Nigeria Not in a Hurry to Adopt Technology.
Technology, as a Greek word, is defined as, “the application of knowledge practically, especially in a particular area”.Technology is a word used to portray or collectively describe the advancements, abilities, creations, undertakings, views, and knowledge of a singular group of persons: we as human-kind by the day.
Some basic parameters of the human condition as the size of the world population, life expectancy, education levels, material standards of living, and the nature of work, communication, healthcare, war, and the effects of human activities on the natural environment.Technological change in large part responsible for all these.
Our individual lives and aspects of society are also influenced by technology, It influenced in many direct and indirect ways, including governance, entertainment, human relationships, and our views on morality, mind, matter, and our own human nature.Technological development has provided human history with a kind of directionality.
1. Nigeria with reference to global technology advancements:
As per technology progress with reference to Nigeria, I am bewildered and concerned that Nigeria does not seem to be in a hurry with regards to their positions in the world’s technology ranking. Nigeria is far below the rest of the other countries of the world in technology acquisition. Yet, the other countries, especially the Americas, Europe and Asia seem to be on steroids in acquiring and adopting new technologies. However, in Nigeria, it does not seem to be any sense of urgency at all.
It is now commonly known that countries that have technological competence are more developed and economically competitive. They are at the higher pecking order of world development. Of course, there is a difference between using technologies invented and innovated by another country and actually being the inventing country.
It is more rewarding to be one of the key inventing and innovating countries of the world in technology. This is what I mean as technological competence. In other words, it is not the mere purchase and use of technologies invented from abroad.
2. What is there for Nigeria technologically?
Since the first and second industrial revolutions till date, Nigeria one of the African countries has been on the lower rung of the technology league table. Hence, Nigeria is the least developed country economically and so the weakest in power, for there is a positive correlation between having technology and economic development. European countries, supported heavily by technology, started the first and second industrial revolutions while the United State and Asia followed, through Japan.
The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries, a term coined by Jim O’Neil of Goldman Sachs, has awoken and is now also being reckoned with in the technology ecosystem. So we dare to ask: Whither Nigeria? Something must be done to correct the anomaly. Nigeria must wake up to the imperative of technology for our economic development.
There is a new economic grouping in the making, the MINT (Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey). The acronym was first coined by Fidelity, a Boston Assets management firm, but was also popularized by Jim O’ Neil. The MINT countries are being predicted to be the next set of emerging nations to be reckoned with in the world. We are glad that another African country, Nigeria, is among them.
However, it must be noted that their predicted positioning in the world’s country development league table is not a given. It may or may not be actualized. It is merely a prediction for now. For Nigeria, it is largely due to the potentialities of the country. It, therefore, may or may not prove to be the case. It depends largely on the leaders of Nigeria to see to it that this happens.
3. Nigeria to be a truly prototypical MINT (Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) Country.
For Nigeria to truly be a prototypical MINT country there has to be a national sense of urgency for economic development and technological development in the country. In South Korea, in the 1990s, the government, industry and academia collaborated to come up with an economic development strategy that had Information Technology at its heart, and they underpinned it all by saying that whatever they needed to do in order to grow economically and technologically, they needed to do so very quickly.
They thus recognized fully that in order to catch up, he who is behind needs to run even faster than he that is at the front, or he would be forever a laggard, a follower, a mimic or worse, the despised of the world.
To get to the level of technological competence of the rest of the world, Nigeria needs to run faster than they are running so far. This requires for our leaders to comprehend that reality and develop a sense of urgency for the development of technology and the economy. It needs to be done in such a comprehensive and holistic manner that all family members, construction workers, pupils at school, teachers, market women, and taxi drivers on the streets, among others, should be aware of the development imperatives and the reasons for the sense of urgency for development in the country.
The government of Nigeria should do this as if our collective lives depend on it, for the people are ready. The people are indeed ready, for they have acquired most of the necessary conditions for the leapfrogging of development. What is left is the sufficient condition that can be engendered by the leadership of the country. Are they ready for this? Or are they satisfied by the status quo?
The good news is that, at the level of the citizens, especially the youth, Nigeria is waking up rapidly. The youth are very much at home with technology. Many are very educated in science, engineering and technology. Nigerians in the Diaspora are highly competent in new technology. Many of them are making enormous names abroad especially in Information Technology.
In fact, the youth of Nigeria, especially those living in the cities, are now practically at the same level of interestedness and ability in the use of new technologies as are the youth of the rest of the world.
4. The major problems that have to do with access to some of those new technologies are:
1. This is because Nigeria is still one of the digitally deprived sections of the world. This can be seen in the percentage of Nigerians with access to new technologies. It is very low.
2. Many Nigerians, about 50 percent, still live in the villages, and even among the cities. Many are too poor to afford some of the new technologies.
3. However, the rate of adoption of the new technology products even in the villages and the ghettoes are staggering. Thus, I have no doubt that Nigeria is ready to adopt new technologies.
4. To figure out how to use technology in a way that doesn’t replace knowledge, education is needed, but it has to be reinforced.
5. Some teachers do not utilize the technology they’ve been given. They have been teaching for years and don’t want to incorporate something new into their time-tested lesson plans. Some schools are pushing instructors to incorporate technology into their syllabi and when it is poorly taught the technology is not used at the optimal level. Any teacher given high-tech programs and expected to teach it in the classroom deserves proper training, and sometimes it isn’t provided. But all hope is not lost.
6. There must be truth in the idea that technology can save education, but it may be problematic to treat all our educational issues with technology. “No difference in academic achievement between students who used the technology in their classrooms and youngsters who used other methods.”
5. The implications of these new technologies and trends?
Technological advancements are ubiquitous in society and clearly have implications for the provision of mental health services. But with any innovation comes ethical concerns, and the use of technology raises questions about confidentiality, professional boundaries, and competence.
Technology changes are all around us, and coming faster than ever. But no longer are we waiting and wondering how the latest digital technology innovations will change things; rather, we’re taking control and shaping technology to fit our needs, large and small.
Digital disruption has a new direction. We’re using technology to disrupt ourselves.
When you look at all the ills of the world today and how seemingly impracticable they are, you will be forgiven for saying that this is the worst of times. Yes in indeed, it can be for we are at cross-roads. We may indeed end up in the nightmare scene as that is the logical conclusion of where today is taking us. But it is also the best of times.
In fact, the world humans have never had it so good with regards to the numerous possibilities that are at its disposal in terms of how to better the world, our living standards, our joys and collective happiness and our comfort and securities.
In Nigeria, our problems of under-development insecurity, bad infrastructure, inept leadership, corruption, the impolite or discourteous way of reacting to one another, instead of as our brother’s keeper, point to a resigned future that is worse than a Hobbesian nightmare. Yet, today, Nigeria and Africa have never had it better in terms of our positive power to better our lives and develop Nigeria.
The rest of the world clearly sees Nigeria as the next frontier for rapid development, and a country that has been waking up to that reality.
© 2017 ODEWOYE FRANCIS SUNDAY