Information and Communication Technology as Bedrock of the Nation

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FOREWORD This revised policy underlines the desired need for appropriate cutting-edge technologies that will propel the country through and beyond the 21st century. This vision policy is therefore designed to underpin the nation’s socio-economic progress and development. It emphasizes the need for a coherent, systematic and comprehensive approach to the determination of technological programmes and their implementation taking into account domestic productions in agriculture and rural development, food security, industrial manufacture, infrastructural services such as information and communications technology (ICT), space exploration and biotechnology. Three major technologies will dominate, at least, the first half of this century. These are:(i) (ii) (iii) Information and Communications Technology; Biotechnology; and Bio-resources Research and Development.

This policy recognizes the tremendous challenges and opportunities offered Nigerians by these three. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the bedrock for national survival and development in a rapidly changing global environment, and challenges us to devise bold and courageous initiatives to address a host of vital socio-economic issues such as reliable infrastructure, skilled human resources, open government and other essential issues of capacity building. It also recognizes that Biotechnology, especially genetic engineering provides the potential to make Life Sciences an engine of growth and business for the

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country.

This has led to the establishment of the National Biotechnology

Development Agency (NABDA). Nigeria is considered one of the richest countries in Bio-resources with its extensive biodiversity. The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology

recognizes this and is therefore collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Environment and other stakeholders in evolving an environmentally friendly planet. Since the declaration of the Lagos Plan of Action for Economic Development of Africa, the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology has initiated action in the fields of Satellite Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for the acquisition and generation of spatial and temporal resources, and environmental information. The policy therefore recognizes the daunting nature of the technical and financial challenges in this bold programme, and provides steps for a sustainable development through the establishment of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NARDSA). This policy equally emphasizes the recurring signals of a microelectronics revolution which is characterized by three major developments: (i) (ii) Miniaturization of electronic circuitry or chips; The very large scale integration (VLSI) of extremely complex circuitry on a single chip; and (iii) Microprocessors, which are VLSI systems performing specific functions. Programmes are already in place through Centres for Adaptation Technology (CAT) of the Ministry for development in fabrications of

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integrated circuits, application of software engineering and robotics for remote control, computer architecture and hardware devices. In Epidemiology and Public health, the policy recognizes contemporary progress made in molecular biology leading to new vaccines needing field trials and more specific diagnostic methods of great epidemiological value in the control of communicable diseases. The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology will sustain as well as consolidate these; while focusing on the global research towards the control and eradication of HIV/AIDS. The increasing cost of conventional energy generation and grid connection implies that it may no longer be feasible and cost effective to provide energy to remote and rural communities in the country through conventional energy sources. The Policy therefore addresses research

and development into alternative and renewable energy sources and their promotion. Suffice it to say therefore that...
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