The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2016 has ranked Nigeria 114th out of 128 countries globally surveyed and considered to be innovating and thinking ahead.The 423-page document obtained by The Guardian, yesterday, showed that about 19 countries including Mauritius, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, among others in Africa are investing in innovation and are far ahead of Nigeria.
Painfully, Nigeria is placed slightly above countries including Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Niger, Cameroun, Zambia, Togo and Guinea in terms of innovation.
The report, which claimed that Nigeria was performing below its level of development, said Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Uganda stand out for being innovation achievers at least four times in the past five years.
The GII puts Information and Communications Technology (ICT) access and use in Nigeria at 28.2 per cent and 18. 1 per cent respectively, with government's online service and e-participation put at 30.7 per cent and 33.3 per cent respectively, which it described as low.
Indeed, innovation is important at all stages of development; specifically, the creation and diffusion of technologies are important for economic growth and welfare across all economies. The implication of not innovating and developing means that the country may remain a dumping ground for all forms of technologies from other countries.
Experts have however, blamed the slow pace of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) growth in Nigeria on poor and non-implementation of policies that can drive growth with a charge on both ministers of Communications and Science and Technology, Adebayo Shittu and Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, respectively to match policies with actions so that the country can be at par with other developed nations.
"I don't see why we will have as a nation two important ministries, I mean Communications and Science and Technology and nothing developmental and innovating are happening," said Kehinde Aluko, a telecoms expert.
The report ranked Switzerland first in the world with 66.3 per cent level of innovation with an efficiency ratio of 0.94 per cent against world's 0.65 per cent. Sweden is second with 63.6 per cent and 0.86 per cent efficiency ratio; United Kingdom; United States of America; Finland ranked third, fourth and fifth with 61.93 per cent (0.83 per cent efficiency ratio); 61.40 per cent (0.79 per cent efficiency ratio) and 59.90 per cent (0.75 per cent efficiency ratio).
Nigeria, according to the GII, has an innovation index of 23.15 per cent and efficiency ratio of 0.57 per cent. Mauritius and South Africa, the two countries ranked highest in Africa have their GIIs put at 35.86 per cent (0.57 per cent efficiency ratio) and 35.85 per cent (0.55 per cent efficiency ratio) respectively.