STI Policy Review: FG Inaugurates Task Team

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…Gives 2 weeks for report submission

The senior programme specialist, UNESCO regional office, Abuja, Dr. Lamine Sow presenting the evaluation report to the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu while the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mr. Edet Akpan observes.

The Federal Government has inaugurated a task team saddled with the responsibility of reviewing the 2012 Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy which it said had become obsolete.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who inaugurated the committee after receiving an evaluation of the Nigeria 2021 STI Policy performance document towards the final revision today (October 26) in Abuja, noted that the 10-year-old policy needed to be reviewed to reflect the current realities of the world.

“Many changes are taking place in the world. New technologies are emerging with great potential to influence the standard of living of our people. New knowledge in artificial intelligence, robotics, e-learning, advanced manufacturing, new materials, the exploitation and exploration of outer space and even our oceans etc., are of great interest to us. Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind. We are anxious to join the rest of the technologically developed countries of the world in harnessing and deploying science, technology and innovation to nation building. The revised STI policy must reflect this national goal,” he said.

Onu commended the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for working with the FMSTI in the policy performance evaluation, adding that the ministry places so much importance on the effective implementation of the STI policy and all the other policies that are associated with the science, technology and innovation ecosystem.

He maintained that this was important to help move our economy away from depending entirely on commodities; rather on knowledge that is innovation-driven. This way, we can generate enough jobs for our teeming youths, create wealth to expand and strengthen our economy, as well as fight and defeat extreme poverty in our dear nation.

The minister gave the team two weeks to do a thorough assessment of the evaluation report and a draft of the revised Nigeria STI Policy at the end of their work.

Earlier, the UNESCO director, Dakar regional office and Organisation of Islamic Corporation (OIC), Abuja regional office, Dr. Dimitri Sanga, congratulated the minister for securing approval for name change of Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, saying innovation is central to translating scientific and technologic knowledge into useful products, services and employment.

He added that the name change was a demonstration of the commitment of the Federal Government to tread the path of economic growth and global competitiveness. He assured that the UNESCO aligned with this stride.

Represented by the senior programme specialist, UNESCO regional office, Abuja, Dr. Lamine Sow, Sanga, pointed out that STI is recognized as a vital route to structural change, economic diversification, productivity growth, jobs and competitiveness; which all feature strongly among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The importance of STI cannot be overemphasized. However, for STI to be effective, it has to be nurtured and regulated via effective policies. UNESCO, to this end, trained 40 Nigerian STI officers, on ‘STI Policy Design and Review Processes, highlighting also the UNESCO GOSPIN platform’.  A main recommendation and follow-up activity of this training was to undertake an evaluation of Nigeria’s 2012 STI Policy performance towards the revision of the 2012 STI Policy,” he added.

Making a presentation on Nigeria’s 2012 STI Policy performance evaluation, the national professional officer, natural science sector, UNESCO regional office, Abuja, Dr. Enang Moma, said the objectives of the performance evaluation was to develop a policy performance analysis framework/evaluation protocol for the STI policy; evaluate the policy for effectiveness and efficiency in delivering the intended benefits at inception; document gains, failures and barriers to policy implementation and to incorporate lessons learnt into the upcoming review.

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