Article Reposted from Science In Africa.
AFRICA’S LEADING PUBLICATION ON SCIENCE INNOVATION AND DEVELOPMENT- Vol 15, March April 2011
Nigeria: Over 100 R&D Products Await Commercialization – By Alex Abutu
Failure to commercialize existing research is holding back Nigeria’s economic development, minister of science and technology, Mohammed Ka’oje Abubakar, has said. He identified a lack of ‘demand-driven’ research, and poor links between research institutes and the private sector, as the main culprits. “Nigeria has not attained any appreciable capacity to translate successful research and development results into products. The manufacturing sector now contributes a mere three per cent to GDP and most of the technologies Nigeria requires to sustain its economy are imported, expensive and difficult to adapt,” he told a press briefing aimed at investors. To reverse the trend, Nigeria should learn from technologically advanced nations that spend a significant percentage of their GDP on R&D; it is clear that investment in science leads to technological and economic development. The minister presented a list of R&D results from research institutes across Nigeria that are awaiting commercialization to encourage investors and financial institutions willing to partner with the
The plan is to make a “quantum leap of the commercializable results
of our R&D from the laboratory to the market”, he said.
The list contains more than 100 novel products and technologies
– in the fields of agriculture, engineering, energy and health- such
as an organic fertilizer, a cassava peeling machine and an electronic
voting system.His call came after plans to cut the country’s science
budget were announced Umar Bindir, director general
of Nigeria’s National Office for Technology Acquisition and
Promotion (NOTAP), said that it was cheaper for pharmaceutical
companies and other industries to import ready-made R&D than
to take up successful results from Nigerian institutes.
“Such procurement has been institutionalized in the country but
we can overcome this by establishing a national research council to
coordinate activities which will ensure that research becomes
demand-driven,” he said. Daniel Gwary, a crop scientist at
the University of Maiduguri, said the government and the private
sector have failed to acknowledge the place of R&D and talks of
demand-driven research would not have any impact until Updates
on policymakers understand the importance of scientific research
in development.( SciDev.Net)