Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Nigerian govt establishes 6 technology centres

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Henry Ikoh, Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, STI, said that the Federal Government is focusing on improving Nigeria’s competitive index in the global market.

The minister also said that the ministry had also established six technology centres across the country.

Mr Ikoh said this while declaring open the North Central Dialogue on the Establishment and Implementation of Technology and Innovation Centres for Global Competitiveness and Productivity in Abuja on Wednesday.

“Continuous improvement in global competitiveness index for Nigeria in the global market is an important task we must continue to pursue to enable our country command equitable share of export in the global market.’’

Represented by Monilola Udoh, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Ikoh said the technology and innovation centres established under the Executive Order No 5 were designed to serve as centres of excellence.

Mr Ikoh said the major objectives of the centres was to improve on the present understanding of the role of STI in the Socio-economic development of Nigeria.

He explained that the centres were also aimed at establishing a framework for consultation, sharing experience, information and practices as well as creating a conducive environment for interaction among the scientists.

“The centres will also serve as a medium for presentation and analysis of research findings and results for possible patenting and commercialization,’’ Ikoh said.

However, the minister expressed concern that over the years, the role of STI in the developmental agenda of the nation was not fully utilised.

He said the dwindling revenue base and hike in foreign exchange rate of the country called for serious concern and the need to look inwards at the active impact of STI in reversing this trend.

According to Mr Ikoh, President Muhammadu Buhari’s  administration will continue to support Science Technology and Innovation as a state policy for economic recovery and growth.

The minister said that more needed to be done in STI in Nigeria in order to achieve the desired goal.

Mr Ikoh expressed optimism that after the dialogue on the six zones, stakeholders would come up with a strategy to ensure that the centers would produce tech. giants and promote learning of new approaches, among others.

Dr Enang Moma, UNESCO’s regional office representative in Nigeria, said the dialogue was about improving Nigeria’s competitiveness in earning foreign exchange using STI.

Mr Moma said UNESCO was willing to assist Nigeria through the ministry to make STI more interesting and more practical.

She also mentioned other areas UNESCO had collaborated with the STI ministry such as helping the ministry revive the STI policy which revolves around competitiveness.

Ibiam Oguejiofo, the National Coordinator of the Strategy Task Office for Presidential Executive Order 5, said the only way Nigeria could grow from consumption to production country was through STI.

NAN

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