Recently, the heads of the former Federal Ministry of Science and Technology initiated the name change by adding “Innovation” to it in order to advance indigenous technology to be competitive internationally, thus developing the Nigerian economy. BINTA SHAMA reports.
Man and technology
It is commonly said that since inception, man and technology have worked hand in hand to see how the world revolves around advanced science, technology and innovation (STI). It is no longer a novelty that innovation affects all aspects of the economy, education, health, banking, agriculture, communication, electricity, information, gas, l ‘engineering, safety, etc. It is with this fact that the Federal Government of Nigeria wisely fights for stakeholders to focus on all that is scientific as long as there is a positive vision attached to it.
Since taking office, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, alongside his colleague the Minister of State, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi is committed to enhancing and nurturing indigenous innovators and research in order to contribute to the nation’s development using science, technology and innovation (STI).
Dr Onu said the change would reposition the ministry to drive the innovation agenda and catalyze Nigeria’s economic growth. “The benefits of the name change and repositioning of the ministry will include irreversible indigenous industrialization, a platform for higher productivity, job creation and the generation of quality jobs in the economy, a significant level of poverty reduction. “
Work for scientific change
By declaring open on 19e National Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (NCSTI) with the theme: “Investment in research and development: a necessary tool to improve the Nigerian economy ”, the minister said that the federal government will continue to support the development of key and groundbreaking scientific innovations through policies and by ensuring the harmony of the research efforts of different research institutions.
According to him, efforts are being made to review the current science, technology and innovation (STI) policy in order to accommodate and meet the needs of the 21st century and offer solutions to the teeming challenges Nigeria faces today.
Nigeria, he said, is determined to be a major global player in space technology and that Nigeria is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to launch and develop space technology.
The annual council, which is the highest decision-making body on science policies in Nigeria, he added, will help accelerate economic development and give the country a global competitive advantage.
The UN added that research institutes and agencies under the ministry will continue to develop innovations to help the agricultural industry. He added that farmers would be able to get more crop yield and reduce post-harvest losses.
He stressed the need for the country to be self-sufficient, to sponsor indigenous goods and services, to encourage exports and to achieve a favorable trade balance. A good trade balance, he added, will improve the overall socio-economic situation of Nigerians.
Regarding the empowerment of young people, the boss of FMSTI urged young people to embark on the creation of new businesses, because all major industries today started as SMEs.
Earlier in a goodwill message, the Deputy Chair of the House Committee on Scientific and Research Institutions, the Hon. Jafaru Mohammed, said that more effort would be devoted to scientific innovations and appreciated the synergy between the scientific ecosystem in Nigeria.
On behalf of the diplomatic corps, the Ambassador of Venezuela to Nigeria, His Excellency David Nieves Velásquez Caraballo, said the development of STI in Nigeria is a positive development and pledged that his country will continue to work closely with Nigeria. for mutual benefit in many areas, including STIs.
Nigeria to provide real statistics on STI progress
While delivering his welcoming speech on the occasion of the 19e NCSTI meeting, Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation Lawyer Mohammed Abdullahi tasked scientists, researchers and innovators to stand up and provide verifiable statistics on the various progress made so far by Nigerians in STI
According to the minister, despite the gains made in recent years, Nigeria still remains low in the ranking of the Global Innovation Index, 2021, he added due to the lack of data activities in innovation space.
He further said that Nigerians have made giant strides in inventions and innovations, but they are not captured correctly as the data from relevant institutions does not respond to the challenges.
Lawyer Abdullahi further said that one of the main challenges facing the science, technology and innovation sector in developing countries like Nigeria is funding, and that the government needs to invest massively in R&D to stimulate industrialization and improve the living conditions of Nigerians.
In his goodwill message, the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwolu, who was represented by Mr. Hakeem Fahm, Commissioner for Science, Technology and Innovation of Lagos State, said that research and development funding must be supported in order to stimulate STI.
He further appreciated the leadership of the FMSTI in setting the standards and also the recognition that the nation must invest in research.
At a similar event to support the growth of technology in Nigeria, Barr. Abdullahi said Executive Decree 5 will contribute to the development of Indigenous FinTech Services (FINTECH), which will help reduce capital / intellectual flight and improve Nigeria’s socio-economic fortunes, when it received the President of the e-commerce industry leaders committee. , Mr. Adeyemi Atanda in his office recently.
The committee would be an advocacy group that contributes to the growth, stability and sustainability of Nigeria’s payment systems.
He said the ministry will support the development of financial systems in a transparent and inclusive manner.
Adding further that an elaborate and resilient policy framework would be developed to accommodate the development of FINTECH in Nigeria.
In response, the committee chair, Mr. Adeyemi Atanda, said the committee seeks to work closely together, share thoughts and seek ways to develop an inclusive roadmap on FINTECH development with the ministry.
He further stated that building capacity in the development of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by infusing aspects that will help young people to adopt FINTECH.
Seeking greater private sector collaboration in STI
Likewise, the President of the 19e Meeting of NCSTI, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr. Edet Sunday Akpan calls on the Organized Private Sectors (OPS) to explore ways of partnering with the various institutes and agencies research to market viable products and services for the benefit of nations.
The permanent secretary said the ministry is working tirelessly to reduce and eliminate the current high level of autonomous research efforts scattered across the country, especially those related to national priorities.
He said the council is a real platform to ensure that all relevant stakeholders in the STI sector are fully integrated and involved in the development and deployment of STI in solving national problems.
The Permanent Secretary further asserted that STI is the engine of socio-economic progress of any nation, adding that there is a need for closer collaboration between the three levels of government.
Material compiled by: Ms. Ademu Joséphine, Mr. Otuyemi Adetayo and Ms. Maryam Zakari from the FMSTI Press and Public Relations Unit.