Government urges Nigerian researchers, scientists in diaspora to return home
As part of efforts to jump-start the economy, the Federal Government has made a call to Nigerian scientists, researchers and experts in various fields abroad to come home.
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who made this call in Abuja yesterday, said that Nigeria was in dire need of its many professionals abroad more than ever before.
The minister, who spoke at a meeting with delegation from the National Mathematical Centre (NMC), the African Union Mathematical Union (AMU) and the African Academy of Science (AAS), noted that there were huge opportunities for Nigerian experts in the universities, industries and other key sectors.
Onu stressed the place of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to the development of a nation, saying government is planning to partner relevant organisations and experts to actualise its dream of a well-diversified economy and a new Nigeria.
He said: “We have to plan for the future while we are planning for today. Our interest is to let Nigeria know that science, technology, engineering and mathematics have a very important role to play in nation-building. It is the absence of science and technology that has kept us where we are.
“We are going to look for Nigerians and bring them back. All nations of the world are built by their own people and not by foreigners. If there is any problem, it is only the citizens that would remain.”
Speaking earlier, Director/Chief Executive of the National Mathematical Centre (NMC), Prof. Adewole Solarin, stressed how poor funding had negatively affected the ability of the Centre to meet with its core mandates.
He pledged the readiness of his agency to provide technical support to Nigeria’s plans to establish a silicon valley.
Solarin, who is also the President of the African Mathematical Union (AMU), told the minister that Nigeria had been chosen to host a regional symposium on current research trends in mathematical sciences and applications.
He said: “African mathematical scientists in Africa are gradually becoming endangered species because the number of such scientists has been dwindling over the years in quality, To compound matters, many African countries have witnessed an unprecedented proliferation of universities and other tertiary institutions all over the continent with inadequate matching funds with the consequences that available mathematical sciences expertise are spread so thin resulting in shortage of members of staff, facilities and infrastructures, as well as reduction in the quality of mathematical sciences education and research.”