By Nkechi Isaac The principal investigator of the Pod Borer Resistant (PBR) Cowpea project in Nigeria, Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), Zaria, Prof. Mahammad Ishiyaku, has said Nigeria can save over N16 billion annually on reduction of insecticide’ spray requirement on cowpea. Presenting a keynote address with the theme “Myths and scientific facts about GM crops: Case study of PBR cowpea project in Nigeria” during the North West zonal media familiarization tour and seminar on biosafety and biotechnology in Zaria, the university don said Nigeria would make so much economic benefits when the GM cowpea is commercialised. He said: “Economic benefits include reduction of insecticide spray requirement from 6-8 liter per hectare to 2-3 liter per hectare @ N1200.0 per liter = N5400.0 reduction in production cost per hectare planted with PBR cowpea, if of the 3 million hectares 1 million is planted to PBR cowpea the savings from cost of insecticide...
BY YAHYA SARKI,KEBBI Small scale farmers and other stakeholders of the agriculture sector in Kebbi have been warned on the dangers of climate change as it affects agricultural production which is the mainstay of the state. This indication was highlighted in Birnin Kebbi during a 1- day sensitization workshop organised for small scale farmers and stakeholders in agriculture by Oxfam, an international charity organisation working to eradicate poverty through agriculture and West Africa Network for Peace (WANEP), a regional organization working towards building relationships for peace in West Africa . During the presentation of a report carried out in some northern states of the country , Kebbi inclusive , small scale farmers especially women have been identified to be most vulnerable to climate fluctuations and extreme weather conditions because of their dependence largely on rainfall and seasonal agriculture . The implication the result said were increased hunger, poverty and even violent clashes . Titilope...
By Nkechi Isaac, Abuja - A team of experts from different African countries says only technological development holds the key to the much desired transformation in Africa. In a communiqué issued at the end of the Senior Expert Dialogue (SED) in Abuja with the theme “Science technology and innovation (STI) and the African transformation agenda: Making new technologies work for Africa’s transformation”, the group of experts maintained that Africa would not witness relative economic growth without the strong deployment of STI. While acknowledging the on-going effort to realise the African leaders’ commitments as expressed in Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA) 2024 and the African Union’s Agenda 2063, a long-term perspective plan to optimise the use of Africa’s resources for the benefit of all Africans, the experts said Africa must grow and sustain its growth using STI. “African leaders have at various fora and through several actions committed themselves to effect...
The minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, says the present administration will ensure that Nigeria saves up to N3 trillion through the adoption and usage of local contents within the next five years. Onu said this at the commissioning of N500 million data centre for the Nigerian Stock Exchange, yesterday, in Lagos. He said that the target could be achieved if the country could rely less on imported raw materials for manufacturing and productions. According to him, government has already passed three major initiatives through the Federal Executives Council which focuses on the implementation of the science, technology and innovation roadmap for 2017 to 2020. Onu said that the initiative could take a longer period but had decided to take up the three years medium- term to ensure that the roadmap was implemented with the life span of the present administration. The minister said that the second initiative was the national strategy...
BY ANAYO ONUKWUGHA Rivers State Governor, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike has expressed regret that the Federal Government is yet to give science and technology, the priority attention it deserve. Wike, who disclosed this when the national executive council of the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN), paid him a courtesy call at Government House, Port Harcourt, called for increased investments in science  and technology for the nation to experience rapid development. The governor stated that science teachers should be encouraged with necessary incentives to carry out their responsibilities of preparing Nigerian children for developmental roles. He said, "Nigeria cannot develop unless the nation invests in the teaching of science and mathematics at all levels. That is the way to go. We cannot talk of Development without science and mathematics. There must be the needed encouragement and incentives for teachers of mathematics." Wike, who commended STAN for their contributions to the development of science education over the last six decades,...
By Nkechi Isaac Maize (also known as ‘corn’ in some countries) is one of the most common and important food crops across Africa. It is widely eaten in various forms and more than 900 million Africans depend on maize every year because it is often cheaper than rice and wheat, two of the other most consumed cereals. A report released by the IITA estimates that about 800 million tons of maize is produced worldwide every year. According to the report, though the United States remains the world’s largest producer with 42 percent of all maize produced globally, Africa contributes significantly in this production with 6.5 percent of this volume which is still insufficient for local consumption. Nigeria remains Africa’s largest producer with nearly 8 million tons per annum. It is closely followed by South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. It was therefore a nightmare when Nigeria like the rest of Africa woke up to...
By Nkechi Isaac, Abuja The importance of science and technology development in the development of nations cannot be over-emphasised. Indeed, science and technology has been identified as the key driver for the national and socio-economic development of any nation because of its cross cutting impact. The utilisation of science in development cuts across every other sector that drives the national or socio-economic development of any nation. Countries like Korea, China, Germany and many others currently seen as some of the most developed in the world were able to attain rapid industrialisation riding on the wings of science and technology. The dip in the price of crude oil and its resultant catastrophic effect on the nation’s Gross Domestic Product has driven the Federal Government to explore other ways of boosting the nation’s economy. This development accounts for the interest in developing the science and technology roadmap to drive development in the sector...
BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN Kaduna State Government has commenced training for 13,000 Senior Secondary School teachers across the state on information and Communication Technology (ICT) under its secondary school e-learning project. Malam Idris Aliyu, Deputy Director Schools, in the state Ministry of Education, Science and Technology who made the disclosure at Kaduna ICT Hub, venue of the training, added that the move was part of government efforts to expose students and teachers to ICT, so as not to lag behind in the current ICT-driven world. He stressed that the training which commenced on Friday and ongoing was to get the teachers ready for the take-off of the Senior Secondary School e-learning project across the state in September this year. It would be recalled that the state government had earlier announced plans to distribute computer tablets to all senior secondary school students in the state under its e-learning project. To this end, Aliyu said that 10,000 tablets,...
By Nkechi Isaac with agency reports A non-governmental organisation, African Forests Forum , has urged African institutions to place a premium on private afforestation initiatives to restore the ecology. Speaking during the opening ceremony of a 5-day regional workshop on knowledge and experience sharing by public and private sector in Accra, Ghana, the AFF executive secretary, Prof. Godwin Kowero, said Africa stood a chance of profiting from tree plantation if private forestry was well-developed and strengthened. He said; “If the private sector is not strengthened or operating effectively, we would not make progress in the whole forestry sector. “Ghana, for instance, has progressively declined in size and quality of her forest resources. Total carbon stock dropped off from 564 million tonnes in 1970 to 380.9 million tonnes in 2010. The story is no different in other parts of the continent as African countries face difficult choices to support rational and optimal use of...
By Nkechi Isaac, Abuja Telecommunication and ICT industry has a very important role to play in today’s economy. Basically this industry is supporting other industries. In the age of information, the speed and convenience of information exchange decides the development of the economy. A vibrant telecommunications and ICT sector is required to drive and expand national production frontiers across all sectors of the economy. Nigeria’s telecommunication and ICT industry owns great potential. The liberalisation of communication in the telecommunications industry has already increased services enormously. Yet relatively low penetration of mobile subscription and the potential of data generated revenue suggest the potential for further medium term growth. By third quarter of 2016, it had contributes 4.4 percent of total GDP and was the second fastest growing sector in absolute terms. Having the biggest population and economy in Africa, Nigeria has more than 230 million GSM users and a total of 23 million...