By Ngozi Oboh
The Nigerian Academy of Science has picked holes in the selection of members of the economic team newly inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Gabriel Ogunmola, Past President of the academy said the composition of the team without the inclusion of scientists showed government was only paying lip service to science and technology.
Ogunmola, a professor of Chemistry and the academy’s chairman for international regional science committee said “Nigeria must prioritize science and technology if the country is not paying lip service to the Vision 2020-20.”
“We congratulate Mr. President for setting up the economic team that would drive the country, but there was a missing component. I do not see a representation of the science and technology sector in that economic team. It is important that it should be done,” he said.
“As important as finance is, as important as energy, road and works,
water are, we do need a representation of the science community in that economic team. I think we should demand for it. This is what is done all over the world and we are trying to be one of the best economies in 2020, US has it, Britain, China, South Africa have it and so on and so forth”.
Ogunmola added that the minimum is that the ministry of science and
technology should be represented arguing that a country like Nigeria with all the challenges it faced should have a scientific
adviser to Mr. President.
He noted that development of a nation’s economy has its root in
science, and Nigeria could miss it if priority was not accorded to funding and development of science.
Ogunmola maintained that the country must show a level of
commitment to science and technology and infrastructural development to leapfrog economic development.
President Jonathan recently constituted a 24-member economic management team to advice government on economic measures that would support the transformation agenda of the current administration.