The Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has disclosed that science, technology and innovation in everyday life is key to achieving the nation’s developmental goals across all sectors of the economy.
Dr. Onu who disclosed this at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai second Faculty of Natural Sciences Annual Conference (FONSAC, 2021) with the Theme: “Catalyzing National Economic Recovery in Post- Covid 19 Era Through Innovative Research”, said the federal government is committed in promoting domestic and foreign investments, creation of employment and the circulation of national economy.
Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, represented by the Deputy Director, Sheda Science and Technology Complex (SHESTCO), Dr Andrew Iloh, was the Keynote Speaker and said the Executive Order Number five is a demonstration of the Federal government’s efforts to promote the application of science, technology and innovation within Nigeria affirming that it is a step towards achieving the nation’s developmental goal of improving all sectors of the economy, hoping that it will be faithfully and efficiently implemented by the Federal Government and all stakeholders.
He explained that the main objectives of the Executive Order Number five is to harness domestic talent and the development of indigenous capacity in science and engineering for the promotion of technological innovation needed to drive national competitiveness, productivity and economic activities which will invariably enhance the achievement of the nation’s development goals across all sectors of the economy.
Beyond recognizing the need to promote made-in-Nigeria goods and services the Order lays the foundation for the promotion of local expertise in the manufacturing value chain. Indeed, for any nation to grow and reach its full potential it must make judicious use of its human and material resources.
The Implementation of this Order is a welcome development and is bound to come with a number of implications on the economy of Nigeria.
The Minister said that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the National Science, Technology and Innovation roadmap aimed at using Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to catalyze Nigeria’s economic growth and competitiveness noting that President Buhari’s approval to rename the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to be the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, is a core policy for driving positive socio-economic outcomes through science, technology and innovation in all activities of the economy.
It could be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Presidential Executive Order Number five (For Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts, Science, Engineering and Technology) of 2018 on Monday, February 6, 2018 with a view to improving local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components.
In a brief remarks, the Honourable Commissioner, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Professor Abubakar Baba Aliyu commended the organisers of the Conference for taking the pains to invite the Honourable Minister to see for himself, the singular efforts of the State Government and the Management of the University in the Science and Technology sub-sector of the he economy.
The Commissioner who is the Chairman of the Occasion said science and technology cannot be wished away in global economy, adding that Niger State Government would not leave any stone unturned in the keying to the current technological innovations in the country.
Speaking, the Chief Host and Vice Chancellor, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Professor Abu Kasim Adamu stated that the University is a great citadel of learning with a global reputation for its teaching and its scholarship.
He stressed that the University’s researchers have also pushed back the frontiers of knowledge with several cutting-edge research output, adding that the University took a lead in Africa as it is the first to provide empirical seroprevalence data for COVID-19 at the height of the pandemic in June 2020, noting that the feat was acknowledged by several national and international agencies.
Professor Abu Kasim decried that Nigeria has continued to be faced with challenges of insecurity and economic recovery, acknowledging that it has provided an opportunity for world-class universities and other higher institutions of learning that are involved in knowledge creation and their researchers to confronts these challenges through innovative research.
The Vice Chancellor said that the conference provided a very unique opportunity for all because of its scope, noting that it has attracted researchers from all over Nigeria and other African countries; people with wide-ranging knowledge on the issue of innovative scientific research that can be commercialized to aid national economic recovery: from vulnerability to resilience, innovation and bloom.
He assured that IBB University, Lapai will continue to place a high value on faculty and student scholarship and involvement in research and creative activities that can be used to revitalize the economy in a post-COVID-19.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Dr. Mohammed Aliyu Paiko and the Coordinating Director of Research, Professor Nuhu Obaje gave a synopsis on research activities in the University and the number of Resaeach grants won so far, as well as the researchers involved.
Also in a welcome address, the Dean, Faculty of Natural Sceinces, Dr. Yahaya Aliyu Badeggi said the Faculty, through the Organizing Committee reflected very deeply before arriving at the theme of the conference.
He expressed gratitude to the University Management for its support and cooperation towards the hosting of the conference.
Earlier in a welcome address, the Chairman of the Conference Organizing Committee, Dr. Dickson Musa Achimugu said the conference is apt as the pandemic did not only truncate other arrangements, but also destabilized the global economy leading to recession in several countries.
He however said that the pandemic therefore informed this year’s theme for the conference, “Catalyzing National Economy in a Post COVID-19 Era Through Innovative Research”, appealing to participants to use the opportunity of the conference to network with one another.