Nigeria to invest more in science and technology-President Buhari

Timothy Choji and Ben Adam Shemang, Abuja

Nigeria is to give serious attention to science and technology, in order to take its rightful place among the leading economies of the world.

President Mohammadu Buhari disclosed this during a meeting of the National Research and Innovation Council, at the Presidential Villa Abuja.

He said the proper integration of science and technology into the nation’s socio economic development process would help Nigeria achieve its vision 20:20:20 target.

“As a nation, we will invest appropriately in science, technology and innovation, in order to guarantee our competitiveness both continentally and globally. Nigeria’s vision of becoming one of the twenty largest economies in the world by the year 20:20 is only attainable when science, technology and innovation are fully integrated into our nation’s socio economic development process,” President Buhari stated.

President Buhari also urged members of the Council to be committed as they use their wealth of experience to ensure that the tools of science and technology are adequately utilized for the development of the country.

“Our goal to secure our nation, grow our economy, create jobs and fight crime can best be achieved if we embrace science and technology. It is my fervent hope that our research and innovation output should be measured by number of Intellectual Property such as patents granted and not only by the number of articles published in scholarly journals,” the President noted.

Nobel Laureates

The President expressed optimism that Nigeria will produce Nobel laureates in the sciences, as he urged the Council to reposition science in all institutions of learning, so as to improve the lives of Nigerians.

“I ask for your commitment, hard-work and total support in this endeavour in order to justify the confidence reposed in you. The country looks forward to you to be the spearhead of our technological progress and achievements”, President Buhari charged the council.

Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said science and technology has a key role to play in achieving the goals of the Buhari led administration, which include security, improving the economy and employment generation.

“The main thrust of this administration is to secure the nation, grow our economy, create jobs and fight crime and science and technology has a very important role to play in achieving these goals,” Dr Onu said.

Inaugurated in February 2014, the National Research and Innovation Council has a mandate of coordinating and streamlining Nigeria’s research and development activities as well as fostering innovation.

The Council is comprised of the President of the country as Chairman, 15 ministers and two representatives of the organized private sector while the federal ministry of science and technology serves as the secretariat.

As directed by President Buhari, henceforth, the Council  will meet quarterly to take decisions and a technical advisory committee would be established,  to ensure the full implementation of its programmes.