From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
The Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh, has said that Nigeria must increase its investment in science and technology to be able to reverse the present foreign exchange rate.
The minister gave this charge at the flag-off of the North Central dialogue between government and stakeholders in the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) ecosystem on the establishment and implementation of the Technology and Innovation Centres for global competitiveness and productivity in Abuja, yesterday.
The minister, represented by the permanent secretary of the ministry, Monilola Udoh, stressed the need for industry and business-driven research and development activities to be fully integrated into providing solutions to the nation’s socio-economic activities and the stabilisation of the nation’s foreign exchange.
“Establishment and Implementation of these Technology and _ Innovation Centers will serve as Hubs for the Promotion of Technology Utilisation, Strengthening of Technology Management and Information Systems, the facilitation of Commercialisation and Global Competitiveness.
“These Hubs will bring together Government, Academia, Industry and Civil Society as unifying centres for constant dialogue on strategies for the promotion of Industry and Business Driven Research, Development and Innovation activities which will focus on Reverse Engineering, Innovativeness, Production, Value Addition and Commercialisation leading to Global competitiveness and ultimately sustainable Wealth Creation. It will also support the stabilisation of the nation’s foreign exchange,” he said
UNESCO, representative Dr Moma Enan said that the organisation is ready to collaborate with the ministry in some areas of STEM, and research, thereby, making one of the agencies of the Ministry a UNESCO capacity centre.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Niger State, Prof Abubakar Baba Aliyu, commended the ministry for its achievements in the area of STI, adding that Niger State is blessed with natural resources especially gold.