Tuesday, May 24, 2022

STI Expo 2022: PMB Presents Revised National STI Policy, Commissions TV Station

Expo Onu
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu (middle) flanked by other dignitaries presenting the new policy at the STI expo in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) has presented the Revised National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to Nigerians and also commissioned Nigeria’s first STI Television (STI tv@NG) at the ongoing 2022 STI exposition.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the sixth technology and innovation expo themed “Sustaining national economic growth through science, technology and innovation” today (March 14, 2022) in Abuja, Buhari, represented by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said the revised NSTIP will not only serve as a  principal document for the full diversification of the Nigerian economy but as a lasting legacy to both present and future generations of Nigerians for the promotion of a knowledge economy.

Buhari further said the STI television will be used for extensive advocacy to inculcate science, technology and innovation as part of everyday life in the country. 

Both projects launched/commissioned today aim to create jobs and wealth and increase the number of our youths and women that will be attracted to science, technology, and innovation activities. 

“We all know that no country has ever become great without science, technology and innovation. This thinking has proven to be correct from what we know about how STI has assisted the economy of developed countries of the world. It is for this reason that the National Science Technology and Innovation Policy of 2022, as approved by the Federal Executive Council, mandated the FMSTI to operate as a platform for collaboration among agencies of the Federal Government and state ministries on science, technology and innovation and as a service ministry of the Federal Government to interreact with all relevant agencies and organisations, synergise for the promotion of the application of science, technology and innovation results in all sectors of the Nigerian economy. 

“This includes the areas of industrial growth, meteorology, human capital development and several other segments of the economy. 

“This administration will continue to support the FMSTI annual expo to promote research, development and the global competitiveness of the country,” he said.

The president further pledged to continuously support the annual expo as a platform for bringing inventors, researchers, scientists, government, academia, private sector and many other stakeholders together to share ideas for research, development, innovation, and commercialisation of these results. 

Earlier in his welcome address, the Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi said that Nigeria can be classified amongst the most industrialised nations of the world in the nearest future if she scales up and upgrades her scientific innovations. 

He added that due to global economic and security malaise, the Federal Government has resolved to massively deploy indigenous technologies as a strategy to save the nation from these challenges.

Abdullahi further called on researchers to build on the innovations showcased at the expo until they achieve full commercialisation.

He appreciated President Buhari’s passion for Nigeria’s development and for allowing STI to gain a foothold in the drive towards socio-economic growth. 

“This decision is laudable and is exemplified by the recent approval by the Federal Executive Council of the revised STI policy which will propel Nigeria towards industrialisation,” he added.

In his goodwill message, the Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo called for stronger synergy between his ministry and the FMSTI.

He assured innovators of his ministry’s assistance towards the commercialisation of research results.

Similarly, the Senate Committee Chairman on Science, Technology and Innovation, Sen. Uche Ekwunife, urged the ministry and its agencies to develop appropriate policies for the overall socio-economic development of the nation.

Earlier, the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria/ECOWAS, Amb. Samuela Isopi, in her goodwill message, said Nigerian innovators can submit proposals for innovation grants through ‘Horizon Europe’.

She said STI development is core to the bilateral agreements between Nigeria and the European Union.

The expo also witnessed the presentation of awards and scholarships to the top three students who emerged winners of the ‘774 Young Nigerian Scientists’ competition from the 36 states of the Federation.

Maryam Olufunmilayo Ogunbayo (Pen Resource Academy, Gombe State) came first, Gbolahan Azeem Ayinde (African Church Grammar School, Ogun State) came second, while Uchendu Mmesomachukwu Judith (UNIBEN Demonstration Secondary School, Edo State), settled for third place.

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