Science and Technology, Pathway to National Development –Director NASRDA
The Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Atmospheric Research, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Professor Babatunde Rabiu, has expressed the view that the pathways to sustainable development will not be identified through a top-down approach, but through scientific research.
Professor Rabiu made this known on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 while presenting the Keynote Address on “Scientific Research: A Critical Input to Sustainable Development,” at the first “International Conference on Science and Sustainable Development,” hosted by the Department of Physics, Covenant University, Ota.
The Keynote Speaker stated at the Conference which has “The Role of Science in Novel Research and Advances in Technology,” as its theme that the potential of science and Technology as engine of sustainable development was endless. “Research is the motor through which knowledge continuously expands, and technology can provide the impetus to supply products that provide a basis for sustainable development and a better livelihood for the poor and needy,” he added.
Science and Technology, he stated, are critical inputs for any economic development and were engines of past economic discoveries. He added that human ability to harness the products of scientific research had made the present day man more comfortable than any of his ancestors.
Professor Rabiu argued that Nigeria was well endowed with tremendous national and human resources capable of sustaining her economy, boost employment, improve foreign earning and solve power problem. He however decried the level of under-development in the country and the present state of affairs in the nation.
“With a population of about 180 million, the Human Development Index (HDI) as at 2016 is a weak 0.4 and the nation ranked 151 at global level, unbecoming figure for a nation endowed with tremendous mineral resources,” he lamented.
He therefore recommended investment in scientific research, favourable policy for science and technology, infrastructural development for technological applicability, modification of roles of tertiary institutions, promotion and patronage of science and technology, among others.
The Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Professor AAA. Atayero, in his speech titled, “Sustainability and Sustainable Development,” challenged the participants to make sustainability their watch-word in any research they engage in.
Professor Atayero who was represented by the former Head, Department of Physics in the University, Professor M. L. Akinyemi, also called on the participants to engage in the 17-point agenda of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), promising that the International Conference on Science and Sustainable Development (ICSD) would run along with the SDGs for the same period (2016-2030).
In his remarks, the Dean, College of Science and Technology in the University, Professor Nicholas Omoregbe, said that the theme of the Conference was in tandem with the University’s efforts in entrenching a rich academic and research culture which have continued to be validated by ranking agencies. He expressed hope that the participants would be able to proffer solutions to the technological and economic challenges facing Nigeria and the entire world.
Also in her remarks, the Head, Department of Physics, Dr. Mojisola Usikalu, noted that solutions to all the challenges facing the nation could be obtained through scientific research which would be translated to meaningful advanced technology.
She opined that societies whose government recognises the dependence of the development of successful novel technologies on broadly supported basic research are most likely to be healthier and economically prosperous in the future than those that does not.