The scientific productivity of six old Universities in Nigeria has been computed over the period 1970–79. The order of contribution is by University of Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello University, Universities of Ife, Nigeria, Lagos and Benin. While there is a real growth in Scientific research in Nigeria as a whole, some of the Universities have problems which have put their research efforts on a downward trend. A new order of Scientific contributions by the Universities appears to be emerging. Constant Scientific growth analysis will help the new bodies involved in formulating and coordinating Science policy in Nigeria.
In the pioneering study on the quantitation of science in the first generation Nigerian Universities between 1975–79 using the scientific indicator of publication count of publishing scientists derived from ISI database, the data showed a real growth in scientific output. The growth correlated well with Federal Government funding of the Universities and the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The decline and often erratic funding stemmed the rate of growth in most of the Universities. In spite of the modest growth recorded for the fastest growing science of Biochemistry, where nutrition was identified as the major front of research, high infant morality rate (an index of under-development) was unabated. Retrieval of information to aid prosecution of relevant research and lack of access to scientific information have resulted in intellectual isolation of Nigerian scientists and inapplicability of research findings. Apart from India, the pathetic state of scientific growth and relevance in Nigeria is typical of the Developing Countries (DC). The situation calls for awareness of the importance of science indicators in strengthening the coverage of third world science and for support of science in the DC. Refining of science indicators for suitability to measuring science in these countries is also advocated.