Title: The imperative of research and development in Nigeria: lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic

Authors: Morolake Bolaji; John O. Adeoti; Joshua Adeyemi Afolabi

Addresses: Innovation and Technology Policy Department, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), P.M.B. 5, UI Post Office, Oyo Road, Ojoo, Ibadan, Nigeria ' Innovation and Technology Policy Department, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), P.M.B. 5, UI Post Office, Oyo Road, Ojoo, Ibadan, Nigeria ' Innovation and Technology Policy Department, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), P.M.B. 5, UI Post Office, Oyo Road, Ojoo, Ibadan, Nigeria

Abstract: The advent of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threw the world into pandemonium as most countries were unprepared for its sudden outbreak. Industrialised countries swung into action by applying technology to monitor COVID-19 cases while accentuating research and development (R&D) activities to develop COVID-19 vaccines and drugs. However, Nigeria has not significantly contributed to global research efforts aimed at addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic. This paper applied a case study approach and situational analysis to examine the state of R&D in Nigeria relative to other economies. The paper goes on to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on Nigeria's health sector and the economy at large while emphasising the imperativeness of R&D in effectively handling future outbreaks and, thus, achieving economic and technological catch-up. This study revealed that Nigeria remains a laggard in R&D spending as well as R&D activities, particularly in the health sector as exposed by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. This further reinforces the imperative for Nigeria to significantly and urgently increase its R&D spending not only to combat subsequent health challenges but also to facilitate rapid structural transformation and economic development.

Keywords: COVID-19; economic development; health sector; Nigeria; research and development; R&D.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTLID.2021.10039527

International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 2021 Vol.13 No.2, pp.168 - 189

Received: 15 Jan 2021
Accepted: 20 Mar 2021

Published online: 20 Jul 2021 *

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