The country’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, disclosed this during the closing ceremony of council session of the National Council on Science, Technology and Innovation in Abuja, Nigeria, with the theme: ‘Achieving Nigeria’s Competitiveness through Application of Science Technology and Innovation.’
He said that resolutions arrived at the various meetings and many of the policies initiated by the Federal ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and also approved by the Federal executive Council owe a lot to the resolution of the council meetings.
Onu explained that the National Science, Technology and Innovation Roadmap, 2017-2030, the National Strategy for Competitiveness in Raw material and Product Development, the Presidential Executive Order 5, the Methanol fuel Policy and Leather and Leather Products Policy have contributed in improving the global competitiveness ranking of Nigeria as recorded by the World Economic Forum.
He further said that , in 2019, the patents facilitated by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion NOTAP, an agency under the supervision of the the Ministry contributed over 65% of the total patents, generated in the country stressing that this is a clear indication of the contributions of the ministry to innovation in the country to enhance the speedy industrialization of the nation.
The Minister reiterated that work is ongoing on new Policies which draft copies will soon be presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval.
“All policies initiated by the federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation have made very significant contributions to National Development and has contributed in making the country’s economy to be a knowledge based and innovation driven economy as against the previous situation where the economy was almost dependent on commodities,” he added.
Dr. Onu further said that during the 2022 Science Expo ,President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned the Science Technology TV (STITV) to help in the advocacy of STI in the country.
According to him, the STI TV will bring Science, Technology and Innovation to every home such that all Nigerian will see it as a way of life.
He stressed on the need for all the States of the federation to take full advantage of the council meetings for planning the pathway for the development of their States.
“This council, must resolve to continuously promote the advocacy of STI in Nigeria”
“Am optimism that all aspects of the nation’s national life will be positively affected, through the effective deployment of STI, we will improve on the nation’s food security, employment generation, infrastructural development, poverty reduction and promotion of national security,” he emphasised.
“The Ministry is in a collaborative partnership programme – Horizon Europe for Nigeria, the new Africa initiative.”
This the Minister said is a new European Union framework programme for Research and Innovation running from 2021 to 2027.
“This programme, when fully implemented, will support Research and Innovation in all Institutions in Nigeria including both Public and Private.
“It will also involve the participation of Nigerian Scientists in the diaspora working with those at home in addition to European Scientists and Institutions,” he added.
In his remark, the Minister of State for Science Technology and Innovation, Barrister Mohammed Abdullahi, while commending the Council ecosystem, said the 2022 theme cannot be more apt at a better time than now, considering the efforts of the Ministry in national Development, Economic growth and global competitiveness through the development of home-grown innovation capacity and capability in order to minimizing over- dependence on foreign products in the country.
He said it is in Nigeria’s bid to transit from resource-based to a knowledge-based economy driven by innovation and therefore worthy of note that, value-addition to natural resources through the application of STI which is germane for a competitive economy and attainment of sustainable development.
According to him, the ability of Nigeria to compete and prosper depends to a significant extent, more on the deployment of technological capacities and innovations than on exploiting natural resources.
“Nigeria’s global competitiveness is expected to contribute to the job and wealth creation, improving the well-being and quality of life of our people through the production of goods and services and the promotion of the human qualities required for such production,” he said.
Earlier, the Governor of Kano State, North-west Nigeria, represented by his Deputy Governor Dr. Yusuf Gawuna, said that for any nation to attain Sustainable Development it must embrace, deploy and apply STI in an appropriate and efficient manner.
“Since the revolution of Science and Technology and the industrial revolution it has been observed that the world is owned by those who know Technology and not by those who buy Technology,” he said
Also speaking at the event the Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria Clara Pulido Escandell commended the Nigerian government for it giant strides in Science Technology and Innovation saying both countries have same similarities in culture therefore calls for more collaboration between Nigeria and Cuba.
She said her country is willing to provide expertise and assistance to Nigeria in the development of STI.
She used the opportunity to invite the Nigerian Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation for the Cuban Science and Technology fair coming up in October this Year in Cuba.
Science &Tech: Nigeria’s global Competitiveness ranking has improved-Minister