By Henry Uche
The former Director, National Broadcast Academy- (FRCN Training School) Ikeja- Lagos & founder, Digital World Forum (DWF) Engr. Ajibola Abiola, FCBA, has maintained that perennial negligence and relegation of science and technology is the reason for Nigeria’s economic backwardness, noting that every developed economies in the world placed top priority on science and technology with huge investment therein.
Engineer Abiola made this know within the week when he paid a scheduled visit to Ambassadors College, Ota where he offered a training scholarship on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the winner of the Global
Mathematics Championship, Faith Odunsi.
Global Mathematics Championship is an annual world wide competition comprising Students from America, Europe, Asia, Africa & other parts of the world organised by Cowbellpedia.
According to Abiola, Nigeria lost it all when less attention was given to science and technology while greater energy and resources were directed to entertainment and other sectors which does not make any nation great.
“No nation can survive nor stand the test of time without enmeshing itself in science and technology. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative is a way forward but we need to do more. The difference between one country and another is the Level of science and technology at which each other operates.
“As a way of supporting science and technology, we at Digital World Forum, poised to promote digital initiatives and STEM education, we have decided to offer Faith Odunsi, a training scholarship on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, sponsored by Robotics & Artificial Intelligence Nigeria (RAIN), an Ibadan based Robotics Company.
Engr. Abiola who also was the erswhile Director, National Broadcast Academy (FRCN Training school) Ikeja- Lagos described Faith Odunsi as a genius in the class of Isaac Newton, Phythagoras etc who has not only made the ladies folk very proud but the whole Nigerians & Africa at large.
He affirmed that Nigeria has remained backward technology-wise because the needed investment, support and attention meant for young talents in science and technology have been jettisoned. He said, “Nigeria cannot compete with developed economies not because of color nor any other thing, but because we have relegated Science & Technology to the background by not giving enough attention to STEM and not celebrating champions emerging from the sector.
“Citizens have placed Music, Sports & fashion far above Science & Technology which eventually resulted into moral decadence and value disorientation for us, however, entertainment and fashion are not bad in its entirety, but as we celebrate and support young people in the entertainment industry, we should more than proportionately pay more attention to young Stars in the Science and Technology space.
He added that “if Nigeria has attained the much needed height in science and technology, our country would have been able to transform natural resources especially the solid minerals into exportable products” he added, noting that, “We could have made huge revenue by processing Cocoa to chocolate and petroleum into gasoline and others but because we lack the Technology and technical -know -how, we remain one of the poorest & poverty stricken nations in the world.
He howbeit posited that Nigeria would set the tone its own development when economic and politcal leaders corporate organisations begin to appreciate and celebrate excellence in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
On her part, Faith Odunsi, expressed gratitude to DWF and her school for the offer and opportunity to participate in the competition respectively, and implored the federal and States government to give young people all the neccssary support to be able to compete strongly with their counterparts in the world in area of science and technology.
The 15- year old senior secondary school student of Ambassadors College, said, “I want to be an engineer, but the government at all levels must provide us with the neccssary support here in Nigeria instead of traveling to other climes to study, it is not ideal if we keep traveling abroad to seek even quality education,” she stressed.