The federal government has moved to update the 0.5 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) earmarked for enhancing Research and Development (R&D) to accelerate Nigeria’s drive towards industrialization through Science. Innovation Technology (STI).
President Muhammadu Buhari revealed this in his speech declaring open the seventh edition of the Science, Technology and Innovation Exhibition (Expo 2023), which kicked off in Abuja on Monday with the theme “Update on effective diversification of the Nigerian economy through of science, technology and innovation”. (STI)”.
The 5-day expo aims to highlight the capabilities of Nigerian scientists, engineers, inventors/innovators to contribute to Nigeria’s economic diversification; Promote collaboration between research institutions, researchers/inventors and investors to facilitate the growth of indigenous manufacturing and marketing of Nigerian products.
It also aims to support technology transfer and accelerate the implementation of the National Science, Technology and Innovation Roadmap 2030.
President Buhari, who was represented by his Chief of Staff Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, said that the dedication of 0.5 percent of GDP to R&D and the increase in the budget allocation to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation They have shown the will of their administration decide to diversify and develop the Nigerian economy through STI.
President Buhari said, “I would like to inform you that we have made an effort to update this through our communication to the National Economic Council to find modalities to achieve this noble intention of the government.”
The president also said that his administration gave a special bonus to the STI sector for the use of local Nigerian materials and personnel, which is why he signed Executive Order Number 5, in February 2018 for the “Planning and execution of projects, promotion of Nigerian”. Contents in Contracts, Engineering Sciences and Technology”.
“It is on record that this Order not only empowered and supported scientists, but also empowered other professionals and encouraged inter-professional collaboration to build the capacities of Nigerians and create opportunities for all,” he added.
President Buhari pointed out that the inauguration of the Presidential Monitoring and Evaluation Council (PMEC) on October 14, 2021 and the establishment of the six Centers of Excellence in Technology and Innovation in the six geopolitical zones of the country by his administration was for encourage stakeholder dialogues to offer solutions for the country’s industrialization towards job creation and wealth generation to stop youth restlessness and social vices in the country.
The President also congratulated the winners of this year’s 774 Nigerian Young Scientist Presidential Awards (774-YONSPA) and praised their competitive spirit towards academic pursuit. He announced that candidates who placed first, second and third, respectively, in the recently concluded Presidential Award Competition for Nigerian Young Scientists 774 final examination, were awarded a full scholarship up to PhD level in any science-related discipline of your choice in any of Nigerian universities.
He also emphasized the role of the private sector in fostering innovation in Nigeria, adding that the government has partnered with them to invest directly, as well as universities and research institutions to carry out research that will lead to the commercialization of products. Nigerians to the world. markets.
The candidate who took the first position went home with 1 million, the second position went home with N750,000 while the third position received N500,000.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Adeleke Mamora said in her speech that the expo is an effort to “set the country on the path of economic greatness” and pave the way for economic diversification geared towards “social economic development sustainable national”.
He noted that STI is the foundation and driving force for industrial leadership of nations and business entities, as well as global economic success, especially in the recovery period from COVID-19 disruptions.
The Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh, in his earlier remarks, said that the Ministry is committed to ensuring that STI is used to drive economic growth and development in Nigeria.
He added that the exhibition was aimed at fostering interactions between researchers, innovators and investors with a view to commercializing the research results, inventions and innovations of Nigerian tertiary institutions.