Nigeria to focus on knowledge based economy

Jennifer Inah, Abuja.

Efforts are on-going to transform Nigeria from a resource based to a knowledge
based economy that will enable the country play an important role in global matters.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Ogbonnaya Onu, disclosed this while delivering a speech at the 15th Committee on Science and Technology, COMSTECH General Assembly Meeting held in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Mr Onu stated that the focus of the current efforts is to help diversify Nigeria’s economy so as to create jobs, elevate people out of poverty, as well as create wealth to further increase the nation’s Gross Domestic Product GDP.

According to the Minister, “the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology is making vigorous efforts to help achieve food security so that Nigeria can feed her citizens; provide energy security and regular and uninterrupted power supply, which will engender rapid industrialization and the use of locally made goods and services”.

The Minister noted that in the past one year, the Ministry of Science and Technology had intensified efforts in the commercialization of research findings by encouraging the protection of intellectual property through patents, adding that the ministry had strengthened the linkage between industry, universities and research institutes.

“Efforts are on to close all technology gaps that will help the economy grow in a sustainable manner and capable of absorbing shocks that may arise in future with any collapse of commodity prices,” he said.

Mr Onu added that research and innovation  is on-going in many areas including biotechnology, chemical technology, information technology, nanotechnology, renewable and efficient use of energy, protection and preservation of the environment, herbal and alternative medicine, and local raw materials utilization, nuclear research for peaceful purposes as well as space science and technology.

Earlier, the Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Countries OIC, Mr Iyad Madani, had identified the challenges in the Islamic world in the areas of health and poverty among others, stating that science and technology are the solutions to all these challenges.

He commended Nigeria on the eradication of polio and the pronouncement by the United Nations declaring Nigeria as polio free.

According to him, “there must be political will to make a great impact in science and technology and need to convert talks to action”.