Prof. Mike Faborode, a former Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Osun, has called for one per cent budget allocation to technology to develop the industry.
Faborode told the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos that a minimal investment in technology sector would yield much results for Nigeria.
The don said that Nigeria had resources to develop in technology but needed the political will to invest in the sector.
“To develop the sector, Nigeria needs to commit only one per cent of its budgetary allocation.
“This is what is obtainable in other African countries that are serious with developing their technology sector,’’ he said.
The don said that Nigeria had a comparative advantage over the countries in terms of materials and personnel needed to drive the industry.
“Nigeria is far above those other countries because we are blessed with both the materials and personnel; but to grow, we must be ready to go that far to be committed.
“The one per cent commitment will be a bold step toward achieving the much-desired level to put us in the world map of countries where technology thrives.
“The government needs to make the funds available, and this must be devoid of political interference; putting the right investments will even help Nigeria in economic recovery.
“There is no commitment to technology through budgetary allocation which is 0.02 per cent, not even to talk about 0.34 per cent.
“Also, creating an enabling environment in the technology sector will boost our Gross Domestic Product (GDP),’’ he said.
Faborode said that the investment in the sector would reduce unemployment.
“I can say without contradiction that Nigerian youths are ready but they need a drive and support from the government.
“Another thing I want government to do is to partner with the technological hubs like the one we have in Ikeja Computer Village to develop those people there.
“The academic sector is ready to support, but we need more from the government.
“The people over there did not have any formal training, but they are undoubtedly blessed with practical knowledge,’’ he said.
The professor urged the Lagos State Government to tap into the abundant talents in the Computer Village.
“One thing Lagos State Government can do is to collaborate with those in the Silicon Valley with a motive of developing them through the various state higher institutions of learning.
“The state can collaborate with those in the Computer Village and build institutions around them; universities will benefit through research while the people there will benefit through funds.
“The technological hub in Ikeja can be made viable if the partnership is done through tripartite agreements which may be difficult to nullify by another government.
“The agreement should be between the government, higher institutions and the technological hubs,’’ he said.
Edited by: Ijeoma Popoola