Prof. Job Nmadu, a lecturer with the Federal University of Technology Minna, has called on the Federal Government to pay more attention to accurate data gathering, innovation and research.
Nmadu, who made this call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Friday, said more research driven economy would improve productivity in education and other sectors.
According to him, one of the cardinal points to pay attention to as Nigeria marks its 60th anniversary is research.
Nmadu, a lecture in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, noted that most advanced countries of the world were able to achieve significant development due to research.
He said it was a veritable tool any government could use for people oriented and solution based policy formulation.
He noted that no country of the world could develop beyond its level of research, adding that to impact positively; emphasis must be placed on accurate data gathering and innovations.
According to him, the new normal created by the pandemic calls for a paradigm shift from the old order.
He said many countries had invested greatly in research, to find vaccine and other forms of lasting solutions to the pandemic and Nigeria could not afford to be left behind.
The don said the world was waiting for Nigeria to get it right, pointing out that once that was achieved, the country would not only be better for it but would compete favourably globally.
Nmadu, who stressed that research was the way to go as a nation, disclosed that he had come up with some facts and figures on the pandemic owing to a research he recently conducted.
According to him, there is a link between the pandemic and the recent hike in fuel and electricity tariffs among others.
“From the finding so far, it appears the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a 1.1 per cent rise in inflation.
“Also, based on the research, there is a need to operate NCDC as a research institution rather than a coordinating one.
“In particular, the Ministry of Health should transfer the institution to a teaching hospital for effective work and easy sai,” he said.
The don added that the capacity of our health facilities should be expanded very significantly.
According to him, a situation where Nigeria tested less than 500,000 within the period of the research, which spanned from when the pandemic was first recorded in Nigeria in March, till September, is not encouraging.
“UK for instance started testing 125,000 per day since April and recently, the United States has reached one million tests per day.
“With a population of about 200 million, it means it would take 85,543 years to test all the population for the virus.
“The research also brought to bear the need for welfare of the front line staff in this type of pandemic.
“The various unions under the health sector have embarked on strike at least twice even in a serious emergency as COVID19 pandemic. Let nothing be left to chance,” he said.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Felix Ajide