By Eseoghene Emuke
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has urged the Federal Government to create and support through adequate funding Nigeria’s innovation sector as it is capable of enhancing the speedy development of the country.
ASUP hinted that prioritising the innovation sector will open the country’s untapped and wasting talents that could shape the nation’s technological and economy sectors.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the 3rd national conference organised by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) Delta State Polytechnic Ogwashi-Uku titled “Innovation for Sustainable National Development: The Challenges of the 21st Century”.
The virtual conference which attracted participants from universities and polytechnics across the country also charged government at all level to create the needed at atmosphere for the growth of innovation.
It also called on scholars in the country to engage in productive and achievable researches that will contribute to the country’s development.
A copy of the communiqué made available to our correspondent reads, “Academics should engage in sincere, productive and achievable researches that are capable of turning out laudable innovations in order to contribute to a sustainable national development.
“The government should wake up to its responsibilities and pay attention to individual and collective innovations. It must not only support innovations, but create an atmosphere for innovations to thrive.
“The government should establish ore research institutions which must be adequately funded and made to function optimally.
“The government should also establish appropriate agencies that will be charged with the task of funding, evaluating and promoting innovations.”
The conference, however, blamed Nigeria’s lack of growth in the innovation sector on failure by the people to embrace innovations on cultural orientation and government’s poor attitude and policies towards local innovators.
“Participants at the workshop observed that in spite Nigeria being blessed with abundance of natural resources, it has remained in abject poverty and other countries that were classified with it some decades ago, have overtaken it in terms of development.
“This, it was pointed out, was because these other countries, unlike Nigeria, embraced innovation. The factors identified as being responsible for lack of Innovation in Nigeria in general, and tertiary intuitions in particular are;
“Lack of courage on the part of the general populace and the fear of taking risks; Government’s lackadaisical attitude towards innovation in Nigeria; Cultural orientation whereby – new technologies are viewed with suspicion and superstition and innovative ideas from the Western part of the world are assumed to be superior to those from our immediate vicinity.”
The conference had as its speakers the immediate past National President of ASUP, Comrade C. B. Asomugha and associate professor of Mass Communication from the Delta State University, Abraka, Prof. Emmanuel Ufuophu-Biri who presented a paper titled “A Nation without Innovation is on the Path to self-Destruction”.