Nigeria often referred to as the Giant of Africa by her citizens and citizens of some other nations, has not really been able to show dominance in many of the metrics used in comparing nations. Nigeria has not taken the number one position when it comes to key metrics such as the standard of living of her people, gross domestic product (GDP), gross national income (GNI) non prevalence of HIV/AIDS, level of corruption, technological advancement, economic growth, per capital income, etc .
Although Nigeria is a country with a vast land resource and endowed with abundant natural and human resources, she has continued to lag behind among the committee of nations due to the inability of her government and people to identify and summon the will to invest massively in key areas that will make the most impact on her economy. The prevalence of corruption in both the public and private sector, coupled with the lack of adequate commitment and dedication as well as unwillingness of Nigerians to make sacrifices has made things worse.
Over the years several governments in Nigeria have come up with different policies and plans aimed at achieving certain set goals which were clearly defined. These policies and plans include: The Colonial Development Plan , the Green revolution, Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy(NEEDS), Vision 2010 , etc. These policies and plans have not yielded the expected results due to weak implementation and lack of political will to see the development strategy through to the end.
This is evident considering the development and efficiency level of public infrastructures and systems ranging from bad roads, epileptic power supply, inadequate housing facilities, poor and inadequate water supply facilities, inadequate and inefficient security systems and health institutions, continual dependence on subsistence agriculture rather than mechanized farming, low commitment and dedication in the Public service, prevalence of corruption in all facet of our lives, etc.
These have resulted in poverty, hunger, lack of employment opportunities, fallen standards in education and living, low GDP, declining per capital income, insecurity, brain drain from the country, unstable exchange rate, high inflation rate, etc. Indeed the problem of Nigeria has many faces but it must be tackled from selected front lines where the most efficient result will be obtained.
At the end of the 2008 Nigeria Economic Summit, a vision was identified to put the nation among the top 20 economies in the world by the year 2020. This vision was termed NIGERIA VISION 20: 2020. Progressive achievement of this laudable vision is the focus of all development programmes embarked upon by the nation’s governments and people, since then. The first medium term implementation plan for the vision which covers 2010 to 2013 was approved by President Goodluck Jonathan in June 2010.
All stake holders involved in pursuing and implementing this vision must take necessary steps to prevent a repetition of history where the goals and objectives of the vision will not be realized by the end of the projected period. Key areas identified as front-liners in achieving the vision must be vigorously pursued so that maximum results will be obtained. It has been generally agreed by many stakeholders that investing in developing the Nation’s technological education is a major key to achieving economic growth and development .
Engaging in human capacity building through establishment and funding of research and training centers on embedded systems design and development will provide the platform for indigenous solutions in the form of equipments, machines, tools, products, etc ranging from very simple to complex systems to be developed. Hence the growing needs of our agricultural, manufacturing and other industrial sectors will be met.
Embedded digital technology is present in many equipments and systems, and is used to increase functionality, as well as to improve operation at low cost. Countries that must lead other countries in economy, GDP, GNI, developed infrastructures, etc must first lead in the development and the sustenance of their technology.
Editor’s Note: This is a portion of the paper delivered in Fasmicro MASTERs.