A professor of metallurgy at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Prof. Boniface Okorie, has said that the Vision 2020 of President Umaru Yar’Adua’s administration will remain a mirage without a revolution in the material development capability of the country.
The don advised the Federal Government to upgrade the research and development centres in the country and to also establish new ones to cater to the nations’ technological needs.
Okorie gave this advice in an address he delivered at the opening of annual Nigerian Materials Congress hosted by the Engineering Materials Development Institute, Akure.
The address was made available to our correspondent on Monday.
The university lecturer said that the nation’s quest to become one of the 20 top economies in the world in the next 12 years would not materialise without a conscious effort to be a technological giant.
To leapfrog the nation’s technological development, the don advised that research and development efforts should quickly be directed to areas such as “semiconductors, new ceramics, new metals, new polymers, composite materials, laser materials, optical fibres, powered metallurgy, nanotechnology, micro-fabrication and other areas that will make us participate or even become the high technology field.”
Okorie stated that Nigeria must be ready to add value to its natural resources without which he said that the nation’s dream of becoming one of the 20 leading economies would be a fantasy.
He said, “Nigeria wants a quantum jump to 20th position by the year 2020. The country cannot achieve this solely by depending on petroleum resources because there is hardly an economic power in the world that is not also substantially strong technologically.
“Since engineering materials constitute the core of technology and are critical needs for industrial manufacture, Vision 2020 is basically a challenge for Nigeria to expand and enhance its capacity and potential in materials development.”
Okorie also gave an advice that the nation must ensure technology transfer in its efforts to attain high technology. However, he said that Nigeria should not expect that advanced countries would willingly transfer their technology to it.
He added that the technology acquired by Japan and China was hurting the Western world.