Prof. Charles Adetunji has called on the Federal Government to harness the best scientific technology and bio-resources in the country to increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and boost the economy.
Adetunji, the guest speaker and Director of Research and Innovation, Edo State University, gave the charge at the ongoing three-day conference organised by the Faculty of Computing and Applied Sciences (FCAS), Baze University, Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2nd FCAS International Conference on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was titled: “Applied Sciences: Paradigm Shift from Laboratory to the Field.”
“If we are to resolve our problem and resolve the global problem, we need to harness the best technology and bio-resources we have.
“God has blessed Nigeria with a lot of intellectuals and a lot of natural resources.
“As we know, we are faced with too much reliance on oil, and many people have failed to go back to agriculture.
“Now, we need to harness the best bio available natural resources we have.
“That is the essence of this international conference; to collate ideas, best scientific technology that could increase the GDP and boost the economy of Nigeria,” he said.
Adetunji, who commended President Bola Tinubu for creating the Marine and Blue Economy Ministry, said it showed that the government is keying into science and partnering with relevant stakeholders that would assist with relevant policies to boost the bio-economy of Nigeria.
He said the country’s fossils and petroleum bio-resources are diminishing and it was high time “we inculcate what the Europeans and Americans are doing with their economy.
“They have what is called an alternative economy. This is well stated by Ricardo Comparative Cost Model that says that we need to base and put more preference on what we have in abundance.
“So we need to harness the best natural resources we have in our environment and see how they could boost the economy and GDP of this country.
“If we do this, I am sure the economy of Nigeria is going to improve, gets intensified and become more better to what we have been recording in the past.”
Prof. Peter Ogedebe, the Dean of FCAS at Baze University, said the essence of the conference is for the school to contribute to the ongoing approach by the Federal Government to ensure that things are done as practically as possible and finding ways to ensuring that when research is done, there should be an output from such research.
“So it is not enough for us to just make publication without anybody seeing the output,” he said.
Ogedebe said more emphasis should be placed on not just publishing or doing research but on revenue generation.
“We should be able to enhance the economy of the nation though our research.
“We should be able to take part in the initiative of the Federal Government and contribute our own quota towards building the economy because the oil money is no longer there,” he said.
He called on the government to increase research funding.
“We are talking of banditry, we are talking of unemployment , etc, but the people in the academia can be used to solving some of these problems arising from some of the research that we will be encouraged to do.
“I think government needs to do more, and I am happy by the calibre of ministers appointed recently, especially the Minister of Education,” he said.
Dr Toyin Alabi, who was the Local Organising Chairperson of the event, said the theme of the conference came about as a result of the deficit in translational research.
According to her, we are trying to encourage translational research and technology transfer so that all the researches we do will not just stay on the shelves, in a book or as an article, but they actually meet the needs of the community; they are translated to the needs of the community.
“Looking at research globally, Nigeria is still dragging and that is the essence of this conference; to encourage people to do more researches that are solution-oriented, not just research that we do in the name of having research or having paper,” she said.
Alabi, a Biochemistry Lecturer at Base University, said research can be translational when there is connection between the industry, the government and the institution.
“There is a gap between that in Nigeria and we are making an advocate in that regard.
“So before you start a research, let it be funded by an industry that needs that thing you are doing .
“And when you are done, they collect the data and use it for what they need it for,” she said.
Prof. Kathleen Okafor, the Vice-Chancellor’s of Baze University, said “without any iota of doubt, there is an ongoing transformative and exhilarating shift in the world of applied sciences, one that has the potential to revolutionise the way we approach problem-solving and innovation.
“We are witnessing a paradigm shift from the traditional laboratory-centric approach to a dynamic and inclusive model where science thrives in the field.
“This shift is shaping our world in profound ways, and it is my pleasure to know that we all are gathered here to shed light on its significance.”(NAN)