The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that Nigeria’s global competitiveness ranking has improved from being 124th of 140 countries by 2015/2016 to being 115th out of 140 countries by 2018/ 2019.
Onu made this statement during the opening session of the National Council on Science, Technology and Innovation in Abuja.
He said that resolutions made at the various meetings and policies initiated by the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (FMSTI) and approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) owe a lot to the resolution of the council meetings.
Onu added that the National Science, Technology & Innovation Roadmap 2017-2030, the National Strategy for Competitiveness in Raw Materials and Products’ Development, the Presidential Executive Order 5, the Methanol Fuel Policy and Leather and Leather Products Policy have contributed to improving the global competitiveness ranking of the nation as recorded by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The minister reiterated that work is ongoing on new policies and draft copies will soon be presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval.
He said that all policies initiated by the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation have made very significant contributions to national development and contribute to making the economy knowledge-based and innovation-driven, compared to previous situations where the economy was almost dependent on commodities.
Onu further said that during the 2022 Science Expo, President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned the Science Technology TV (STITV) to help in the advocacy.
The STI TV, he said, will bring science, technology and innovation to every home and all Nigerians will see STI as a way of life.
He stressed the need for all the states to take full advantage of the council meetings for planning the pathway for the development of their states.
Earlier in his address, the Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi, said Nigeria’s bid for transformation is germane for a competitive economy and attainment of sustainable development.
He said that the ability of Nigeria to compete and prosper depends on the significant development of technological capacities and innovations.
“Nigeria’s effort to improve its global competitiveness will contribute to the well-being and quality of life of people through the production of goods and services.”
He further stated that, through the policy strategy produced by the ministry in 2016, tagged ‘National Strategy for Competitiveness in Raw Materials and Products Development in Nigeria’, the country will help to minimise over-dependence on foreign products.
Abdullahi further said that the strategy for Nigeria’s competitiveness in raw materials and products development will undoubtedly help the government to focus and target appropriate items that could be produced in Nigeria.
The minister charged all stakeholders that the strategic document is recommended to all involved in enhancing Nigeria’s competitiveness in industrial production as a means of reducing our inherent high propensity for consumption of imported raw materials and products.
He further requested the National Assembly to appropriate adequate funds for research, development and innovation (RD&1) to move the nation forward technologically.
In his address, the governor of Kano, represented by the deputy governor, Dr. Yusuf Gawuna said that for any nation to attain sustainable development it must embrace, deploy and apply STI appropriately and efficiently.
He added that since the revolution of science and technology and the industrial revolution, it has been observed that the world is owned by those who know technology and not those who buy it.
Earlier, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami represented by the executive commissioner for stakeholders management, Nigerian Communication Commission, Barr. Adeleke Adewolu, said that global competitiveness through the application of STI is embedded in the strategic pillars of Nigeria’s digital economy for strength and strategy.
He also called on all stakeholders to work in harmony and focus on finding the underline technological infrastructures which will enhance Nigerian competitiveness through STI
The Sokoto State Commissioner, Ministry for Science Invention & Innovation Technology, Dr. Kulu Abubakar, said Nigeria’s competitiveness through STI is timely and highly welcome.
A statement by the ministry’s deputy director, press and public relations, Afonja Ajibola, said Abubakar congratulated both ministers who have been up and doing in ensuring that Nigeria matches with the developed world in STI.