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Ensuring Good Governance through Historical Perspectives

Published April 5th, 2017

The new Webster's dictionary of the English Language (International Edition) defines history as a record of past events usually an interpretation of their course and an assessment of their importance. Historically, it is on record that countries like the United States of America (USA), Britain, Spain, France, India and Pakistan experienced civil wars at different times in their history, but they were able to harness scientific and technological discoveries achieved during their wars which led to unprecedented industrial revolution and establishment of military hardware in their respective countries after the wars.

Today, Nigeria is buying from the aforementioned countries and even South Africa which it helped to liberate from apartheid regime. The reason remains that Nigeria has failed to learn from history and leverage on the scientific and technological breakthroughs it realized during the civil war which lasted for two and half years. Little wonder George Santayana opined that those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it, and this has become a recurring decimal in Nigerian history.


For instance, during the civil war, our scientists and engineers were able to manufacture weapons, ammunitions and constructed runways in makeshift airports, build modular refineries which produced petrol, diesel, and kerosene, amongst many other scientific and technological feats. It is rather unfortunate that the then Federal Military Government failed to leverage on those positive scientific and technological innovations which were consequences of the war, to lift the country to a technologically advanced nation. And this would have saved the nation billions of dollars being spent in acquiring industrial weapons, ammunitions and hardwares from foreign countries.

The patriotic efforts of the defunct East Central State Government to create Project Development Agency (PRODA) by edit Number 11 of 1971 which had assembled great scientists, technicians and technologists at Emene Enugu, was not encouraged and supported by the then military government and so most of them left out of frustration. Nonetheless, it is gratifying to know that the Federal Government is now interested to partner with PRODA, to achieve its vision and mission. PRODA was charged with the functions of generating and crystallising industrialization by carrying out industrial research from laboratory stage to pilot-plant stage through consultancy services to government, industries and individuals. It is a cheering news to know that some of their products- PRODA Garri Production Plant, Soya bean Flour Processing Plant, Fish Feed Pounding Machines, Palm Processing Plant, Crushing Mill, Electrical Insulator, Centrifugal Water Pumps, Arc Welding Machines, Industrial Poultry Waste Dryer as well as PRODA Multipurpose Roasting Machine and Mechanical Knitting Machines.

It is also noteworthy that the Bank of Industry have approved Project Development Agency (PRODA), Enugu, as one of the technology centres to fabricate and provide equipment to beneficiaries of each 5 billion naira cottage agricultural processing fund. PRODA is now a research institute under National Service and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) at present under the Supervision of Federal Ministry of Science and Technology but still retains the acronym, PRODA. In addition, PRODA has other technologies such as equipment for producing pencils which when actually commercialized will make Nigeria the only country in Africa that produces pencils.

It is therefore necessary to commend the Federal Government for realising the historical importance of PRODA of the activities of PRODA towards the scientific and technological development of Nigeria

Indeed, Nigeria deserves leadership at all levels of government that must be pragmatic, proactive, articulate and humane in all its activities so that mistakes of the past will never be repeated, as the essence of government is the happiness and human development of the greater majority of the citizens.

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