Impact of science and technology on national security and development
By Osowe Oluwakemi
For a better explanation of this topic, it is better to defined security as it were, it is define as the totality of the measures, strategies, techniques and methods used by both professional law enforcement agents and public at large, to detect, prevent, suppress and eliminate all potentials and real sources of danger and risk internal or external natural or man made which threaten the collective interest of the citizens of a state.
In the light of this, sustainable development can also be better defined as the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the generation to meet their own needs.
From independence to date, one re-occurring challenges which has dominated the priority agenda of national security operation, has been the perceived or actual threat to national unity and territorial integrity.
As a result of this, the defence and promotion of national unity dominated social, political, education, security policy objectives and priorities. National security was conceived of, defined narrowly and synonymous with the maintenance of law and order and the defense of national unity.
This narrow definition provided the policy operational framework for all security and law enforcement agencies and organisations. Political metamorphosis and socio-economic challenges associated with a Federal Republican status including the search for national unity and democracy in a society with deep ethno- religious sentiments and wide range of on flit values and beliefs systems have combined to make the search for a more inclusive, comprehensive and functional national security framework an imperative.
Along side this search, has been the development and growing impact of science and technology in nurturing and sustaining democracy through effective national security framework.
However, security was conceptualized in terms of absence of threat to peace and stability by external forces or the absence of threat to the sovereign integrity of a country. Security was equated with the defense of a nation from external aggression and internal insurrection by the armed forces, intelligence organization and the police force
The emphasis is on the preservation of the state, nations and regimes from external enemies and their internal collaborators. This conception of security is narrow and militaristic. It focused primarily on the preservation territories, institutions and rulers rather than the protection of the citizens from the socio-economic derivation.
The modern approach to security and security threats is to broaden the concept to include protection from threats to life and means of livelihood, safety from bodily harm and freedom from fear and diseases, unemployment, violent conflict and human rights violation among others.
Therefore, the major indices of the level of internal security of any country are for the overwhelming majority of the population, the extent of economic well-being, the extent of political stability and the extent of social peace or harmony to mention a few.
The concept of national security was expanded to include international economics in the light of the security implication of the oil embargo of 1973. Global developments now suggest the need for another broadening definition of national security to include, source, environmental and demographic issues.
In other words, there has emerged, in recent times, complex combinations of multidimensional perspectives of national security includes, economic, healthcare, environmental, educational and human right issues. All these constitute real or potential threat to the achievement of a nation’s socio-economic, educational, health and developmental goals and objectives constitute insecurity.
It is important to note that, environmental degradation, over population and the collapse of educational and health institutions systems are the major root causes of the nation’s security challenges.
All these aforementioned factors and their different dynamic contexts define the character and dynamics of contemporary security challenges which invariably impact in the downward pull on economic performance and therefore on political stability.
It is also clear therefore that the maintenance of the rule of law and the defense of national unity are just upsets of a nation’s national security framework. The major aspects which also impact on national development are human safety, issues of ignorance, literacy, healthcare and food insecurities as well as the declining environmental resources and their mismanagement including galloping population growth.
In the past five years in Nigeria, there has been a wave of insecurity arising from the activities of Boko Haram in which public institutions have been bombed. The sect threatens not only the northern part of the country where the sect resides but also the existence of Nigeria as a nation.
Moreover, as soon as the present administration led by President Mohamadu Buhari took over the government at the federal level another group popularly called avengers and the activities of Fulani herdsmen became the order of the the day, as these two group unleashed mayhem in several parts of the country.
In this context, the role and impact of science and Technology seem to have focus on providing or solving problems of a multidimensional nature. Social and economic injustice when combined with food insecurity and ignorance constitute the core of contemporary national security challenges as these factors also impact on the quality of human well-being and national development.
Harnessing science and technology to meet the challenges of national security and development requires the medelling of agriculture, energy use and industrial production after nature’s example their re-invention. These systems must become circular rather than linear. Industry and manufacturing will need massive research in collaboration with the biotechnology, materials sciences and genetic engineering including solar technology.
Clearly, science and technology impact positively on national security and development. For such an impact to be effective and sustainable, there must be need for the country to institutionalize a culture of scientific and technological literacy among all major segments of the society particularly the youths including the northern Fulani herdsmen.
Osowe is a student of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo
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