10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Science and Technology in Nigeria
Advantages and Disadvantages of Science and Technology in Nigeria
Here in this post, we are going to list out and discuss 10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Science and Technology in Nigeria. We hope you find this article educating.
Science and Technology have impacted and left an indelible mark on humanity for all time. A cursory look around reveals the truth of this statement. But then what exactly is Science and what indeed is Technology? These questions beg for an answer.
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Science is the compendium of knowledge about a wide array, nay an infinite number of subjects, organized and put together in a way that is chronological, systematic and sequential such that it is easily understood, assimilated and retained for future reference.
Technology, on the other hand, is the bringing to bear upon (or application) of knowledge accumulated through scientific study for achieving realistic, attainable goals and objectives which results in added value to human life.
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10 Advantages of Science and Technology
1. Growth in the Nigerian Entertainment Industry
The impact made by Science and Technology cannot be overstated enough. A classic example is the Nigerian entertainment industry: NOLLYWOOD.
Prior to the advent of science and technology into the Nigerian space, the entertainment industry was in its infancy or practically non-existent. Shows were limited to television especially national television, whose main anchor entity was the NTA.
Viewers were limited to dramas, playlets and local programmes which had limited coverage. Fast forward to the emergence of science and technology, the entire landscape has undergone terrific changes.
Viewers are now inundated with a breathtaking array of films, talk shows, radio shows, TV shows, games and music to name but a few.
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The entertainment industry in Nigeria through Nollywood has been projected beyond her shores via the airwaves of Digital Satellite Technology thereby extending the industry’s reach, bringing increased awareness which in turn has generated massive patronage leading to awesome financial returns.
2. Increased Financial Services and Banking Industry Applications
Prior to the application of science and technology, the financial/banking industry was analogue in nature. Customers were compelled to wait endless hours on queue while thick unwieldy paper ledgers were examined for customer account information.
Today the story has changed, the industry has gone digital. Customer bank account details are kept online, safely stored on vast banking servers which are networked over a wide area.
Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) have largely replaced human manual cash dispensers called (tellers). The machines have the edge over human operators in terms of speed, accuracy and are error free in dispensing currency notes.
Today from the comfort of your home via your mobile you can make or receive payment nationally, regionally and globally without setting foot in the banking hall; thus saving time, energy and cost in terms of transportation.
Numerous loan apps now exist, thereby eliminating human loan agents. Several million transactions take place daily, globally at the touch of a button.
3. The Birth, Growth, and Dominance of Online Trading: E-Commerce
It is a statement of fact that science and technology have revolutionized forever the way trade is being done across national, regional and continental boundaries.
Welcome to today’s world, a world of trading via cyberspace. Goods and services are sold on a per second basis without any physical contact whatsoever between individuals making the transactions.
This is the world of e-commerce. Negotiations are made, prices fixed, funds change hands, goods are shipped and services rendered remotely at the touch of a button on a mobile device, PDA, laptop or tablet. This impact of science and technology in this field explains the phenomenal success of giants like Amazon.
4. Availability of Advanced Medical Procedures and Services
Today the advances in medicine brought about by science and technology are now readily available in Nigeria. Advanced medical procedures, services, and equipment now dot the landscape of the medical industry in Nigeria.
Procedures and terms like neurosurgery, CT Scans, and CAT scans are now used in everyday language. Telemedicine has broken down physical barriers thereby transporting into Nigerian surgical theatres expertise, experience and the technological know-how from the 1st world of advanced developed countries to the 3rd world of underdeveloped countries.
More sick people are now being treated while lethal viruses and bacteria have been and are being eliminated via the application of advanced medical procedures, wonder drugs as well as proactive steps of highly trained medical personnel.
5. Increased Ease of Mobility
Nigeria’s citizens shuttle from one end of this vast nation to another on a daily basis thanks to science and technology.
Today high-speed intercity trains (e.g. the Kaduna-Abuja gauge), airplanes with jet engines and cars have changed the face of transportation.
A journey by road from Lagos to Maiduguri that may take the better portion of an entire day can now be done within an hour and a half at most by air. Thus travel and commuting time is drastically reduced which is an invaluable advantage for businessmen and women.
6. Transformation of the Agricultural Sector
The Agricultural Sector in Nigeria has undergone radical transformation thanks to science and technology. Pastoral and Crop farming in the past was carried out for decades largely based on local techniques driven and undergirded by the customs and traditions of the people involved.
However that is now a thing of the past, today with the introduction of modern equipment like the combined harvester and mechanized plow, vast hectares of arable land can now be plowed, a seed was sown and mature crops harvested in a matter of hours utilizing minimal human efforts.
Modern storage techniques, as well as pesticides that eliminate pests which hitherto have devastated harvested and stored crops as well as farm produce, have helped to boost yield in an unprecedented manner.
