By Andy Esiet, Calabar
Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade, has declared that Nigeria is not yet truly independent as it depends too much on other countries.
A statement yesterday by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Christian Ita said Ayade at the Joint Action Congress of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) in Abuja, said this is so due to uncontrolled importation of foreign technology into the country as no nation is truly independent if it is technologically dependent on others .
At the ceremony organised to honour Nigerians who have contributed significantly towards the repositioning of the agency, the governor, who was a recipient of the ‘outstanding performance’ award, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving one per cent of the Federation Account for NASENI.
Data released recently by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) had said 90 per cent of technologies powering the Nigerian economy were imported.
Ayade lamented that without the development of local technology, “the independence of Nigeria in 1960 was a mere political independence. True independence is when Nigeria becomes self-reliant in technology and engineering and that’s why NASENI has come with the presidential approval for the agency to have her dues by what is provided by the constitution for them to have one per cent of the federation account.
“Once that is implemented, NASENI will be in a position to begin to start the real research in science and engineering to proffer solutions and innovate technologies that meet our needs. Time has come when indeed Africa and Nigeria cannot continue to depend on foreigners to tell us what to do. With this amount of sunlight we have got here, we do not need a white man to come here to tell us how we can trap this sun and convert it to electricity”.
He said, “in this hot climate, we do not need a foreigner to show us on how to make air-conditioners to be able to make the place colder. How long will we continue to depend on foreigners to continue to give us directions? We must stand strong as a nation because the entire continent depends on us. If Nigeria fails the entire Africa has failed.”
Speaking, Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the agency to collaborate with state governments for accelerated development in the area of technology.
Haruna stated that technology was key to national development’, adding that “the private sector has been brought on board for efficient results in commercialisation of locally made products.”