Moghalu: Innovation-based Economy Will Address Existing Gap in Job, Wealth Creation

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Emma Okonji

The President, Institute for Governance and Economic Transformation (IGET), and a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Kingsley Moghalu has stressed the need for Nigeria to adopt the policy of innovation-based economy and allow technology innovation to drive the Nigerian economy in the areas of job and wealth creation.

Moghalu who was the guest speaker at the 2018 Bullion Lecture, held in Lagos on Wednesday, said government must begin to think of new ways of doing things, using technology to create job opportunities in the chain of distribution from innovation to the market place.

“Such innovation-based economy must remain competitive, adapt to the needs of the future, rather than depending on natural resources like oil and gas, thereby facing the danger of being left behind by global and market trends, and thus plunging the citizens into poverty,” Moghalu said.

He said although Nigeria has a national policy on Science, Technology and Innovation , but the policy has practically no impact on Nigeria’s economy.

In his remarks, Chairman of the occasion, who is also Chairman, Governing Board, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye Durojaiye explained how global economies are fast entering into the fourth industrial revolution, where coal, steam engines and electricity will not be the basic tools to drive new revolution. The fourth industrial revolution, according to Durojaiye, is all about knowledge economy, driven by the internet and the telecommunication industry. He therefore called on governments at various levels to begin to invest in technology solutions that are in line with modern trends, which he said, would help Nigeria develop fast, considering its large population of people. “Plans are already on the drawing board for the 5G digital communications advancement, including Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence,” Durojaiye said, adding that the NCC will continue to ensure that Nigerian youths are trained to take active participation in the current global digital communication revolution.

But Moghalu noted: “The absence of a link between science, commercialised indigenous innovation and economic and business activity, is a fundamental obstacle between Nigeria and a quantum leap to property. This gap is all the more tragic because science and technology is one area in which African countries such as Nigeria, can quickly develop global competitive advantage over the Western world and even Asia,” Moghalu said.

He added: “It is important that governments at all levels must understand why Nigeria must invest in science and technology, how science and technology create wealth and jobs, and what must be done to achieve it.”