The Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Chief Henry Ikoh, has said that science, technology and innovation will de deployed to strengthen financial, fiscal and monetary policies in Nigeria.
Ikoh said this at the opening ceremony of the southeast zonal dialogue between the government and stakeholders in the science, technology and innovation (STI) ecosystem for global competitiveness and productivity yesterday (October 13, 2022) in Enugu.
The minister stated that the world is moving to STI-based economy and went on to stress that any financial policy not STI-driven will fail.
He said that the dialogue was a key strategy for the full implementation of Presidential Executive Order NO.5, aimed at placing Nigerian service providers, farmers, manufacturers, youth, women and other national stakeholders at the centre of the Nigerian economy.
Ikoh pointed out that the dialogue is key to the establishment and implementation of the technology and innovation centres for global competitiveness. The dialogue, he added, will further serve as an avenue for the promotion of technology utilization and strengthening of technology management and information systems.
“As a result of this Executive Order NO.5, the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is charged [in section 5] with the responsibility of establishing technology and innovation centres to utilise and strengthen the technology management capability and information systems, within the respective geo-political zones to publicise and promote Nigeria’s drive towards productivity and global competitiveness at the zonal levels.”
A statement by the ministry’s deputy director of press and public relations, signed by Josephine Ademu, said Ikoh further explained that the dialogue seeks to establish a framework for consultation, sharing experience, information and practices as well creation of a conducive environment for interaction among scientists, researchers and inventors working on projects in different geopolitical zones of the country and internationally. Also, the centre will serve as a medium for the presentation and analysis of research findings and results for possible patenting and commercialisation.
He stated that Nigeria will achieve her economic diversification in line with the dialogue themed “Achieving Nigeria’s Competitiveness and Improved Foreign Exchange Earnings through Science, Technology and Innovation”.
The aim, he said, is to enable stakeholders to produce an effective and efficient national strategy document to support the monetary, fiscal and trade policies of government for a better and improved economy.
Ikoh stated that the dialogue and Presidential Executive Order NO.5 will ensure favourable repositioning of Nigeria’s socio-economic status in the comity of nations and called on Nigerians to support the implementation of Executive Order NO.5.
Earlier, the national coordinator of the Strategy Implementation Task Office for Presidential Executive Order NO.5, Engr. Ibiam Oguejiofor, reiterated the uttermost importance of STI to the socio-economic development of the country and the transformation from a consumption to a production-based economy. He further stated that the sensitisation across the six geopolitical zones is an opportunity for Nigeria to change her narrative, do things differently and achieve greater results.
Speaking, the chairman, Senate Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation, Sen. Uche Ekwunife, represented by the Enugu State Commissioner for Science and Technology Obi Kama, acknowledged the timing of the zonal dialogue as apt, as the country transits from a resource to a knowledge-based economy.
She urged the southeastern states to key into this opportunity for global competitiveness, productivity and sustainability.