A technology enthusiast, Mrs Roseline Ilori, has called on governments at all levels as well as stakeholders to invest massively in technology; not just software development, but in robotics, artificial intelligence, bio-medicine, voice biometrics and a host of other technology spectra.
Ilori, the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bridge57 Solutions Limited, made the call in a recent statement in Lagos.
According to her, such investments would shore up manufacturing competitiveness via authentication and traceability of goods and services, improve physical security and cyber security, among others.
Ilori said that government needs to be more proactive in making the Nigerian technology environment more friendly, seeing that the growth and young people’s interest in technology were massive.
She noted that Nigerian technology experts were the most sought-after in developed economies as the relocation syndrome had taken up to half of the technology brains the country possessed.
“The fact is that the environment we are in is not conducive enough for technology to thrive, so the government has to do more in that regard to bring out more technology to the fore.
“The ‘Japa Syndrome’ has been a major challenge affecting our human capital potential, hence, the need to grow more of these professionals internally so that when some leave, many more would be around to keep the country going.
According to the Bridge57 boss, Nigeria still lags behind earnestly in terms of innovation as she submitted that, unlike the notion many are having, technology is quite different from innovation.
She noted; “In terms of innovation, we are still very far in Nigeria. For instance, while I had the opportunity to go through some training on innovation in some international organizations, I realized that many people talk about innovation but very few people do innovation as a lot of people don’t really understand what innovation means.
“For technology, yes we are doing well, but for innovation as a practice itself, we still lag behind. Innovation is not just about technology, it is deeper than that. Innovation can be applied to processes, products, marketing and to different areas of business models. But technology can use innovation, when people often mention innovation, people assume that it is technology, but they are two different things. They both need each other in a way to flourish.”
However, the technology expert also advised government to remodel the Nigerian educational curriculum across levels to accommodate the practical aspects of technology to engender early exposure to the nitty-gritty of technology and innovation.
She said that the need to expose, encourage and sensitise the Nigerian child through the educational system from a tender age, was due to the massive economic potential of technology and its ability to solve almost every problem across sectors.
“Technology as of today is beyond computers and smartphones as it encompasses a whole lot which if youths are properly exposed to practice can yield massive economic potential and gains for the country.
“We must, therefore, rework the curriculum to accommodate technology, innovation and robotics beyond the surface use of computers.
“In our universities, a lot is going on technologically that the government can take advantage of, but they must first invest enormous resources right from the universities to open the minds of students to the practical aspects of technology.
“More practical approach that is relatable to real life more than the abstract classes the Nigerian child is used to is what is needed to open up their minds to the endless possibilities of technology,” she said.
She charged young girls with interest in the technology industry, perceived to be a male dominant industry, to take the bulls by the horn, even if they might be few in number and assert their competencies and capabilities.
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