Development Of Any Country Hinges on Science, Technology, Innovation, Says STI Minister, Ikoh
By Charity Uwakwe
The Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Chief Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh says the development of any country strictly depended on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).
Chief Ikoh stated this in his goodwill message at the National Innovation Workshop held at International Confeerence Centre, Awka, Thursday, pointing out that
The STI Minister who represented the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, GCON, thanked Senator Dame Mrs.Uche Ekwunife for her passion and commitment to utilising Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) tools for socio-economic development of Nigeria im particular and Africa in general.
He described the workshop as a unique platform, pointing out that it would avail Nigeria the opportunity to re-appraise and rebrand the National Innovation Ecosystems with emphasis on Cleantech Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem (CIEE).
Ikoh hinted that, the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of STI was collaborating with UNIDO to set up a sustainable national framework for Cleantech Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Nigeria.
The message read in detail:
“As you are aware the Office of the Vice President has been championing the adoption of innovative technologies as key tools for accelerated socio-economic development of Nigeria. And that is why the Federal Government changed the name of our Ministry to Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (FMSTI). To underscore the importance of this workshop, the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is collaborating with UNIDO to set up a sustainable national framework for Cleantech Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Nigeria.”
Continuing, he added that, “This framework is being implemented through the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) which was recently launched at COP27 in Egypt on 10th November, 2022. Hence the organisation of workshops such as this in collaboration with State Government will accelerate the adoption of Cleantech Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem culture and consequently industrialization of Nigeria.
Describing the platform as an all important programme, the Ikoh maintained that “STI nowadays constitute the foundation and the driving force behind the industrial leadership of any nation and business entities as well as economic success on the global scale.
“It is well known that countries who have made significant progress towards sustainable economic development, owe their success to significant investments in STI, which ensure uninterrupted increase in productivity and the possibility of equitable and sustainable industrial development.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the Ministry long ago realized the need for STI in nation building rolled out several Policies and Projects towards building a strong knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy.
On the premise of the foregoing, it is noteworthy that the Muhammadu Buhari–led administration recently launched the revised Science, Technology and Innovation Policy. This is in a bid to create a lasting legacy of our administration. This National Policy, if properly implemented, has the power to completely transform the STI ecosystem. The Policy provides the appropriate channel for the fundamental re-orientation of Nigerians as well as a pathway for the socio-economic development that will usher Nigeria into its rightful place among the comity of nations.
“I must commend the Organizers of this workshop and also remind them that a National Research and Innovation Fund (NRIF) was set up by this Administration and it is expected to be funded by 1% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). When fully operational, the Fund (NRIF) will support extensive Science, Engineering, Technology, and Innovation (SETI) programs and offer a platform where any R&D project within the national priority areas of concentration can seek funding through a competitive process.
“The statutory Research and Development (R&D) Institutions, Higher Educational Institutions throughout the Federation, the Commercial and Industrial Community, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), among others, will all have access to the Fund. It is important to also note that the Fund would address the major issues affecting Nigeria’s socio-economic growth.
Speaking further, he said: “In addition, the fund would help the emergence of new knowledge and skills with a focus on their practical use in the creation of new and better products, equipment, processes, and services.7. As part of the Federal Government’s resolve to effectively deploy STI in the diversification of the nation’s economy, the current Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, at one of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Programmes held in March, 2021, declared that a minimum of 0.5% of the nation’s GDP would be allocated to research and innovation to guarantee continuous productivity and sustainable industrial development of Nigeria. This bold step by our Government is a starting point of the commitment of Nigeria to achieving the 1% target of GDP investment in R&D in line with the decision taken at the African Union’s Executive Council in 2006. This is a great achievement for Nigeria’s STI Ecosystem and currently, all the major stakeholders are collectively working out strategies for attaining the implementation of this 0.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) investment in R&D.
The Honorable Minister used the medium to reveal to the people some of the Federal Government’s Policies, Programmes and Projects to encourage innovation or that are innovation driven which include:
i. National Science Technology and Innovation Roadmap (2017-2030)This is 3-phased: short, medium and long terms. The critical component of the roadmap is its uniqueness in providing synergy among the research, industry and government;
ii. Presidential Executive Order No.5 “For Planning, Execution of Projects, Promotion Of Nigerian Content in Contracts, Science, Engineering and Technology”.
“This is to promote the use of STI in nation building and encourage Nigerian professionals to participate in Nigeria’s sustainable economic development;
iii. National Strategy for Competitiveness in Raw Materials and Product Development in NigeriaThis strategy was designed to provide a permanent framework to help the country overcome the burden of a mono product economy that was highly dependent on oil and gas.
iv. National Leather and Leather Products Policy. This is to encourage the leather products sector to contribute to Nigeria’s industrialization and economic diversification;
v. National Policy on Methanol Fuel Production Technology This is to stimulate the petroleum downstream sector, conserve the environment, create jobs and diversify the economy;
vi. National Biotechnology Policy This is to ensure that Nigeria becomes self-reliant in the development and application of biotechnology based products and services, ensure that Nigerians have access to and benefits from safe, ethical and profitable uses of biotechnology based products and services;
vii. Collaborations and NetworkingThe Federal Government, through its Technology Promotion initiative program has partnered with several countries to promote networking and linkages among Nigerian Research and Tertiary institutions;
viii. Knowledge for All CitizensFMSTI plans to create Centres of knowledge sharing for our teeming youth and adult population through the National Science and Technology Museum (NSTM). It is aimed at providing opportunity for all citizens, experience and understand certain basic scientific phenomena;ix. Youth Participation in STIIn 2016, the FMSTI commenced a process to encourage the youth in the 774 local government areas of the country to participate in Science and Technology program tagged “774 YOUNG NIGERIAN SCIENTISTS PRESIDENTIAL AWARD (774 YONSPA). The Federal Government is also in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Education, to strengthen Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education among the youth through Junior Engineers Technicians and Scientists (JETS) Platform;9. Also, Talented Young Scientists of Nigeria (TYSON), is a Programme of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology targeted to retain 1st Class graduates of Science/Engineering in the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), to harness their potentials toward contributing to national development through competitive Team study of identified national problems, and10. Other youth Innovation-driven Programmes of the Federal Government of Nigeria include: the Renewable Energy Technology Programme for Youth Corps members annually organized by the Energy Commission of Nigeria; Technology Entrepreneurship Programme of the Federal institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi and the National Board for Incubation; Leather Technology Programme of the Nigerian Institute of Leather Science and Technology, involving the production of Military booths by Nigerian youths; and Technology Management Programme of the National Board for Technology Management. These Programmes are aimed at securing a sustainable future hinged on Science, Technology and Innovation. 11. In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, the positive outcomes of this workshop would no doubt change our narrative of dependent nation to self-reliant one, and indeed promote innovation, invention, and reap the socio-economic benefits of all- inclusive economic growth and development for our dear country. 12. I wish to assure you all, that the Federal Government of Nigeria will continue to make efforts to advance STI in Nigeria.Thank you. God bless Nigeria.
The Director-General,State Services National headquartersP.M.B. 253AbujaRe:INTRODUCTION OF SECURITY DETAIL Above subject refers.While thanking you for the services rendered by the detail assigned to serve me; PROMISE N. EKWONYE (Chief Detai) as my security detail.
However, the aforementioned security detail’s services would no longer be required.
Thanking you for the services and accept the assurances of the honourable Minster as he considers having another detail redeployed to me.