On services sector, the official said the two countries used training and technology acquisition as key innovation strategies to improve the quantity and quality of their proposition.
According to him, the findings of the research show that the Gross Domestic Products (GDPs)of the two countries were stalled in recent years.
The director said there were several reasons why GDP growth rates could be stalled but the most plausible in the case of both Nigeria and South Africa is what economists term “middle income trap”.
“This happens when a country grows rapidly and attains middle income status (according to World Bank classification) but is unable to grow beyond that status.
“Often, what drives the pre-middle-income growth is connected to specific advantages that the country has, for instance in the export market for primary commodities (in the case of Nigeria, crude oil, and in South Africa, gold).
“Due to local wage increases that accompany middle income status, the country tends to become less competitive in the export market and is, at the same time, unable to compete with more advanced countries in the market for finished goods.
“That is the story of Nigeria and South Africa.
“Currently, both countries grapple with poor domestic labour market conditions, evidenced by incessant wage increases, worker protests, large share of workforce in indecent employment, etc among other characteristic middle income trap problems,” he said.
Egbetokun said data from the research was drawn from the South Africa Business Innovation survey (2008) and the Nigerian Business Innovation Survey (2010)
“These are the latest available data. The surveys stopped since then because funding of the NEPAD African Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators Initiative (ASTII) stopped and each country needed to fund its own innovation surveys.
“Unfortunately, NACETEM did not receive funding for the surveys from the Nigerian government until in the 2018 budget year.
“We are now embarking on the data collection process for another round, but any analysis for now will have to rely on the old 2008-2010 data.
“For comparability, we chose 2010-2012 data for South Africa. Other years would have been too far apart between both countries,’’ the director said.
According to him, an innovation survey is normally conducted periodically (typically once every three years) to assess how the productive sector of an economy fares, particularly in relation to the creation and application of knowledge.
“These surveys are useful because they help to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the industrial sector in a country, with a view to designing appropriate policies and structures to initiate and sustain growth.
“Innovation surveys have been carried out in Europe, where they are commonly known as Community Innovation Surveys (CIS), since 1991/92.
“In 1996, South Africa was the first African country to implement an innovation survey.”
NAN reports that the recent research emerges from Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for joint research and training that NACETEM signed with CeSTII in 2017.