by Alabi Adewale Paul
Technology in Nigeria has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years. However, most of these advancements have happened in the space of artificial intelligence and the software industry, leaving the country in the dust when it comes to advanced machinery and hardware.
This lag is one of the reasons why Nigeria’s most important sectors; Primary, and secondary/manufacturing sectors are suffering, making us one of the poorest nations in the world.
There are varying reasons why Nigeria is such a technologically poor state and, chief of them is the cluelessness and lack of direction of its leaders. For instance, in the year 2016, the Minister for Science and Technology proclaimed with pride that the country was soon going to stop the importation of pencils.
At a point when other nations were already moving ideas around about bigger space explorations and the improvement of technology in sectors like health care, the Nigerian government’s biggest scientific achievement in the year was an ‘almost’ ban on the importation of foreign pencils.
The instance previously given, clearly shows the impunity and lackadaisical nature of the Nigerian government towards growth. The fact that the country is out of place technology-wise is why we continuously have hitches when we try to leverage on technology.
The yearly JAMB examination is an example of a system trying to forcibly fit into a poorly charted technological system hence the immense hitches they face every year since their migration to taking exams at computer centres.
Nigeria’s failure to provide technological structures unfortunately also means tech investors are lost and the few who try to come definitely have a lot hurdles to cross, hurdles that may not be out of the way anytime soon.
Hyundai Nigeria is one of the few who have braved the chaos in the Nigeria tech space to work on a technology based project. They are now the first company to assemble electric cars in the country. On Friday the 13th of November, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu unveiled the cars. The electric car, Hyundai KONA car, which is been assembled in Nigeria by Stallion Group, is 100 per cent electric and comes with zero emission, 482 kilometre driving range, and can be charged both at home and workplace.
This seems like an exciting project but an electric car in the present state of Nigeria seems out of place for various reasons. One of which is the epileptic power supply in the country.
These cars take up to 9 hours to get fully charged and with our unstable energy it means those who buy the vehicle will have to rely on generators. The second hurdle to cross will be the roads. Both bad roads and good road networks are a hindrance to the electric cars.
For instance, an electric car owner can spend up to 5 hours in a typical Lagos traffic and then have its battery drained out before it gets to its destination. How then does the owner get his/her vehicle home?
Electric cars are awesome as they help save the environment and also help reduce reliance on petroleum products, the Nigerian technology space just makes the whole idea like putting a square peg in a round hole. Only when Nigeria fixes its system, technological advancements will be stalled from fully blossoming.