share on:

The effect of the biblical command of dominating the earth is felt daily in our world of steady scientific breakthroughs. Science and technology have alleviated human suffering over the past century: in transportation, telecommunications, automobiles, airplanes, construction and other sectors. All these advances are made possible by the adherence to scientific research and the courage in industrial technology. Using result of scientific research in the academia, industries manipulate physical objects for human good. Industry and academia combine to birth technological advancements in the world.

industry and academia link
academia researching for results

Science is the “knowledge about the structure and behavior of the natural and physical world, based on facts that you can prove, for example by experiments”.[1] Technology is the “scientific knowledge used in practical ways in industry, for example in designing new machines.”[2] Technology is thus the application of scientific knowledge in the production of varieties of material and virtual products. The combination of different scientific knowledge from research institutions with raw materials, machines and fusion efforts in the industry brings about the multiplication of different scientific products in the world.


The relationship between industry and academia is similar to the relationship between the male and female reproductive systems. The male system produces semen that contains potent sperms. The healthy female reproductive system accommodates the semen, fertilizes some of the sperm with healthy eggs and supports the embryo till it becomes a matured baby.[3] As a potent male requires a healthy female system to accommodate and fertilize his sperm, so do scientific researchers require good industries to actualize and multiply the result of their research. And as a healthy female organ requires viable semen from a male system, so do industries require good research results to flourish and be more productive.


Every year, several million students graduate from different tertiary institutions in Nigeria.[4] The former Minister for Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, reporting her finding from the National Bureau of Statistics said that no fewer than 1.8 million graduates in the country move into the labour market every year.[5] Many engineering and pharmacy students graduate with excellent grades and wonderful ideas. Yet the manufacturing industries in Nigeria do not employ these graduates, and can hardly boast of any real production. However, these same unproductive engineering graduates in Nigeria become very productive when they travel to the Western countries.[6] They fit in easily and record series of achievements that almost threaten the records of Western students.[7] This situation raises several questions on the bane of Nigeria’s productivity, whether it is from the academia, the industry or their mode of intercourse towards birthing a productive nation.


The fact that many Nigerian students flourish in industrial activities when they live outside Nigeria is an indication that the problem of unproductivity is not mainly a problem of academic impotence.

Chris Woodford outlines five conditions for industrial productivity in a nation

* Available labour force: capable and trained population, who are willing to work and learn

* A source of investment fund: for research and establishment of industries

* Access to technology: large-scale technical education

* Access to raw materials: both local and foreign raw materials for production

* Available markets for finished products[8]


The second and fourth conditions are neglected in Nigeria. The level of funding for research in Nigeria is too insignificant to effect a change. There was no allocation for research institutions in the 2016 national budget[1][1] Channels Television. February 12, 2016, 2016 Budget: Scientists Lament Zero Allocation To Research Institutions.

The fourth condition of access to raw materials is denied to researchers and for industrialists by the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Act.


“All lands in which minerals have been found in Nigeria and any area covered by its territorial waters or constituency and the Exclusive Economic Zone shall, from the commencement of this Act be acquired by the Government of the Federation.[10]“No person shall search for or exploit mineral resources in Nigeria or divert or impound water for the purpose of mining except as provided in this Act.” [11] “The property in mineral resources shall pass from the Government to the person by whom the mineral resources are lawfully won, upon their recovery in accordance with this Act. ”[9]


Unfortunately, not many Nigerian bright researchers and industrialists have the political connection and money to win access to mineral resources. Instead, the Nigerian government send these resources to foreign countries in exchange for raw cash.


It is more of a problem of insufficient demand of academic research results from collapsing industries. Nigerian industries (without access to raw materials for primary production) make little demand on academic researchers, leading to the underutilization and neglect of research institutes in Nigeria.


Like we mentioned earlier, the relationship between academia (research institutions) and industry is similar to the relationship between a male reproductive system and a female reproductive system. A male requires a healthy female reproductive system to accommodate, fertilize and develop his sperm; and a female requires a healthy male reproductive system to donate healthy sperm. When a female reproductive system (industry) is not healthy, accommodating or supportive for fertilization and gestation, the continuous sperm injection by the male donor (researcher) will be a waste of time and energy.


The condition of industry in Nigeria which is denied of access to funds and raw materials could be likened to the condition of a female reproductive system without fallopian tube and ovum respectively. No matter the amount of research result (healthy or unhealthy sperm) injected into the industry (female reproductive system), it cannot fertilize nor develop the scientific idea.



[1] Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, New 8th Edition, International Student’s Edition

[2] Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, New 8th Edition, International Student’s Edition

[3] Cf. Kim Ann Zimmermann, Reproductive System: Facts, Functions & Diseases, in LIvescience journal, March 11, 2016 06:54pm ET.

[4] Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, 1.8 million Nigerians enter job market yearly, published in Premium times on April 1, 2014

1.8 million Nigerians enter job market yearly, says Okonjo-Iweala

[5] Ibid

[6] David Oni, Why Nigerian students excel abroad, published in Vanguard newspaper On March 21, 201312:16 Am


[7] Ibid.

[8] Cf. Chris Woodford, op cit

[9] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 1

[10] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 2

[11] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 2, paragraph 1

[12] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 3