The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that strategies to attain the implementation of 0.5 per cent (GDP) will promote creativity, innovation together with the attendant benefit of achieving national socio-economic development.
Onu said this at the consultative meeting on the provision of minimum of 0.5 per cent of GDP for funding Science, Technology and Innovation sectors in the country’ in Abuja.
Recently, the Federal Government declared at the 2021 edition of the annual STI expo, that 0.5 per cent of the country’s GDP will be channelled towards the development of STI to ensure continuous productivity and sustainability of the nation.
He stated that countries that have made giant strides in sustaining their economy invest heavily in STI sectors which have guaranteed their continuous growth, as well as sustained their industrial development.
According to him, the decision to increase the nation’s funding for STI was taken at the African Union’s executive council in 2006 to establish a target for all member states to allocate 1 per cent of the GDP investment in research and development. The meeting he added has offered the opportunity to work out strategies for attaining the implementation of 0.5 per cent of the GDP to STI sector.
Earlier the Minister of State, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi, said that STI and its integration in the socio-economic development process must be accorded the highest priority through adequate funding in the research and development sector.
He added that Nigeria must emulate countries like China, Singapore and other Asian countries, by taking decisive action in investing heavily in STI; this will put the nation on a path of viable and sustainable economic growth.
Abdullahi maintained that the government has resolved to allocate 0.5 per cent to the research and development sector to fully actualise her diversification agenda, as part of its effort to put the country on the pedestal of global competitiveness.
In her remarks, the Gombe State commissioner of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Aishatu Maigari, called for the inclusion of people who are not in the sector to be partakers of the increased funding for STI.
A statement by the ministry’s director of press, Afonja Ajibola, said commissioner for rural development and education and overseeing for STI, Katsina State, Engr. Mustapha Mahmud Kanti Bello, in his goodwill message, said the increased funding for STI is a welcome development that could unlock the economic potential in the country.