A university don, Prof. Stephen Onah has urged the federal government to make policies or even enact laws that will compel industries and multi- national companies, as well as some government organisations to establish functional research and development departments or units to be able to utilise the needed expertise in mathematics and other similar disciplines.
Onah said if this is done, job opportunities would be higher and organisations would be less dependent on foreign expertise for their innovations and development needs.
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The Professor of Mathematics made this known while delivering his inaugural lecture entitled, “The Reality Show of Mathematics” at the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi (FUAM) in Benue State.
He said, “When we take a look at courses in the universities that are heavily subscribed to at the undergraduate level, it will be observed that mathematics is at the lower rung of the ladder.
“It has also been found that the most influencing factors for a choice of course at the university level are job prospects and opportunities.
“It is for this reason that I will re-echo my earlier calls that a situation where graduates of mathematics in Nigeria largely find favour in the classrooms must be reversed.”
He further stressed the need for the federal and state governments to invest hugely in education, especially at the university level as he noted that it was the only way the generation of intellectual promise for home- grown solutions to her peculiar problems can be guaranteed.
The university don maintained that if Nigeria must be relevant in the increasingly competitive and knowledgeable driven world, there was need to engage in dialogue that seeks to evaluate and elevate the status of the Scientific and technological enterprise within the universities and outside environments.