Nigeria is poised to strengthen its position in the field of Innovation, Science Technology to joined the map of developed countries of the world.
This renewed vigour was in full display when the newly appointed minister of innovation, science and technology, Chief Uche Nnaji, said the ministry is poised to guide Nigeria into the knowledge-based new world economy with its foundation rooted in knowledge, innovation, science and technology.
The minister stated this while addressing the members of the management and staff of the ministry at the official handover note ceremony by the permanent secretary in Abuja, a statement issued by the deputy director, Press and Public Relations of the ministry said.
In his address titled: “New Approach and Expectations for the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology” the minister said his mission is to transform the fortunes of the country through critical activities of the ministry and its affiliated agencies.
Nnaji called for stronger collaboration between the ministry and its agencies which, according to him, will enhance unity, through effective communication and performance, the statement added.
He urged the managements and staff of the ministry and its agencies to work hard, for result oriented contributions to the prosperity of our great nation.
Earlier, the permanent secretary of the ministry, James Sule, welcomed the minister on behalf of the staff and management.
He described him as a philanthropic man that is ready to offer his wealth of experience to the ministry, by synergising with all the stakeholders in the sector in order to achieve the mandate set by Mr. President.
He also presented a handover note of the ministry to the minister so as to enable him know and understand the activities, achievements and challenges of the past administration, the statement said.
The minister’s quest for total scientific transformation of Nigeria was predicated on the ambitious move to implement the 2022 National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, which among other things aims to encourage private sector participation and government at all levels in the establishment and management of technology incubation centres and technology hubs.
The policy targets developing comprehensive and accessible databank of all commercialisable R&D results, inventions and innovations for ease of reference; conducting periodic monitoring and evaluation and establishing a feedback mechanism for technology transfer and diffusion processes; conducting periodic technology needs assessment (TNA) to determine technology gaps to inform priority settings and future actions with respect to planning and resource allocation.
The policy is also designed to promote local innovation, domestication and modification of imported technologies for local productions and to aid technological development; providing technical and expert support services and other incentives to transferees; encouraging local production of goods and services through the adoption of appropriate procurement and local content laws;support the establishment and strengthening of organisations; institutions and structures for effective coordination and management of STI activities within a virile National Innovation System (NIS).
Part of this ambitious policy is to alsosupport mechanisms to harness, promote, commercialise and diffuse locally developed technologies for the production of globally competitive goods and services that intensively utilise Nigeria’s raw materials.
Strengthening capacity building institutions within the military, paramilitary, public and private sectors of the economy;facilitating on-the-job standardised training for professionals and STI organisations and promoting academic-industry exchange programmes to enhance knowledge sharing are central to this policy.
While this vigour from the minister is a welcomed development, there is much work to do in terms of investment in various aspects of innovation,science technology especially in research and development. Nigeria has to make more resources available for this ambition to become reality.