Without proper investment in education and infrastructures, efforts to revamp Nigeria’s economy will remained a mirage, an effort in futility.
Professor Valentine Aletor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, (FUTA) disclosed this while speaking as a keynote speaker at the second annual lecture of Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), titled: “ Research and Innovation Versus Economic Diversification: Wither Nigeria.”
He lamented the “chronic under-funding” of education, research, critical infrastructural development, inadequate legislation and recognition of local researchers, innovations in Nigeria.
Prof Aletor, who is the pioneer Vice Chancellor of Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, identified adequate and affordable power supply, communication and transportation as the catalysts of diversification and economic prosperity.
He also bemoaned the failure of governments at all levels to give priority to adequate funding of agriculture, education and research, saying Nigeria lacks well-articulated, coordinated and effective approach towards research and diversification.
“Nigeria remains largely a buying and selling nation,” adding that agriculture has comparative advantage over other sectors of the nation in terms of diversification.
He stressed that countries like Ghana, Israel and the Asian Tigers committed over 30 per cent of their resources to education and research for rapid growth, bridging the link between industries and research institutes.
The FUTA don, who is also a Professor of Agricultural Biochemistry and Nutrition, pointed out that there was no way small and medium scale enterprises that employed 80% of jobless youths could thrive in Nigeria.
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This, he attributed to the current epileptic and unaffordable power supply, poor transportation system and interrupted communications sector, while successive administrations had
The APBN National President, Dr. Omede Idris, said the association is largely committed to promoting professionalism and development issues through interactions, cooperation and commitment.
Idris, who was represented by Chief Oye Akinsulire, noted that the 28 professional bodies set objectives for the advancement of the professions and the development of the nation at large.
The Ondo State chairman of APBN, Pastor Gboyega Akerele and his first Vice Chairman, Prince Adeyinka Adedire, had earlier explained that the theme of the lecture was selected in view of the prevailing socio-economic challenges facing the country.