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Foster Economic Progress Through Quality Research, Innovation, FG Urges Academic Institutions

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FMCIDE Veritas
L-R: The Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani presenting the 2023 Innovation Challenge Award to the vice chancellor, Veritas University, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Ichoku.

The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, has emphasised the crucial role of academic institutions in driving Nigeria’s economic progress and prosperity through quality research and innovation. 

The minister, Dr. Bosun Tijani reiterated this stance during a meeting with the vice chancellor of Veritas University, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Ichoku and the management staff to celebrate the university’s outstanding performance in winning the 3rd edition of the annual Africa Telecommunication Union (ATU) Africa Innovation Challenge 2023.

The minister emphasised the direct correlation between the quality of academic institutions and the progress of a nation. He underscored the importance of research and development in national advancement, noting that no nation can thrive without sound academic institutions producing innovative solutions that add value to the economy. Bosun emphasised that continuous improvement and significant advancements can only be achieved through useful research and development, which academic institutions are entrusted to spearhead.

In his address, the minister highlighted the evolving landscape of education and the workforce, emphasising the need to groom learners into innovators capable of devising technical solutions for the country’s future development. He stressed the importance of fostering a workforce equipped to address unprecedented challenges such as border crises and security threats, citing the example of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bosun emphasised the necessity of nurturing individuals who can drive innovation for economic development, leveraging the nation’s abundant resources for the greater good of the populace.

The minister called upon Nigerian universities to prioritise the training of individuals capable of creating and implementing solutions to societal challenges. He urged academic institutions to focus not only on producing skilled individuals but also on cultivating innovators who can drive economic growth and transformation. Bosun emphasised the need for groundbreaking research that positions Nigeria as a leader in the African continent, emphasising the importance of collaboration between the private sector and academia in achieving this goal.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of a $20,000 cash award to Veritas University for its outstanding performance in the ATU 2023 Innovation Challenge in Nairobi, Kenya. In a statement by the ministry’s head of press and public relations, Kania Maliki Andeyaba, the minister commended Veritas University for its exemplary performance, lauding the institution as a model for others to emulate. The permanent secretary of the ministry, Engr. Faruk Yusuf Yabo also congratulated the vice-chancellor and the management for their honorable representation of the nation.

In his remarks, acknowledged the challenges of translating research into commercialised products and urged for greater collaboration between academic institutions, industrialists and investors to bridge this gap.

The Federal Government’s call for quality research and innovation underscores its commitment to driving economic progress and prosperity in Nigeria. Through strategic partnerships between academic institutions, the private sector and government agencies, Nigeria can harness its potential and emerge as a leader in innovation and economic development on the African continent.

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