Diseases like rinderpest, foot and mouth disease as well as bird flu which plagued livestock and poultry have virtually been eliminated.
This has led to increased productivity, more efficient use of employee man hours thereby resulting in improved profits in the industry.
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7. Enhanced Capability in Crime Fighting and Counter-Terrorism
The world in which we live today is plagued by all manner of threats, both foreign and domestic. Chief among these is the surge in criminal activity as well as a huge spike in terrorism.
Science and technology have now made available the means to counter, reduce and almost totally eliminate these threats.
Advanced surveillance systems involving infra-red cameras, facial recognition software, vehicle license plate recognition now observe and capture events in real time as they occur thereby helping security forces deal proactively with a crime.
Aerial surveillance utilizing pilotless drone aircraft can survey vast open spaces of land, identify enemy movements, and if weaponized with offensive capabilities like missiles destroy such forces, these have helped to level the playing field.
8. Increased Cost Efficiency
Thanks to science and technology the manufacturing as well as the industrial sector now enjoy an unprecedented boom.
Technological innovation and improved marketing techniques have aided massive growth in the production of manufactured goods.
Thus goods are more numerous, and customers have a wider array of choices or selections to make. Competition between two or more companies results in lower prices in a bid to attract the customer, which in turn makes goods cheaper and more affordable. This culminates in increased cost efficiency.
9. The Birth, Growth, and Boom of Worldwide Communication Due to Internet and Mobile Technology
In this present dispensation science and technology has birthed, grown and brought about a surge in global communication in a hitherto unforeseen manner and on a scale that baffles human imagination.
In the past Nigerians had to depend on landlines that were largely inefficient and NITEL phone booths to make international calls.
However, today from the ease and comfort of your home, at the touch of a button you can now call anyone, anywhere in the world at any time for whatsoever reason.
Global communication is now a reality in Nigeria, and this has been made possible through complex GSM telecommunication networks which have made voice communication real, affordable and easy.
Many Nigerians now have mobile phones, and Internet access via numerous service providers have made social networks thrive, facilitated financial transactions across international borders and time zones, and enhanced learning as well as research with anyone, anywhere, at any time on the planet.
10. Increased Access to Global Information
Science and Technology in Nigeria no doubt has revolutionized the landscape from the way we used to know it. Access to the internet means access to almost worldwide knowledge in any field of endeavor known to humanity.
This access brings a wealth of information that staggers the imagination. In the field of education, this has resulted in enhanced research techniques and methods which have greatly simplified learning.
E-learning is growing at a rapidly increasing rate while online collaboration, hitherto impossible is taking place daily between tertiary institutions, research facilities, companies, and government establishments.
In the past knowledge doubled every couple of years or months, now knowledge is increasing at a pace that makes one dizzy even while trying to comprehend it.
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10 Disadvantages of Science and Technology
1. Environmental Degradation
Science and Technology also bring in its wake many undesirable effects. One major negative effect is environmental degradation.
Today activities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria by the oil industries have resulted in massive damage to the environment and upturned the natural ecological balance of the ecosystem.
Oil spillage has rendered farmlands useless for farming resulting in the death of soil organisms like the farmer’s friend the earthworm while large water bodies have been polluted leading to the destruction of aquatic life on a major scale.
The consequent result of this is that fishing activities from which locals in the riverine areas derive their income have all but being brought to a total halt.
In other instances, companies and industries in the Lagos and Ogun regions of Nigeria’s industrial belt pump industrial effluent into water bodies like the Lagoon thereby polluting fresh water sources.
In the not too distant past, there were substantiated reports of dumping of toxic waste materials by foreign companies on Nigerian shores in the South-South region notably Koko.
The landscape is littered with products made from non-biodegradable materials like polythene which does not degrade or decay, and which blocks water channels as well as drainage outlets resulting in flooding.
In addition to this, since virtually all technological devices require a power source to function, more devices lead to a surge in the consumption of electricity and the attendant fossil fuels which is used to generate electrical power.
2. The Rise and Surge in Cybercrime
The internet is a direct product of science and technology. No doubt the cyber world has facilitated the growth of the business.
However, it has led to an unprecedented rise in crime. Due to the anonymity of the internet, unscrupulous individuals and criminal organizations have taken advantage of this to wreak havoc on unsuspecting victims. Cyberbullying is on the rise whereby people and their property have been subjected to threats.
Other individuals have been targeted and become victims of online stalkers. Financial crime by criminal masterminds has been taken to unprecedented heights.
The media is awash with stories of financial fraud perpetrated by fraudsters on victims via their ATMs and bank accounts.
People have been subjected to identity theft and personal details like passwords have been hacked resulting in monumental financial loss.
Creative people use science and technology via the platform of the internet to express their artistic and intellectual gifts and capabilities.
This is done through a variety of ways and channels namely books, articles, poems, plays, movies, and music pieces to name just a few.
