Participants at a one day programme on technology development organised by Aura Technology Limited in collaboration with the National Board for Technology Incubation, NBTI, berated the pace of growth in Nigeria’s tech ecosystem saying the country is still lagging behind technologically. According to them, the slow pace of growth is not unconnected with the lack of political will by successive governments, to make the right investments and reposition the sector to where it should be.
They called for value reorientation among citizens and stressed the need for the Ministry of Science and Technology to be repositioned as revenue spinning organ of government rather than a consuming ministry. They expressed optimism that the country can still take its pride of place in the area of technological advancement if government provides the enabling environment for the researchers and academia to collaborate in finding solution to problems bedevilling the country. In apresentation titled: Technology Transfer: The place of Incubation & Science Parks, the Director, ICT at NBTI, Dr. Peter Ogbebe argued that with the enormous human resource Nigeria is endowed with, the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology should no longer be a dependent ministry but a revenue generation and intervention ministry if all its potentials are put into active use. He said most billionaires across the world are never known to be dependent entrepreneurs but those carrying out research and providing solution to problems. “We have depended too much on government revenue; we must begin to tinker with this mentality by building technology parks where young billionaires will be nurtured and groomed. Also, the head of SERVICOM at NBTI, Adolphus Ugwu called for the establishment of Technology Incubation Centre, TIC in all universities across the country, which he said would make the impact of the ministry felt in the economy. He argued that the presence of the TIC in all the universities would make more impact rather than establishing the TICs outside research institutions. Other speakers at the event also supported the call for government to prioritise science and technology, saying that investing more into the sector would make the much desired difference. They expressed optimism that if well funded, science and technology can be pivotal to medical tourism in Nigeria. For them, if Nigeria wants to move forward, the government must do more, insisting that no investment will be too much for the science and technology sector to thrive and make Nigeria globally competitive. Nigeria may be making some strides in some specific areas of the economy, but their assertion is that the country is yet to find its footings in the area of science and technology and the situation, they said, can only be salvaged when government demonstrates the political will to make the difference.