Nigeria @60: Space engineers want Nigeria to embrace science, technology development


By Ijeoma Olorunfemi

Abuja, Oct. 1, 2020 Congratulating Nigeria on its Diamond Jubilee anniversary celebrations, the Nigerian Institute of Space Engineers (NISE) has called on the government to embrace Science and Technology (S&T) development.

Dr Sadiq Umar, National Chairman of the NISE, said this on Thursday in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.

Umar described S&T as an enabler to other sectors and key driver to development, hence the need for the country to turn attention to the sector.

According to the national chairman, S&T propels the digital world and will enable Nigeria to compete favourably with the comity of nations, especially some Asian countries like India and China.

“S&T can be deployed to improve broadband penetration. It has enabled virtual learning, virtual meetings, especially with the emergence of COVID-19.

“Technological and scientific revolution underpin economic advances.

“Nigeria closed its borders during the pandemic period and we were able to feed ourselves. S&T had encouraged large-scale farming, it has also been deployed to reduce physical contacts in the health sector,’’ he said.

He, however, identified that one of the major challenges facing the S&T sector was the need to upgrade the National Policy on Science and Technology produced in 1986.

Umar stated that the policy, which birthed the space industry and other areas of S&T in the country, needed to be at par with new technology demands across the globe.

“The National Policy on Science and Technology should be upgraded, deployed because an aspect of the policy promotes funding for science, technology advancement.’’

He added that fully deploying the policy would help boost funding of the science sector away from national budgetary allocation.

The national chairman said that technology is advancing and some developed countries were already investing in emerging technologies like the 5G Network and the discovery of COVID-19 vaccines, among others.

He advised that Nigeria should key into the dynamics of technology, adding that advanced scientific knowledge allows for the development of new technologies.

“The process of science applications is intertwined, such as in agriculture, land use and cover, pest control, weather forecast and new scientific knowledge may lead to new applications.

“Through S&T, we can solve humanity problems as stipulated in Sustainable Development Goals agenda of 2030,’’ Umar said.

The NISE chairman called on citizens to support the government to attain nationhood and also prayed that God empowered the Federal Government executives to tackle the menace of insecurity in the country.

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