Education Tech

The Science and Technology Landscape in Nigeria

The Science and Technology Landscape in Nigeria
Written by Robin Okwanma

Nigeria surely has a role to play in a future driven by, and benefitting from, global advancements in science and technology. Because clearly the all-round development of any nation in the modern age is strongly influenced by its investment in science and technology. The science and technology landscape in Nigeria not only powers the nation’s socio-economic growth. They are also tools to facilitate problem-solving, and overcoming the various challenges of our society.


And thankfully, the Nigerian government has recognized the importance of investing in scientific and technological research and innovation. It has taken strides to partner with various organizations and learning institutes to achieve this purpose. In this article, we will briefly explore the extent of the science and technology landscape in Nigeria. The impact of investments in science and technology, the challenges faced, and suggestions to enhance such investments, will be briefly discussed. 


An Examination of the Contributions of Science and Technology to Nigeria’s Development

In what ways have the science and technology landscape in Nigeria shaped the different sectors of the economy? A brief inquiry into the impact of science and technology on the different sectors of the economy are explained below. 


The healthcare sector is a big beneficiary of contributions from the science and technology landscape in Nigeria. A clear example is the deployment of medical support over the internet (otherwise called telemedicine), thanks to artificial intelligence. This initiative is particularly useful for providing better healthcare to patients in remote locations. Combined with the use of Electronic Healthcare Records (EHRs), there is now better coordination and management of patient healthcare. 

There are also various research centers (private, government, and international) alongside Nigerian learning institutions. They collaborate to ensure capacity building and knowledge transfer in Nigeria’s healthcare sector. These are in addition to medical research efforts which have produced better vaccines, drugs, and tools for the prevention and treatment of several diseases. 


Agriculture has always been a mainstay of Nigeria’s economy, as the primary source of food supply for the nation. For decades (particularly during the colonial era), much of Nigeria’s agricultural practices were based on traditional and manual methods. To an extent, manual agricultural practices still persist amongst poor rural farmers in Nigeria. However, the science and technology landscape in Nigeria has contributed to boosting the agriculture sector in significant ways. 

For instance, agricultural productivity in Nigeria has taken a leap forward with inputs such as introducing:

  • Pest-resistant and disease-resistant crops and animals
  • Higher-yielding and high-quality crop and animal varieties
  • Mechanized agriculture
  • Efficient irrigation systems 
  • Improved farming techniques
  • Advanced fertilizers (and high-quality manure)
  • Enriched feeds for livestock
  • High-quality veterinary services
  • Enhanced farm to market value chains

and much more. These developments have improved food supply and quality (in the absence of other challenges). They have also contributed towards poverty reduction, along with improving the well-being of rural farmers and communities. 


Science and technology education can empower Nigerian citizens with skills needed to cultivate problem-solving, innovation, and economic transformation. These are essential ingredients that contribute towards national development. Thus, both the government and private organizations are promoting the teaching of STEM courses in schools – from primary to tertiary levels. 

Dedicated science and technology learning institutions in Nigeria also offer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) courses. They include the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), and the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT) amongst others. It has given the opportunity for learners to acquire skills and embark on careers relating to technological innovation and scientific research. 


Industrial development would never have advanced in Nigeria without strong contributions from science and technology. Scientific research and technological innovation have boosted the infrastructure and performance, as well as reduce costs,  in every aspect of Nigeria’s industrial sector. Name it – oil and gas exploration; other extractive industries; renewable energy; telecommunications; manufacturing; ICT; and more. 

Industrial automation and robotics in the manufacturing industries, for example, contributes to quality control and higher productivity. Again, the telecommunications sector is a strong support system for every other aspect of Nigeria’s economy. It enhances better access to information, e-commerce, and interconnectivity in general. Yet again, the renewable energy sector offers a sustainable alternative to the inadequate energy supply challenges experienced at both domestic and industrial levels. 

Advancements in science and technology have also contributed massively to improvements in other key sectors of Nigeria’s economy. They include building construction, logistics, transportation, aviation, shipping, ICT, banking & finance, broadcasting, advertising, and other sectors.

Key Government Initiatives in Support of Science and Technology Development in Nigeria

The Nigerian government is fully aware of the need to promote programs that enhance technology and scientific research, innovation, and knowledge transfer. This is a crucial move to empower citizens, as well as organizations, to contribute to national development in positive ways. Thus, the government has initiated such programs and policies as the National Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (NSTIP) alongside STEM education. 

Furthermore, there are now more active collaborations and partnerships between the Nigerian government, research centers, learning institutions, and technology corporations (both local and global). These are avenues to promote knowledge transfer and improved capacity that can enhance efficiency and productivity throughout the nation’s economy. 


Challenges & Proposed Solutions to Improve Science and Technology Development in Nigeria

It appears that the science and technology landscape in Nigeria has seriously improved, and rightly so. However, there are yet serious challenges to overcome. Key problems include:

  • unstable and inadequate power supply
  • problematic transportation networks 
  • outdated curricula in schools
  • shortage of qualified STEM teachers 
  • inadequate infrastructure
  • closing the existing digital divide (between different social classes, genders, and rural-urban centers)
  • Inadequate funding for scientific research and development
  • mass migration of skilled Nigerian workers to other (rewarding) countries

Thus, it is important for all stakeholders (government, private, and international) to directly address the above issues. In particular, establishing public-private partnerships and collaborations to facilitate knowledge exchange and skill acquisition is very vital. 

Furthermore, there is need to encourage more Nigerian citizens to acquire digital skills. They also need to gain access to more affordable internet data and gadgets.  

It would be highly beneficial for the government to stimulate knowledge retention and technological development in the country with supporting policies and incentives. Such incentives should go into scientific research and development, as well as encouraging more skilled professionals to work in Nigeria. 



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About the author

Robin Okwanma

Hi, I'm Robin Okwanma. Software Engineer || Django, Python || React, React Native || Blogger. Technical Writer.

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