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COVID-19 Unlocking The Talents Of Nigerian Scientists? - Health - Nairaland

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COVID-19 Unlocking The Talents Of Nigerian Scientists? by Buddiesy: 2:48am On Apr 19, 2021
He also said there are ongoing therapeutics efforts of various kinds. The development of vaccines, tests and therapeutics these days, he said, are aided by “automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence, so this is a strong point of synergy between science and engineering.
The president, similarly, recalled some of the opportunities for collaboration witnessed during the COVID-19 lockdown period, citing as an example the “huge potential for the creation of effective technologies for tele-work activities, including Telemedicine and Fintech.”
However, other than what the president pointed out and, in fact, recent breakthroughs in superconducting materials reveal the interdisciplinary thrust of modern science and technology.
The past fragmentation and specialisation of scientific and technical fields is countered by the need for joint research, occurring in several institutional contexts-university, governmental and industrial-and on an international scale, all affecting the nature of science, engineering and technology communication.
In fact, recognising the fact that our country’s security and economy depend upon its scientific and technological base means that government is increasingly becoming aware of the crucial roles being played by science and engineering and or technology.
Yet, at the same time, the internal dynamism of science and technology requires complex and costly endeavours, making them increasingly dependent upon governmental support and, hence, public approval.
Informing the general public and policymakers adds external dimensions to communication needs.
Furthermore, the complex nature of innovation requires greater and speedier communication within the science-technology community, met by more publications and advances in electronic communications, but not to the exclusion of the human element.
In the material sense, scientific and technological activities refer to the elucidation of unknown phenomena and to the creation of new knowledge, through the discovery of new natural laws and principles, and the new knowledge obtained is then utilised in the real society.
The essence of how science and technology contribute to society is the creation of new knowledge and then utilisation of that knowledge to boost the prosperity of human lives and to solve the various issues facing society.
With the shift to a knowledge-based society in the 21st century, the creation of new knowledge is an increasingly important aspect of scientific and technological activities and the role of science in this knowledge creation is important for the realisation of science and technology for society.
However, in addition to the utilisation of science and technology for the development of pharmaceuticals through the creation of new industries as highlighted by Buhari, it is important in regards to the development of local policies for science and technology for government to focus its attention on Nigerians and to utilise science and technology for them.
On their part, the research institutions and corporations, which are the main actors in scientific and technological activities, should consider the needs of Nigerians and make their outcomes of science, engineering and technological research useful and helpful to Nigerians.
Still on Chibok girls’ rescue…
President Muhammadu Buhari spoke, clearly and loudly, when he took over Nigeria’s presidency from Goodluck Jonathan in May 2015, saying that “we cannot claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents.”
At the time the president spoke, one year had already passed since the 276 Chibok schoolgirls were kidnapped by the insurgent Islamist group of Boko Haram.
The ill-fated girls were seized from their dormitory at the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state, in a midnight raid on 14 April 2014.
Their ordeal, since then, underscores the toll the Boko Haram insurgency has taken on over one million children, especially girls, in North-east Nigeria and – to a lesser degree – in neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
The fate of the Chibok girls has come to symbolise the horror of the insurgency, because the victims have been publicly identified by name and face. But there have been countless other incidents where unnamed thousands have been abducted, brutalised and sexually violated by insurgents. Scores have been sent to their death in suicide bombing missions.
Now it is seven years after that ugly, sad incident of the girls’ abduction and Nigerians are still waiting to see their government do everything it can to find the girls and Boko Haram’s many other victims.
Therefore, it is gladdening that the Presidency, this week, for the umpteenth time, reassured parents of, and all concerned citizens that, the missing students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno state, are not forgotten.
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said that the government is working to secure the release of the remaining Chibok girls.
“Efforts to secure their release through various channels and activities of the security and intelligence agencies remain on course,” the statement said, adding: “The recent decisive push by the military against the terrorists gives hope that a breakthrough is possible and could happen anytime soon.”
Thus, rightly, the statement called on the people to support, understand and pray for the security personnel as they discharge their mandate to quickly finish off the insurgency and free all citizens held hostage.
Of course, it is baffling, but understandable, why the government has yet failed to get the girls released. The previous government’s response to the kidnapping and, indeed, insurgency, highlighted the problem with security and governance in Nigeria.
The reaction of the previous administration ranged from initial indifference and denial to later incompetence and deception. Crippled by corruption and mismanagement, the government failed or was unable to respond promptly or effectively to the incident.
The then military authorities falsely reported that the girls had been rescued, then later claimed they knew where they were being held but lacked the capacity to carry out a rescue operation without endangering their lives.
Thankfully, now with the renewed determination on the part of the the present administration to free the girls and the recent appointment of equally apparently determined service chiefs, it is the hope of parents of the abducted girls and entire Nigerians that the girls will be back home safely.

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