June 21, 2024

Scientists seek more investment in R&D to fight poverty


By Juliet Umeh

Leading scientists in the country have called on the federal government to prioritize research and development, R&D, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, STEM, education to address poverty in the nation.

The call came at the launch of Dr. Kenny Acholonu’s book, “Who Will Give You the Technology?”

The experts emphasized the importance of R&D for developing homegrown solutions and reducing reliance on imported products.

One of the experts, Majek Owoo, highlighted the low level of local content in Nigerian manufacturing, with over 70 per cent of raw materials coming from abroad.

Investing in R&D, he argued, would allow for more local production, increased profit margins and reduced dependence on imports.

Another expert, Brian Hammond, said:  “There are no successful countries that don’t invest in research and development.”

He proposed government subsidies for university research to foster long-term economic benefits, including increased GDP per capita and job creation for young Nigerians.

Hammond urged the government to allocate a larger portion of the national budget towards R&D, specifically within the education sector.

The author of the book, Dr. Kenny Acholonu, stressed the critical link between science and technology and economic development.

He cited the example of developed nations prioritizing science and technology as a cornerstone of their economic success.

Acholonu said African Union’s recommendation of allocation of one per cent of GDP to R&D and STEM education should religiously be implemented.