The downside of all this is that criminal minds now engage in intellectual property theft and piracy. This makes it extremely difficult for talented people to generate income from their work.
Since media in whatever form can be digitalized, it can be easily distributed across the internet. This process seems almost impossible to control thus robbing people of their legitimately earned income.
Such a negative trend will diminish artistic and creative output since talented people will be discouraged from churning out fresh material.
3. Increase in Terrorism Capabilities
It is sad to note that science and technology have also spawned more efficient and ruthless ways of destroying life and property.
The proliferation of light arms, heavy weapons and weapons of mass destruction are all due in no small way to the spread of technological expertise in these fields.
Consequently, merchants of terror have taken advantage of this to design, utilize, adapt and deploy such weapons which have led to massive loss of lives on a global scale.
Terrorists have engaged in cyber warfare, by targeting via online platforms, networks of nation-states as well as corporate entities with a view to disrupting or totally halting essential services like transportation, waste disposal, and water treatment systems. Unfortunately, technology has extended its reach.
4. Information Overload
Today’s world is driven by science and technology. Virtually every system known to humanity rides on a platform of information or data which drives it.
Herein then lies the danger: Information Overload. We are constantly bombarded with an unending stream of unwanted email (spam), unsolicited sales phone calls, text messages, and irritating ubiquitous advertising on a daily basis.
Humans today are constantly under pressure to process more and more of this growing information which comes with long hours and its associated health risks. The after effects of all these are undesirable.
5. Loss of privacy
The impact of science and technology in the area of privacy cannot be understated. Individual privacy is something that is prized greatly by the average man or woman on the street.
However, due to the need today for increased security systems to forestall, deter and deprive criminals of engaging in nefarious activities, there is a nationwide and even global call for 24 x7 surveillance.
Closed circuit television cameras have been and are being installed ubiquitously in parks, schools, homes, hospitals, companies and even places of worship.
Even in the cyber world, the government now has powers to track every single transaction that takes place on individual bank accounts of Nigerian citizens whether debit or credit in nature. This can be seen in a way as an invasion and loss of privacy.
6. Increased Addiction to Online Media
Social media is wonderful, fantastic and one of the rich gifts conferred on mankind by science and technology. Today people can chat and send messages privately or publicly to targeted individuals or corporate entities.
In fact, certain celebrities, business moguls and prominent religious leaders have followership that number in the thousands if not millions on a global scale.
Some individuals today spend hours upon multiplied hours engaged in chat rooms, trailing the latest fashion trends, following their favourite musical icons as they globe trot from one place to another.
This has resulted (when unchecked) in the loss of valuable man-hours at offices and even resulted in fatal accidents when such people engaged in some of these acts while driving.
7. Increased Vulnerability of Essential Services
Essential services like transportation (air, road, rail, and sea), hospital medical services, water treatment, power generation, telecommunications, and military defense systems have been enhanced and have had their capabilities extended by the onset of science and technology.
Mankind at the moment cannot survive, much less thrive without these providers. Virtually all these industrial sectors are tied to an automated online platform to increase accessibility from anywhere, boost efficiency and relieve human effort.
However, this very factor that enhances them makes them increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks. A single strike by a cyber-criminal can plunge the entire system into chaos.
Imagine what would happen if airline cyber systems are corrupted by a virus or a worm. The catastrophic end result would be plane crashes on a major scale with the attendant massive loss of human lives.
8. Decreased Human Value (Outsourcing and Downsizing)
Science and Technology have served to inadvertently decrease the value of human lives. In order to grow their profits at any cost, companies, corporate entities and global conglomerates have resorted to downsizing and outsourcing some of the positions rendered vacant by the downsizing exercise.
Furthermore, this, in turn, has led to a sharp decline in wages and working benefits (e.g. health insurance) as well as conditions of service.
Recent examples are the merger and acquisitions that took place on a massive scale in the banking industry leading to the loss of thousands of jobs.
Also, the outsourcing spree embarked upon by the telecom companies in the not too distant past swallowed up thousands of jobs.
Outsourcing and downsizing are only possible because technological means have been devised to either replace roles or perform tasks with little or no human intervention.
Read Also: 10 Problems of Science Education in Nigeria and Possible Solution
9. Increase in Unemployment Due to Automation
The rise in automation and automated tasks is a direct consequence of science and technology. In a bid to carry out tasks more efficiently, effortlessly and in the shortest time possible, mankind has devised means of automating jobs.
A typical example is the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) which has largely replaced human “teller” operators in receiving and dispensing cash.
Another example is the Autopilot facility in modern aircraft that dispenses with the need for human pilots except when landing and taking off.
Its capabilities have been extended because man has now designed pilotless drone aircraft that can take off and land without direct human intervention.
Such drones are now used in applications covering sectors like the military, commerce, door to door delivery, etc. Automation dispenses with the need for a large workforce thereby inadvertently leading to a rise in unemployment.
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