NIGERIA has been ranked 106 out of 140 in the latest Global Competitiveness Report which examined the technological readiness of various nations to deal with changing global circumstances.
According to science and technology minister Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, in the 2015/16 Global Competitiveness Report just published, Nigeria recorded a score of three out of seven. He added that the country ranked 106 out of 140 countries on technological readiness and recorded a score of 2.8 out of 7seven with a rank of 117 out of 140 countries on innovation.
Speaking at a policy dialogue with private sector organised by the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), Dr Onu said: “It is worth pointing out that 13 of the countries that ranked among the top 20 in the Global Competitive Index also ranked among the top 20 in the rankings of the technological readiness and innovation pillars. They are Switzerland, Singapore, United States of America, Germany, Netherlands, Japan, Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Luxembourg.
“When we look at the Mint countries of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey, apart from the fact that the other three are doing much better than us in competitiveness, they rank far above Nigeria in the rankings on technological readiness and innovation. We should aim to be the best for only the best is good enough for Nigeria and we can no longer continue to depend on others. “
According to Dr Onu, the time has come for Nigeria to be self-reliant and also be competitive enough for others to depend on the country at least in some areas. He added that this will nourish our national pride.
Dr Onu added: “Closing the development gap will depend on closing the existing investment gaps. While a target of 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) for research and development, is perceived as high by many governments, countries with strong and effective STI systems invest up to 3.5% of their GDP in research and development.