A Professor of Virology and member of the World Health Organisation’s Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition, Oyewale Tomori, has lamented the refusal of successive administrations in Nigeria to invest in science and technology.
Tomori said rather than investing in what would bring positive returns on, Nigeria, consistently invested in corruption and immorality stressing that the returns on these were the numerous problems facing the country.
Speaking at the 79th Interdisciplinary Research Discourse of the Postgraduate College, University of Ibadan, put together by the Provost, Prof. Jonathan Babalola, on Thursday, Tomori said for Nigeria to get out of its woes, it needed to start massive investment in education, science and technology.
He said, “While other countries are getting sumptuous results on their investments, we are wallowing in our own return on iniquity, and return on immorality. That is why we have 10.5 million of our children out of school, 4.5 million under-vaccinated, we become the poverty capital of the world.
“We are investing hugely in corruption and disdain for science and technology, and we now depend on IMF loans and the World Bank to pay our workers’ salaries, to import food which we should be producing.
“A recent study said the US government between 1988 and 2010 invested $3.8billion in the genome project and it is already generating $796billion. This is what is called return on investment.”
To the renowned virologist, economic progress should be the direct result of advances in science and technology, saying everything used in communication, transportation, housing, clothing were products of investment in science and technology.
He described science as the engine for human posterity while urging the Nigerian government to consistently invest in long term research in science and technology.
“The money given to our science and technology goes to salary and emoluments in Nigeria. The money you put into education and science is what makes the difference in the countries that are doing well. The 2022 budget for science and technology is N202 billion but almost all of it is on capital project.