphasised that it is the duty of these sectors to work together to achieve a common goal because a segment alone cannot make it work.
Themed ‘Harnessing technology for sustainable development in Africa’, there wouldn’t have been a better time for such a conference to take place, considering the ugly situation that the country is facing at the moment. With the economic crisis looming in the face of uncertainty, even though the leadership is quite shaky, you can’t deny that there’s no better time for every sector to discuss and reach a compromise. Undeniably, technology advancement will bring so many irregularities to a halt.
The Dean, Faculty of Technology, Prof. Benjamin Imasogie stressed the importance of adequate research and training which is lacking in so many universities in Nigeria. He said:
‘This requires knowledge and outcome-based cooperation; synergistic and workable imperatives for research and development; learning-teaching; and engineering training and practice.’
On the need to address a connection that should exist between the government, industry and the academia, the press release read:
‘Some key areas of concerns to technological advancement were identified. The proportion of input we manufacture in Nigeria is far below what we require for purposeful national development. Issues such as transportation, biotechnology, ICT and poor infrastructural development and maintenance culture were highlighted.’
According to Prof. Mohammed Haruna, the Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, ‘the most developed nations in terms of ICT today are leaders in economic prosperity and social stable policy’. Without these in place, the country may continue to live in a world of fantasy and it doesn’t have to start huge. He says further that small and medium enterprises whose operations are driven by technology can achieve the position as an engine room in the economy.
There is only one solution to the growth of the country’s economy. Technology, it is.