By Livinus Nnebedum
History has it that many inventions or discoveries had been made in the past across the world, most of them by persons from so called developed world such as America, Britain, Germany, Russia, France etc. Do we have any important inventions recorded in history that come from individuals native to Nigeria and African in general? If not, we are not making it, if we have them, they may be very few, probably not recorded in history. This is a big challenge to Nigerian and indeed African youths and future generations.
Our youths should now focus their God-given talent in discovering the unknown for future development of Nigeria as a country and Africa as a continent. Many of us now enjoy the use of telephones. Have we ever thought of who invented or discovered the phones not to talk of how to manufacture the phones? Attentions should be directed towards how to manufacture those things and make new inventions, giving the necessary logistics support from the government and providing an enabling environment.
Those inventions, were discovered by human beings, history had told us. We need to make our own history by discovering new things. It is a big challenge to our society. All should think towards this direction.
In the past, history had also told us that some important places and rivers were discovered by human beings. For instance source of River Niger which is at Guinea Highlands in West Africa was discovered by Mungo Park in about 1795 while Richard Lander discovered the mouth of River Niger where it enters the Atlantic ocean in Nigeria in about 1830. The sea route to India was discovered by Vasco Da Gama in about 1497. America was discovered by Christopher Columbus in about 1492 as history told us.
Aeroplane was invented by Orville and Wilbur Wright from America in 1903/1904. Motor cars were invented by Carl Benz from Germany in 1885. The Telephone which facilitates our communication today was invented by Alexander Graham Bell, a Scottishman in 1876. Cellular phone was invented by Dr. Martin Cooper from USA in 1973. We have to thank God who gives talent to those inventors. Today the popular use of radio, computers, TV, electricity and telephones to list but few, had quickened the pace of development and improved the general standard of living of the people across the world. We continue to remember that Electricity was invented by Michael Faraday in 1813 and Radio was invented by Marchese G. Marcon from German in 1895.
Computer was invented by Charles Babbage in 1832 from England. Television invented by John LogieBaird in 1926 from Scotland. Fastest computer was invented by Philip Emeagwali in 1989 from Nigeria. Computer software was invented by Bill Gates from USA in 1981. Helicopter was invented by Igor Sikorsky in 1939 from Russia.
The youths of today concentrate most of their efforts in watching films, using computers and phones in internet browsing. Let them think more of how to manufacture those computers, TV, phones etc. Repairing them is not enough, they should think of something bigger in order to become big and great. However, those aforementioned items have provided employment to many namely; computers, TV and phone repairers in Nigeria, road-side credit card traders, handset traders and so on. But a lot of challenges are facing the youths to invent and discover the unknown with God’s given talent and manufacture those things already discovered. By so doing they will create further employment for generations yet to come.
Today there is banking business in the streets, shops, markets etc outside the banking halls by means of POS. This is modern banking using computers. Wise talks says; “Beautiful ones are not yet born and Beautiful things are yet to come”. Let us bend down and tap our talents and help in advancement of our technology. Let us deviate from Consumption-oriented Economy and focus on Production-oriented Economy.
The effective use of God given talents and investing them in useful ventures will help to place the present society in rapid Economic growth. Youths should be creative, don’t wait for only white-collar jobs. There is need to search for alternatives self-employment and blue-collar jobs and make effective exploitation of God-given talents. Many Blue-collar jobs are available but the home work is the ability to accept them and work hard. The youths should be encouraged by the Government and Non-governmental Organizations (NGO’s) by providing smooth playing ground and facilities to enable youths settle down and tap their God-given talents.
What have you invented? It is a food for thought and challenge to all of us in Nigeria and Africa in general especially the youths who are the future developers of this world. It is time to take-off, no time is too late. Others have done it and many are still doing it. We can join the crusade and make it for historical records. It is not only to invent or discover the unknown but ensuring that all those inventions when achieved must be documented and put into historical records and Archives.
Livinus Nnebedum, Author and Public Affairs Analyst writes from Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze.