The Federal Government has inaugurated 139 members of the governing boards and councils of 12 agencies and institutes of the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (FMSTI).
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony today (October 14) in Abuja, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said the ministry is focused on being the best in Africa and at par with the best in the world.
The minister said that value addition would continue to be a goal of the Federal Government in reshaping and repositioning Nigeria as a technologically advanced nation.
Onu emphasised the need for national institutions to be made stronger, given that Nigeria’s institutions were ranked among the weakest in the world by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
He urged the newly appointed board members to contribute positively to the overall development of their respective agencies.
The policies, he said, will be developed through programmes, projects and activities which impact positively on the agencies’ respective mandates.
“Using the enormous power of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), our focus will be on the development of abundant natural resources, as well as the orderly exploitation of huge potentials of our people and business,” he said.
In his welcome address, the Minister of State for Science Technology and Innovation, Barrister Mohammed Abdullahi, said the newly appointed board members will aid the innovation agenda of the ministry.
Abdullahi also stated that President Muhammadu Buhari approved their appointments in line with the mandate of the agencies designed to strengthen the operational and institutional capacities in discharging their mandates.
He further called on the board members of the agencies to support the various policies put in place by the government to uplift a hundred million Nigerians out of poverty, adding that the STI’s policies will aid in transforming the country from resource to knowledge base economy.
The minister also urged the board and council members to acquaint themselves with the provision of all the existing operational policies of the ministry and other government policies guiding the conduct and functions of the officers.
Abdullahi was confident that their contributions and experiences will further provide strategies and ways for adequate investments in the Nigeria STI Sector to drive the diversification of the government.
He finally congratulated all the board members and wished them well in the discharge of their mandate, with renewed zeal and a sense of responsibility.
Earlier in a goodwill message, the Senate Committee Chairman on Science, Technology and Innovation, Sen. Uche Ekwunife, represented by Dr. Micha Umoh, a committee member, opined that more funding will boost research and innovation outputs. She called for newly appointed board members to develop strategies to reposition their agencies positively.
In response, the chairman, Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Alhaji Gambo Magaji, who spoke on behalf of all board members thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for finding them worthy to serve the country.
He also stated that their appointments are a challenge to them and assured both ministers of their availability to render their services to the nation.