Nigeria has been battling insecurity especially in the north east for years now. It has been argued that if the nation’s science and technology sector was vibrant, the war on terrorism would have since been won.
No doubt, a vibrant science and technology sector will also help a nation to fight crime and make for easy apprehension of perpetrators of crime. It also provides key opportunities for reducing current and future risks even further through longer-term research and development activities.
According to the director of Northeastern Homeland Security program and lead faculty in the Criminal Justice Program. Dr Craig Gruber, crimes can be fought and won in a country through mapping. Geographic information systems, remote sensing, and data mapping applications are allowing law enforcers to make enormous leaps in criminal intelligence, crime analysis, emergency response, and policing. Gruber explained that mapping technologies use real-time information to assess where crimes are happening, according to what kinds of crimes they are. They can identify hot spots and patterns of activity, which lets them focus investigations and improve crime prevention, he said.
He explained that the use of smartphone apps has enabled people to use their phones to take pictures of criminal activity and to text anon bymous tips to police. This use of self-reporting will only increase as mobile apps are developed to facilitate it. He added that the use of Web Reporting, through computer has also helped a great deal in the fight against crime.
The nation needs to put into consideration the use of science and technology especially Information Communication Technology (ICT) in crime fighting as ignoring this means the increasing spread of crime and insecurity in the country would continue to exist or even escalate, resulting in anarchy, heightened lawlessness, increased poverty, loss of lives and human resources.
Speaking on the importance of science and technology, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu in a lecture on the role of science and technology in nation building at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna State, urged The Federal Government to take technology further by establishing defence industry.
In his words,” we must protect and secure our country. The most important assignment, indeed the primary responsibility of any administration is to secure lives and property. We can build roads paved with gold, we can build the most beautiful houses but whenever there is crisis or war, people run away from their houses and no vehicles are found on the roads as people run to bushes and shelters in order to protect themselves from bombs.
“No meaningful progress can be achieved when lives of citizens are seriously threatened. We can recollect the sad situation our dear country faced recently at the peak of the insurgency in the North East Zone when unknown flags were flown in local government headquarters in some states and the armed forces needed weapons to help fight and defeat the insurgents. Even with cash at hand, we could not buy weapons. If we had invested in science and technology and established our own defence industry, we would not have been confronted with that level of embarrassment.
“I am here to say to you that if we do what is right, this level of embarrassment will never occur again. This poses a challenge to the nation to as quickly as possible work hard and persevere until many of the technology gaps in the country are closed. There is no other option open to us,” he said. One cannot agree less.