By Gabriel Agbeja
Abuja – The Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) has urged the Federal Government to allocate one per cent of the annual budget to Research and Develop (R&D) to boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The former NAS President, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe gave the advice at a two-day workshop organised by the academy on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to him, such increase in financial support toward research activities will advance the nation in a sustainable manner.
He said that investing in human resources was also essential to expand the knowledge frontier to move the nation forward.
“Human resources development is the aggregate value of comfort to life, through agriculture and food security, rural development, water and environment, education, health, transportation, economic among others.
“Researchers in developing countries should therefore focus primarily on aspects of knowledge expansion that relate to human welfare.
“The purpose of research, especially in science and technology is to expand the knowledge frontier through investment in human capital and thereby innovating research for technology innovations is essential.
“Research in developing countries must provide better welfare and Human security,“ Ibidapo-Obe, who is the former vice chancellor of the University of Lagos.
Prof. Oluwabunmi Olapade-Olaopa, the Provost of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, said combination of increasing mobility of highly skilled persons and declining human capital indices on the Africa continent was the cause of professionals leaving the country.
Olapade-Olaopa, who spoke on “Brain Drain and Brain Loss: Urgent need for Mitigating Measures“, said globalisation and knowledge- based economics was increasing competitiveness and mobility of highly skilled professionals.
“Social and information communication technology networks has also increased visibility of talents.
“Aided by the combination of socio-economic difficulties in developing countries and favorable immigration policies of developed countries to attract and retain a qualified labour force.
“The unabated migration of highly skilled Africans to more developed countries now assumes increased social and economic relevance,“ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NAS is the foremost independent scientific body in Nigeria established in 1977.
It is uniquely positioned to bring scientific knowledge to bear on the policies and strategic direction of the country and dedicated to the development and advancement of science, technology and innovation in Nigeria. (NAN)