I am a man of faith. The happenings, in and around Nigeria, most times put this faith to test. However, with a resilient faith like mine, it’s been tough but hardly have I ever given up on Nigeria. Albeit, there have been very few occasions that have caused the light of my faith to burn brighter, one such occasion happened yesterday.
As I was driving home from my lawn tennis practice, I happenstance tuned my radio to FM97.7 and there, online, was Dr. Umar Buba Bindir talking about his team’s work at and vision for the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP). Prior to that moment, I have never heard of the name Bindir but my interest was aroused in the program because of a faint familiarity that I have had with NOTAP. While growing up, we had as a tenant in our house a staff of NOTAP and I have always been curious as to why this office was set up and how it is expected to go about delivering on the vision of it’s founding fathers. Was this to be a Nigerian espionage office to “steal” technology from countries like Japan, South Korea, the USA etc?
The interview session with this great Nigerian was a pleasurable experience. Pleasurable in the way and manner this Fulani doctorate degree holder in Engineering went about with dissecting the issues around why Nigeria has remained undeveloped, on why technology has to be the bane of our development and the position of NOTAP in all these, especially with facilitating a coordinated development of such technology that is indigenous ti Nigeria. He was just brilliant, both in the display of his knowledge of what he and his team have to do as well as in his communication. He was not ignorant of the challenges his team has to face in getting to their eldorado however he believes that none of these is insurmountable.
In showcasing the progress his team had made so far, he mentioned the cooperation being received from Friesland in developing a Research & Development group within their Nigerian operation and facilitating the insemination of dairy technological knowledge fir Nigerian research fellows at Netherlands institutes. He pointed out progress with acquiring sperms from thoroughbred cows from Holland to be used on Nigerian cattle so as to, in years to cone, have a local dairy industry that could provide much needed cow milk for Friesland in Nigeria so as to put a stop to the decades long idea of milk importation into the country. Similar progress was mentioned with Indorama.
When the interview was rounded up by 8pm, I was yearning for more. Bindir has a brilliant mind and clearly understand what his vision of success is. He is a perfect definition of having a round peg in a round hole. How I wish we have many more minds like him holding different positions of repute in Nigeria. When he mentioned that he is a Fulani man, my mind could not disentangle itself from the present show of shame being canvassed by our northern governors blaming their incompetencies and inability to develop the region on not having enough share from the federally allocated revenues of Nigeria. Let’s consider this, if these governors will invest in education of such that has produced such a brilliant scholar like Bindir, will we be talking of Boko Haram and Almajeris in present day Nigeria? Would the story of the North not have been one of a big farming basin that supplies the whole nation with cost efficient farm produce and cause an economic turnaround in these states as a result of the income that would have accrued to these states from this venture?