According to the Federal Government, the current fourth industrial revolution provides Nigeria with an opportunity to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of technological advancement and breakthroughs, and there is no need to be concerned about missing out on previous ones.
In his keynote address at the validation workshop on the Draft Revised 2022 National Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy on Thursday in Abuja, the Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said the government wants to get involved so that the country can continue to close the gap between Nigeria and the technologically developed countries of the world.
Onu asserted that emerging technologies such as advanced manufacturing, nanotechnology, big data, new engineering materials, blockchain, machine learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence provide Nigeria with this opportunity.
“This explains why the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy must be continuously updated to accommodate these changes. The Policy is to prepare our dear nation both for today and the future.”
“This is critical because the previous Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 recognised the importance of STI in the development of a knowledge-based economy.”
“It also directed that science and technology be properly leveraged to boost national competitiveness, productivity, and economic activities across all sectors.”
“In the same way, Nigeria’s current National Development Plan (NDP) 2021-2025 recognizes that the country’s medium-term objective is to pursue an aggressive technology and innovation strategy to harness the potential of non-oil sectors competitiveness.”
“This Validation Workshop will assist us in critically examining this text and preparing a final Revised 2022 National Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy for consideration and approval by the Federal Executive Council.”
“All of these policies have aided the nation in moving our economy away from reliance on commodities and toward reliance on information, which is innovation-driven.” The Federal Government gives precedence in procurement to our professionals, contractors, and manufacturers.
Similarly, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi, Minister of State for Science, Technology, and Innovation stated that science, technology, and innovation (STI) activities are becoming increasingly important in achieving economic sustainability and that governments are focusing more on the need for sound and coordinated STI policies that will help achieve many of the SDGs’ targets.
He went on to say that, as a result, the Federal Government’s National Development Plan (2021-2025) recognises the need to use Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) to establish a global and competitive knowledge-based economy.
“Based on the foregoing and the fact that STl is a cross-cutting and multi-sectoral issue, the Ministry established an Inter-Ministerial Committee comprised of all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) as well as other stakeholders, including Development Partners such as UNESCO, to review the existing 2012 STI Policy in light of the current realities of Nigeria’s economy, STISA 2025, Africa Agenda 2063, and Sustainable Development Goals.”