The Federal Government has affirmed its commitment to use Science, Technology and Innovation to drive productivity in all sectors of Nigerian economy.
Bitrus Bako, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, made this known on Tuesday at the 16th meeting of the National Council on Science and Technology in Lafia.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme of the 2018 meeting is “Enhancing Nigeria’s Competitiveness in all Sectors of the Economy through Effective Development of Science, Technology and Innovation”.
Bako, in his opening address, said the decision was in line with the government policy thrust to move the economy of the nation from resource-based to a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy.
According to him, the decision is enshrined in the Economy Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020.
Bako said: “The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST), in line with the government desire, produced the National Science, Technology and Innovation Roadmap 2017-2030 as a catalyst for Nigeria’s economic growth and competitiveness.
“The NSTIR 2017-2030 is a step taken by this administration to move the country in a new direction and designed to catalyse effective implementation of programmes and projects in the country.
“It covers the realities of Nigeria’s current short-term economic development as contained in the ERGP 2017-2020.”
Bako also said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to create, through Science, Technology and Innovation, an enabling environment that would mobilise local investment and attract more foreign direct investment into the country.
According to him, it is also to empower Nigerians, both young and old, to participate actively in the management of the economy.
He said: “The present administration has recognised the use of Science, Technology and Innovation as well as effective participation of our young people, professionals and indigenous contractors and consultants as indispensable, if our dear country, Nigeria, is to become a truly great nation.”
The permanent secretary said ERGP Plan 2017-2020 recognised that Science and Technology would drive productivity and activity in all sectors of the economy, hence the importance placed on it.
He said: “Technology and Innovation have been recognised as occupying the central place for all economic activities in all sectors of the economy. This is a major achievement for our nation.
“What this means is that, there is now a significant change in the mental attitude that we have toward Science and Technology.
“People now recognise the central role of science and technology in the economic development of our country.”
Bako disclosed that Buhari signed the Presidential Executive Order 5 ‘For Planning and Execution of Projects.
He said it was also for the promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts, Science, Engineering and Technology’ to realise the objective of using Science, Technology and Innovation drive productivity.
Bako said that the move would redirect the country economy from its old, unsustainable path of being resource based to a new, sustainable and inclusive path of being knowledge- based economy driven by Innovation.
According to him, the Executive Order No. 5 is also meant to promote patriotism, love of country and economic nationalism as potent tool for a new social engineering of our country.
He expressed optimism that it would certainly trigger a silent revolution “in how we think as a people and how we regard science and technology as the missing link in our quest to become a truly great nation”.
In his remarks, Prof. Jonathan Ayuba, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Special Education, Science and Technology, lauded the council for choosing Nasarawa state to hold its 16th meeting, adding that the state “is a science friendly state”.
Ayuba said: “In the next couple of days, you will see the synergy between the Federal and the State, on how we try to use science and technology for the development of Nigeria.
“So, I wish you a deliberation that will be fruitful and move our nation forward.”