When stakeholders came together to reflect on the way forward for Nigeria’s science, technology and innovative growth – The Sun Nigeria
By Vivian Onyebukwa
Around seventeen research and development institutes from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, entrepreneurs, investors and financial experts, gathered in Lagos, to foster effective collaboration among key stakeholders within the science, technology and innovation ecosystem that will drive significant inclusive development and growth in Nigeria.
It was a ministerial breakfast on the theme “Creating strategic partnerships between the science, technology and innovation community and Nigerian entrepreneurs”.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, said that with a series of research carried out by scientists in various fields, it is important to know where it stands. Nigeria. “Should Nigerians be mere consumers of the products of scientific research and innovation? No, we must be both producers and consumers of essential products of scientific research and innovation ”. He recalled that Nigeria in the past paid a very heavy price, the negative effect of which is still with the country when the ancestors stayed and did very little at a time when others sailed and explored the land. ocean and determined the boundaries of the country planet. “As leaders in various industries, it is important to remember that in both ancient and modern times, no nation has ever grown truly great without deploying science and technology in nation building. Therefore, for Nigeria to have a bright future when it comes to achieving good security, the provision of potable water to all Nigerians in addition to its use in agriculture and industry, accommodation of our people, dressing the old and young, obtaining sufficient medicines and the appropriate medical equipment for our health care, combating and overcoming illiteracy through mass and high-quality education, exploring outer space and oceans, etc., we need to deploy science and technology effectively ”.
He called on all Nigerian entrepreneurs and investors to turn in on themselves and grow their businesses by helping to turn research results into products, goods and services, as they will earn more money as a result. He pledged that the FMSTI is willing, prepared and ready to provide whatever support is needed. “There is no doubt that if we can all work together, be patriotic, determined and dedicated, our dear nation Nigeria will one day rule the world.”
The president of the event, Pascal Dozie, said in his contribution that the potentials within the ecosystem of science, technology and innovation are enormous, but remain largely untapped. “At a workshop hosted by the World Economic Forum in South Africa, it was widely recognized that Nigeria is still struggling with its first industrial revolution while the global economy is already in stage four. The gap is huge, and the question is what should we do? Do we keep doing what we are doing, or is new thinking and a new framework needed ”
Dozie suggested that new thinking is needed and urgent. With over 25 million Nigerians unemployed, over 80 million classified as extremely poor and major economic development variables leading to the South, the importance of new thinking and a new framework for collaboration, especially in the ecosystem of science, technology and innovation, can not be overstated.
He described the meeting as the most timely and imperative, and made some recommendations that include replicating the breakfast in other parts of Nigeria to ensure wider outreach, participation and results.
The President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mansur Ahmed, called the meeting a very good initiative. “This kind of initiative is needed to bring the different stakeholders together, but we need to create an ecosystem that will support the transformation of research and development into a great product. And that takes a lot of different stakeholders and some innovation in how you bring them together ”.
Samuel Oghene, CEO of the Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency, one of the parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, was delighted to participate in the interaction between the ministry and innovators, and described it as the first of its kind. “Even though we had science, technology and innovation in Abuja, but it’s more unique and compact.”
Ayo Okuoni, CEO, Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the reason for the event, which is to come and show what innovations have come from the country’s scientific research, but the beauty of it , according to him, is also that the intrepreneurs who commercialize these research results were also present. “It is a very good initiative, that the research results do not end up only in the laboratories, the office or the shelf and that the greatest entrepreneurs who will come to commercialize these research results are present”.
Mathew Azoji, MD / CEO Nimeth Pharmaceutical Plc, the leading pharmaceutical and healthcare organization in Nigeria, commended Minister Ogbonnaya Onu for his initiative to ensure that research results from various institutions, government agencies are commercialized in benefit Nigerians, Africa and the world. “This is a very good development, so we would like to work with the government to make sure we are helping the Nigerians.”
Additionally, Agnes Asagbare, overseeing the DG / CEO, Federal Institute for Industrial Research, Osodi, Lagos, who was present at the event said:. Today we are able to showcase our technology which may have been on the shelves and no one knows. So we kind of expose FIIRO to those who want to invest in FIIRO, who want to learn to be entrepreneurs because we do weekly training ”.
Participants in the program included the Minister of State, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mohammed Abdullahi, and Edet Akpan, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.