Monday, 22 June 2015

It is an established fact that the world now runs on wheels of scientific and technological inventions made possible through consistent and constructive research and development R & D. Consequently, governments of most countries of the world repeatedly make huge financial provisions in their annual budgets to support research and development ventures. In this light, no regret has been recorded so far. With the governments and the organized private sectors jointly adhering in this regard, R & D has become a veritable tool in enhancing entrepreneurial emancipation thus creating quality jobs and reducing unemployment. Therefore I ask, why is the Nigerian case very different?

According to Nigeria's National Population Commission, the country has over 160 million people of which more than 60% forms the active labour force. Among these labour force are technocrats in different fields, civil servants, artisans, market men and women and other business classes. Every class of the labour force is striving to survive economically and regrettably, they want it so fast. Hence, every form of business investment in Nigeria is of the buy and sell nature. Those who can not buy or sell switch to the entertainment industry as movie actors or singers to wax music or video albums. This brings them speedily to the entertainment limelight or stardom thus quick money.

Most regrettable are university graduates who end up seeking office desk jobs or the business of buying and selling. No one seems to be interested in advancing the course of knowledge through research and development. I thought our University lecturers would make a difference but unfortunately, a larger majority are more interested in university administrative positions and politics, as well as sell of materials and other money-making strategies.

Our last hope which is the Nigerian government may be expressing the political will to encourage scientific and technological innovations through research and development but it seems to be insufficient. More constructive efforts are required to guild R & D to its pivotal position to enhance scientific and technological innovations which will invariably promote entrepreneurship and stem unemployment.

I advise the Nigerian government to make bigger budgetary allocations to the science and technology sector as well as encouraging all research and development oriented institutions to be optimally functional. All structures of the government that deal with entrepreneurial development as well as product R & D must be well funded and guided towards actualizing their mandates. The gap between that skilled, university, science graduate or local innovator and the public or private R & D promoting agencies must be bridged. This will ensure an efficient talent hunt and development right from the grassroots.

Ultimately, Nigerians who distinguish themselves in the field of scientific or technological research and development must be celebrated and encouraged publicly. This gesture will entice more Sci-Tech innovators to invest more in research and development, knowing that there work will pay off. It is regrettable that today in Nigeria, only politicians and entertainers are given recognitions while researchers, both established and up-coming are relegated to the background.

How then can science and technology-driven entrepreneurship grow in Nigeria when all these ugly tendencies are the order of the day? Every educated Nigerian should begin to think on how to make better use of the brain in adding more to established scientific facts. In this way, new products will emerge, more money will be made, more jobs will be available and lives will become better.

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