Innovation is an aspect of study and research methodology that is very vital in every aspect for any developing or developed nation. BINTA SHAMA examines this report from the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
No stone is left unturned
The Minister of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu being the general overseer of science, technology and innovation in Nigeria has been very determined to foresee that this goal is achieved by all means. Striving to tie all loosed ends, the Minister has visited and taken tremendous steps in various areas of endeavors in health, engineering, to see that this dream is achieved.
Down memory lane
Participants, both from the Public and Private sector respectively, honored and cheered the event EXPO’ 2017 in April, hosted by the Minister. All states, ministries, research institutes, Universities, Polytechnics, innovators, and researchers including the informal sector and even investors and inventors from within and outside the country were fully represented and graced the momentous event last year.
Post Expo’ 2017
Sometime back in November 2017, the Minister charged Nigerian youths to embrace STI, taking fair advantage of the massive population as a major source of strength to facilitate the development of Nigeria in all fields of endeavour through Science, Technology and Innovations.
The Minister explained that Nigeria being the largest economy in Africa and having a concentration of world’s largest black people, Nigerian Youths must project the potentials of the country through knowledge-based economic and scientific endeavors. Observing the huge population of India and China, he said these countries became major industrial hubs with space and nuclear power in the world mostly because of their youngsters utilizing Science and Technology and this would bring opportunity for more employment in the country by implementing such method and that the incumbent government is focused and determined to encourage youths in the country to transform the standard of living.
Following events in December same year, the Minister called on private investors to invest in renewable energy sector so as to promote sustainable industrialization of the country.
“Renewable energy sector being a gold mine for any developed nation or society is targeted to provide electricity-for-all by the year 2030, which can only be realized with the participation of these private sectors”.
“The Federal government is committed to removing all obstacles that may want to hinder the utilization of renewable energy in Nigeria. In this wise, the government will initiate legislative and judicial framework that would enhance the utilization of the sector”, he stressed.
In support of the ideology of the Minister of Science and Technology, the Director-General and CEO, Energy Commission of Nigeria Professor. Eli Jidare Bala said the abundant biomass resources Nigeria is endowed with can be exploited and transformed into electricity to enhance electricity access from 60% to 75% by 2020 and to greater heights by 2030 in the country.
Expo’ 2017 achievements
The Minister recalled that the 2017 Expo exposed some inventions and innovations to Investors who assisted in commercializing some of the research products.
“I am happy to inform you that one of our research products has been the high-density nutrient biscuits produced by NASCO Food Ltd. Jos and is now available in the open Nigerian market for the use of both adults and children” Onu said.
Information reaching out from the Ministry says some inventions in the area of health care delivery have been taken over for commercialization by a competent pharmaceutical company, May and Baker. The finished product will be in the market in few months’ time. This shows that Nigerians should expect many more to be commercialized within a short period of time.
In the course to pursuing this dream and achieving the goal of a successful and better event, early this year, the Federal Government pledged to pursue policies and programmes that will help eradicate malaria and other terminal diseases in the country by involving the aspect of science and technology.
Prof. Chike Ogbonna of University of Jos who through the office of the Minister lamented that the ugly trend of the rate of malaria politics in Sub-Sahara region by pharmaceutical companies deliberately producing substandard drugs that are resistant to malaria in order to make money and exploit people, has affected our population, workforce and economy, using this means to call on Nigerians to start their own drugs production on malaria control.
In same vein, the President Mohammed Buhari challenged Nigerian Engineers and other professionals on infrastructural development which he described as a lunch pad for economic development.
“Nigerian Engineers should be in the vanguard of the scientific technological renaissance that the country is inaugurating through innovative policies with the aim to spearhead the development of the nation”.
The Minister said that the 2018 technology, innovation Expo is scheduled to hold from 5th -9th March, 2018 with the theme “fast-tracking sustainable development of Nigeria through science and Technology”.
He said the Expo is intended as part of its commitment to stimulate technological inventions, innovations as well as research and development products for the purpose of commercialization.
“The Expo is packaged to bring together researchers, inventors and innovators with the overall aim of bringing into focus the innovative capacity both in the research institutes, universities and industrial laboratories as well as in the informal sector of the economy”
According to The minister, theme of the Expo, “Science, Technology and Innovation for Nigeria’s Economic Diversification” was chosen to showcase the centrality of Science and Technology in industrialization. It underlined the importance of supporting local production towards “made-in –Nigeria” drive of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“The Ministry will continue to support research and innovation so as to promote competitiveness. Without the contribution of research and innovation; Nigeria cannot develop indigenous technology to support our industrialization”.
The permanent Secretary of the Ministry .Dr. Amina Shamaki urged researchers in the Ministry to double their effort in the quest to record more breakthroughs in science, technology and innovations in order to embolden the Minister to continue in the good work of popularizing the work of the STI sector