Group Managing Director (GMD) of Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Mr Taiwo Adeniyi, has blamed the government for the backward state of science and technology education in Nigeria.
Adeniyi, who spoke on the topic: “Synergy in Science: A tool for National Development” at the annual lecture of the Faculty of Science, University of Lagos, accused the government of playing politics with education, a situation he said was responsible for Nigeria’s underdevelopment.
The trained Chemist said: “The environment for learning is not conducive. However, the external factor, which is the government, is to blame. We have no vision for the education sector. Our leaders think universities should just be there to keep children so they would not be nuisances. In the final analysis, the problem is that education is now a political process. ”
Adeniyi shared his personal experience of how the low capacity in science and technology education robbed the country of foreign investment after his education at UNILAG.
He said: “We were contacted by a company based in Switzerland to supply 1kg of a substance that is extracted from our popular “eweiran-moinmoin leaf” at a cost of $10,000. The fruit is only available in the west coast of Africa. As at that time the only university having a freeze dryer was UNILAG chemistry department; we were very enthusiastic as young graduates working under the supervision of then Operations Director of the company-Dr Soremekun who is now part of the UNILAG community.
“We were never able to supply the 1kg requested because the freeze-dryer kept breaking down. Today the Swiss company has acquired large expanse of land in a neighboring country for plantation and they fly in freezers from time to time to take away the fruits. Very sad.”
Adeniyi said Nigeria cannot hope to meet up with developed countries if it does not invest in Science and Technology education.
“In a nutshell, developing countries cannot hope to prosper in an increasingly competitive global economy and open trading system if they do not build the appropriate science and technology capacity to produce more value-added goods and services. In fact, I can confidently say that S&T is the dividing line of humanity between developed nations and those less developed,” he said.
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