“The Trajectory In Business And R&D Are The Main Drivers Of Innovation” – Minister
Chief Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh, Minister of State for Science, Technology, and Innovation, stated on Wednesday that Nigeria’s declining income base and an increase in the foreign exchange rate are developments that warrant significant worry.
He contends that in order to buck the trend, Nigeria must make significant investments in research and technology.
At the beginning of the North-central meeting between the government and STI ecosystem stakeholders in Abuja, the minister expressed concern over the creation and execution of Technology and Innovation Centers for global competitiveness and productivity.
The minister was represented by Monilola Udoh, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, who emphasized the importance of fully integrating industry- and business-driven research and development activities in order to provide solutions for the country’s socioeconomic activities and the stabilization of the nation’s foreign exchange.
Explaining the theme, “achieving Nigeria’s competitiveness and improved foreign exchange earnings through science, technology and innovation.”
The minister lamented that, over time, the potential of STI in the country’s development plan had not been completely realized.
He claimed that by creating technology and innovation hubs in each of the six geopolitical zones, academics will be better able to collaborate and break down silos, which is essential for the government to produce the appropriate amount of research.
The minister stated: “The experience of COVID-19 in our economic transformation of many countries in the world including Nigeria is an example that indicates the importance of STI in Socio-Economic Development of a Nation and the need to make STI play important role in the socio-economic development of any Nation.
“Let me at this juncture state that more needs to be done in STI in our country to achieve our desired goal. There is a need to continue to improve on the Business, Industry and Service driven Research and development capacity and capability of the country. The trajectory in business and R&D are the main drivers of innovation including sound policies thereafter form good technological progress towards accelerating the goals of sustainability and shared prosperity,
“It is my strong belief that at the end of the dialogue in the Six Zones, the Stakeholders will be able to come up with a strategy that will ensure that the technology and innovation centres will produce tech giants, effectively encourage peer review of researchers and promote learning of new approaches to research through interaction”