President Muhammadu Buhari, said that the Federal Government has allocated 0.5% of the country’s annual GDP (Gross Domestic Product), to improve investment and aid the development of Science, Technology and Innovation in the country.
The president disclosed that the investment in STI is in line with the African Union resolution that member nations should invest at least 1% of their respective nations GDP to the development of Science, Technology and Innovation.
President Buhari, who was represented by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, made this known at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Science and Technology EXPO in Abuja on Monday.
In his speech, Prof. Osinbajo said that the Science and Technology EXPO should serve as the VANGUARDto establish Nigeria’s economy as an innovation driven one.He further added that the EXPO is important in helping Nigeria achieve economic sustainability and recovery.
He said that the Federal Government is fully committed to create an enabling environment for the growth of Science, Technology and Innovation in the country, through government policies such as Executive Order 05, The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and other policies approved by the Federal Government.
The Federal Government granted full scholarship up to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree level, to three secondary school students who emerged winners at this year’s Young Nigerian Scientists Presidential Award Competition (774 YONSPA).The scholarship is in any science-related discipline of their choice at any university in the country.
The three students are Edanya Ugochukwu Godswill (Enugu state), Akinwande Oluwatomisin (Ondo state) and Emmanuel Imeh (FCT), who came 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.
ONU CALLS FOR MORE INVESTMENT IN STI
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has called on well meaning Nigerians to start investing heavily into scientific research, so as to achieve a robust and sustainable economy centred on knowledge and innovation.
The Minister made the call at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Science and Technology EXPO, at the Eagle square in Abuja on Monday.
According to Dr. Onu, his Ministry has been at the forefront in moving Nigeria’s economy from commodities/raw materials to knowledge and innovation-driven one. He added; that it will help strengthen the naira and stimulate economic growth and development.
The Minister further said that since the outbreak of Covid-19, the Ministry has been working tirelessly to effectively manage the situation. In his words, “Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are working tirelessly to provide home-grown solutions to better manage or minimize the adverse effects of the pandemic on the healthcare system of the nation”.
Dr. Onu, revealed that the Ministry has developed a strategy of Prevention, Tracking, Testing and Treatment (PT3) for short, medium and long term basis to effectively manage Covid-19.
He further revealed that an inter-ministerial committee was formed to authenticate claims of herbal remedies and natural compounds by indigenous scientists, researchers and traditional medicine practitioners, adding that some of them could be on display at the EXPO venue.
Earlier in a goodwill message, the Chairperson Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Sen. Uche Ekwuniffe said that more funds needs to be allocated to the Science and Technology sector of the economy.
She added that the senate committee and their collegues in the house of representatives, will leave no stone unturned to make sure that more funds is appropriated to the Science Ministry’s budget.
For: Head ( Press and PR)