The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has called for improved synergy among research institutes, educational institutes (universities, polytechnics) and the organised private sector in order to develop research findings into commercialized goods and services.
He made the call when he visited the Ekulu erosion site and Projects Development Institute (PRODA)Training School, Enugu State at the weekend.
Onu said the synergy would be supervised by the Federal Government that would also provide a sustainable and enabling environment for it to thrive, adding it would improve the overall socio-economic fortunes of Nigerians.
He hailed the level of work done at the erosion site and pledged that the project would be completed in no distant time, even as he charged the institute’s management to fulfill the mandate of converting their research findings into goods and services for Nigerians and the world.
The minister said PRODA must be involved in research and production which would lead to socio-economic boom when such research findings are converted to goods and services.
He also said government would provide enabling environment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grow into large enterprises and businesses, which in turn would employ more Nigerians and improve export earnings.
Earlier in his remarks, the overseeing director-general of PRODA, Dr. Fabian Okonkwo acknowledged the intervention of the minister through the Ecological Fund Office which arrested the erosion disaster from eating deep into the buildings of Ekulu workshop.
He pledged that the support of the staff and management of the institute would improve further in areas of inventions and innovations for greater productivity.
In a related development, the Federal Government assured PRODA management that proper investigation had been carried out on its disputed property with the Anambra State government, and that the said property belongs to the institute.
In a statement by the ministry’s head of press, Mrs. Josephine Ademu, Onu urged the management and staff of the institute to remain calm, as all rights of the property are vested by law on PRODA.
He further said that more discussions are ongoing between the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the state government, adding it would outline the benefits of PRODA being in charge of the property to the government.