To solve the myriad problems that Nigeria and Nigerians are relentlessly going through, governments at all levels have been called upon to channel huge wasted resources into purchasing fleets of cars, motorcades and frivolous items for the politicians in the field of education, especially in the field of science and technology.
Similarly, governments were asked to create an enabling environment for the development of science and technology, provide infrastructure, funding and facilities for researchers to analyze and interpret data to produce results of research that will resolve the issues rather than waiting until you have the opportunity to travel outside the country. country.
Furthermore, there is an urgent need for government to put in place qualified and high quality researchers and scientists, selfless professionals with the interest of Nigerians at heart, to implement policies regarding science and technology in the country if he wants to move forward.
The Acting Dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences (CBAS), Mountain Top University, Dr. Edwin Andrew Ofudje, made these known at the 2023 International College of Basic and Applied Sciences (CBAS) Annual Conference on themed “Advances in Science and Technology for Sustainable National Development”, held at the Multipurpose Hall, Mountain Top University, Prayer City, Ogun State.
Ofudje revealed that Nigeria is dependent on developing countries due to the country’s low level of scientific reasoning and participation, saying scientific and technological research will help address national challenges. He stressed that knowledge gained through scientific and technological research would be a good way to address national challenges such as declining infrastructure, insecurity, unemployment, poor road network, inefficient health systems and degradation. environment, to name just a few.
Ofudje lamented that situations where researchers develop data but lack facilities and instruments to develop it, until they travel outside the country, are worrying.
He explained that solving Nigeria’s myriad problems begins in the laboratories, lamenting that the insufficiency of well-equipped laboratories and facilities to aid science and technology in the country has been a challenge despite great scientists and researchers from the country.
Ofudje said one of the cardinal objectives of Mountain Top University is research and development (R&D), adding that MTU has a genomics and biomedicine center sponsored by a foreign organization.
He said MTU had developed research focused on monitoring foodborne illnesses that could be contracted through the diet of young children and added that the essence of the research was to identify the main causes of childhood illnesses. food origin in the environment, as well as new research in the field of artificial intelligence, which simply means using computers and robotics to do what human beings can do through some programming.
Ofudje said the main objective of the conference was to exchange ideas, discuss and reflect on the place of science and technology in national development, with a view to proposing solutions to national challenges and provide a better life to the public.
The Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee of the Second CBAS Conference 2023, Professor Gabriel Ajayi, said the conference aimed to discuss and present the recent advancements in science and technology by researchers for sustainable national development. He said the committee came up with the conference theme. considering the state and stage of national development in Nigeria.
A statement issued at the conference highlighted that science and technology are major drivers of sustainable national development, adding that universities have a vital role to play in furthering the advancement of scientific research for sustainable national development. The conference highlighted the need for progressive and constant engagement with key stakeholders to ensure innovations in all aspects of science and technology and added that the problem of insufficient funding must be addressed holistically and realistically .
On his part, Professor Elijah Adebowale Ayolabi, Vice-Chancellor of Mountain Top University, Geophysics and member of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorers (NAPE), Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) and Council of Nigerian mining engineers and geoscientists, said advancements in science and technology will sustain and improve the living conditions of citizens while resuscitating a declining economy.
He revealed that the role of science and technology, especially after the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, cannot be overemphasized, hence the need to use science and technology as a tool to build and rebuild sustainable national development, and explore advances in science. investigations and research become imperative.
Ayolabi, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Akin Akinyomi, added that with the world changing rapidly, it is becoming increasingly important to prioritize sustainability and seek innovative solutions to a better future, affirming that science and technology play a central role in boosting national development and addressing global challenges.
Speaking on “The Role of Universities in the Advancement of Scientific Research for National Development”, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Kayode Adebowale, said the impetus to discuss the he importance of universities in advancing scientific research for national development is not only timely but urgent. in light of the current massive fiscal and infrastructure deficits that baffle the nation. He said it was good but insufficient for universities to serve only as a repository of knowledge, saying universities must engage and adopt their primary vision of existence as producers of intellectual human capital development in order to constantly bring increasing returns of creativity, idea generation and innovation to businesses. national development.
Adebowale, who was represented at the conference by Professor Mubo Sonibare, said universities constitute knowledge-based intellectual capital, defined by their research capacity and insight towards making societal impact. He insisted that investing in science was not an option but a necessity as most countries, including Nigeria, continue to look for ways to transform economies, improve health, minimize inequalities and build sustainable cities, among others, to promote national development.
He said the challenges facing scientific research were multifaceted and required an energetic approach, revealing that research is necessary because it forms the core or basis of establishing a university.
Adebowale stressed that a university loses the core of its existence in the absence of research.
Professor of Agricultural Engineering and Biological Resources of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Adeniyi Olayanju, has said that science and technology is the foundation of nation building, and assured that new advancements and new trends in science and technology will solve global challenges, including hunger and poverty.
Olayanju said for Nigeria to catch up with the scientific advancements of other developed countries, there should be curriculum updates in tertiary institutions, strengthening of collaborations in the city, especially with institutions agri-food, funding and more funding for young emerging researchers.