A Professor of Political Science, Oyegoke Lalude has advised Nigerian government to look inward into the economic advantages by making Information and Communications Technology a new oil.
Lalude made this advice on Thursday while delivering a lecture titled ” Rethinking North-South Relations: The Resource Perspective at the 2nd Inaugural lecture of the Fountain University, Osogbo.
The professor who maintained that ICT is gradually taking over oil globally charged federal government to redirect its focus in providing enabling environment for citizens to get access to ICT.
According to Lalude “There is need to make Information and Communications Technology gradually but consistently take over as “the new oil in the future, with a strong focus on the technique for processing information.
“This might also include application of statistical and mathematical methods to decision making through simulation of higher-order thinking which cannot but be the order of the day in a new technology age.
“In the ICT that is envisaged, there are large economic incentives, not only in the merger of the telephone network with the computer network system, but in such other services as video conferencing, distance learning and any other mode that transmits communication.
“With the ICT as “a new oil”, the sky will be a starting point for the youth, it cannot be the limit. An extension of this to artificial intelligence will not be a bad idea, adopting a strategy under which the computer or even a robot controlled by a computer, carry out tasks usually done by humans.
“This, without any doubt, will task the youth and ultimately give the needed hope in a new skill. It should therefore be one very important diversion from youthful nefarious activities in the Third World of today.”
Also, speaking on the lack of expertise in the refining of oil, Lalude said “In view of the fact that Nigeria has not been able to meet technical expertise in refining crude oil, the nation has ended up as both exporter and importer of oil; an abnormality and anomaly, to say the very least.
“Invariably, Nigeria has suffered from an unnecessary petroleum subsidy scandal, a terminology that would ordinarily not have surfaced if the nation had faced its obligation to the maintenance of refineries, and the building of new ones.”
He, however urged federal government to encourage more privatization of refineries, while at the same time resuscitating the four other refineries that have been neglected in the past.