Nigeria will lag behind without innovation, technology — Microbiologist

By Grace Edema

A postdoctoral research fellow at the Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of British Columbia, Canada, Dr Olumuyiwa Igbalajobi, has said Nigeria will continue to lag behind without the inclusion of innovation, science, and technology in its system.

Speaking in an interview with our correspondent, Igbalajobi said over the years, the education sector in Nigeria had been underfunded, adding basic infrastructures needed for students to carry out innovative research were not available to access in most institutions in Nigeria.

Igbalajobi who runs Scholarship Cafe, an educational platform dedicated to bringing mentoring, real-time scholarship and funding opportunities closer to underrepresented groups, said ‘‘Until we all come to the reality that no system can survive without innovation, science, and technology, we will continue to lag behind. “There is an urgent need to completely overhaul most of the curriculum in our institutions and citadel of learning. “Secondly, an introduction and periodic training and evaluation of academic staff on teaching pedagogy as being practised in developed countries would foster change in the system. Thirdly, the government must be sincere in its commitment to funding the education sector. “There is a need to engage industries and relevant authorities to attract grants for sustainable research. This must be matched with a robust monitoring system to ensure the funds are spent judiciously. ’’

He explained that Scholarship Café would become a global platform which everyone could explore for free and access information needed for career growth and development.

Igbalajobi said, ‘‘In the last two years, we have contributed to mentoring over 30,000 highly qualified prospective undergraduate and graduate students and applicants for postdoctoral positions via virtual seminars and webinars, review of application packages such as curriculum vitae, statement of purpose resulting in more than 10,000 successful applications worth $300m.’’

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