‘Open Science’ a panacea for sustainable development in Nigeria

Chioma Eche, Abuja


Nigeria’s Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has emphasised the need for Nigerians to explore Science and Technology to fast track sustainable Development goal and economic diversification.

Dr. Onu stated this in Abuja, the nation’s capital during the commemoration of the 2019 World Science Day celebration with the theme ‘Open Science, leaving no one behind.’

The Minister said that Science facilitates the development of new knowledge and information.

”Nigeria cannot be great without attention to Science and Technology, Science has directly or indirectly influenced all sectors of the global economy which include Education, Health, Transportation and Agriculture.

”Others are Sports, Entertainment, exploitation of oil and gas, Aviation, Power and Energy, Space Communication, Banking and Tourism,” he added.

He however, called on Nigerians to appreciate Science, saying that it was a way of life and not just about research in the laboratories.

Dr. Onu advised Nigerian youths to be more productive in order to catch up and over take development of technologies globally.

The UNESCO Representative and National Professional Officer of Science, Mrs Enang Moma, said that Science did not only bring about transformative change but also the road to sustainable development.

Mrs Moma, stressed that government at all levels needed to acknowledge the potential of Science to contribute to knowledge base in the pursuit of the sustainable Development goals by 2030.

She added that Africa is embracing Science but more is still needed in the areas of research findings to diversify the African continent.

The Director, Science and Technology Promotion, Mr Ekanem Udoh, added that this year’s edition on the theme ‘Open Science, leaving no one behind’ is not only unique but timely and significant, as it highlights the importance of Science and the need to make scientific research outcome open and accessible to encourage multi stakeholder’s collaboration and utilization.

“The main pillars include the future of scholarly publishing, fair data, open science cloud, education and skills, rewards and incentives,next generation metrics, research integrity and citizen Science.”

“Many countries have acknowledged the importance of the concept and the benefits carrying everyone along in scientific endeavours. In order to successfully implement the concept, there is need to make it a culture through strategic policy framework, advocacy and awareness,” he said.

Mr. Udoh, however called on  the National and Regional government and organisations to collaborate as well as provide funds for effective implementation of research findings in Nigeria.

He added that, this if achieved would help to ensure the success of the concept towards fast tracking the achievement of the SDGs for the common goal of all.

One of the young innovators, Sumayya Musa-Iman, advised youths to be more confidence and improve the standard of innovations in Nigeria.

Another young innovator, Mr Inioluwa Joshua, said Nigerians should develop new ideas that would boost the economy as well as bring about solutions to the communities and enable Open Science movement to make scientific research and data accessible and to communicate scientific knowledge to all.