Science Expo: Means to enhance growth of Nigeria’s economy

Ogbonnaya Onu

The Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has since 2016 observed its ritual of showcasing indigenous innovation through Expo and exhibition, thereby attracting investors to enhance the economy of the nation. This took off on Monday and will last till Friday. BINTA SHAMA reports.

Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) is said to revolve round every aspect of life, which in essence is said to be a key factor for the growth of any developed or developing country.

Expo as a means to provide opportunities
According to the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu one of the major purposes of the Expo is to realise the objectives set as a nation to provide opportunities to bring together indigenous inventors, innovators and investors in one place to show-case all their capabilities, to create enough wealth for the people of Nigeria and the nation itself. “There isn’t anything we cannot do if we put our minds to it, we will achieve it and we cannot leave our problems to be solved by strangers.

According to him the 2022 edition of STI Expo is unique, because innovators from all sectors (informal, formal, academia, etc) would be afforded an opportunity to showcase to the world the possibility of scientific research that could be produced from Nigeria.

Representing the President Mohammadu Buhari, the Minister said that, “this year’s FMSTI Expo is remarkable for two reasons. In addition to the annual award of scholarship to three best students who emerged winners of the “774 Young Nigerian Scientists” competition from the 36 states of the Federation, I also have the opportunity to present to Nigerians, the 2022 Revised National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation (NSTIP) and commission for the first time in the history of our country the Nigeria Science, Technology and Innovation Television (STI tv@NG).

“The 2022 Revised NSTIP is a document which I believe will not only serve as a principal document for the full diversification of the Nigerian economy and be a lasting legacy to both present and future generations of Nigerians for the promotion of a knowledge economy. The STI television will be used for extensive advocacy to inculcate Science, Technology and Innovation as part of our everyday life in the country.

“The above two projects to be launched/commissioned today are aimed at Job and Wealth creation, as well as increase the number of our youths and women that will be attracted to Science, Technology, and Innovation activities. I am delighted to welcome all the Scientists, Researchers, Inventors, Innovators, Investors, Entrepreneurs, our foreign guests and other fellow Nigerians here present to the 2022 Edition of the Science, Technology, and Innovation Expo with the theme ‘Sustainable National Economic Growth Through Science, Technology and Innovation.”

Sharing ideas

“The annual Science, Technology and Innovation Expo organized by the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (FMSTI) is a platform for bringing our Inventors and Researchers, Scientists, Government, Academia, private sector and many other stakeholders together for the purpose of sharing ideas for Research, Development, Innovation, and Commercialization of research results.

STI key factor for economic diversification
“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 Federal Government and State Ministries on Science, Technology and Innovation and as a service Ministry of Federal Government to interact with all relevant Agencies and organizations, synergizing and Promoting the application of Science , Technology and Innovation results in all sectors of Nigerian economy. This includes the areas of Industrial Growth, Metrology, Human Capital Development, and several other segments of the economy,” Buhari added.
Buhari assured Nigerians that the present administration will continue to support the FMSTI annual EXPO in order to promote Research, Development and the Global competitiveness of the Country.

Commercialised innovations
Furthermore, the President urged all Researchers, Inventors and Innovators in the country to leverage on the commitment of the administration to showcase their potentials and talents to the world through innovations that are capable of being commercialised for the transformation of our economy in a sustainable manner.
“The leadership of the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation also must be commended for their efforts in the Promotion of the movement of the Nigerian Economy from Resource to Knowledge based Economy using Science, Technology and innovation. This will no doubt continue to ensure increased productivity and improve our competitiveness in the Global economy.

“On a final note, the three best students who emerged winners of the 774 Young Nigerian Scientists competition from the 36 states of the Federation are hereby granted Scholarship to study any Science subject of their choice in any Nigerian University up PhD level in line with Presidential Executive Order No 5. On this note I hereby declare the 2022 Science Technology and Innovation EXPO Open. God Bless The Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

Nigeria, an industrialised nation
Earlier, the Minister of state for Science, Technology and Innovation, Mohammed Abdullahi , said that Nigeria can be classified amongst the most industrialised nations of the world in the nearest future by scaling up and upgrading it’s Scientific innovations.

The theme for this year’s event is to enable Science and Technology contribute positively to the overall recovery and growth which is in tandem with the National Economic and Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP).

“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 its multiple challenges.

Need to build on existing innovations
He called on researchers to build on the innovations showcased at the EXPO until they achieve full commercialisation.
Abdullahi lauded President Buhari’s passion for Nigeria’s development, due to his allowance of STI to gain a foothold in the drive towards socioeconomic growth.
“This decision is laudable and is clearly exemplified by the recent approval by the Federal Executive Council of the revised STI policy which will propel Nigeria’s push towards industrialization.”

In a goodwill address, 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 socioeconomic development of the nation.

At the EXPO, The annual award of scholarship to three best students who emerged winners of the “774 Young Nigerian Scientists” competition from the 36 states of the Federation are;

1st position Maryam Olufunmilayo Ogunbayo (Pen Resource Academy) Gombe state.

2nd position Gbolahan Azeem Ayinde (African Church Grammar School) Ogun state.

3rd position Uchendu Mmesomachukwu Judith (UNIBEN Demonstration Secondary school) Edo state.

The EXPO was graced with indigenous inventors from across the nation, dignitaries, diplomats from across the world and the EXPO activities includes, technical sessions, platforms for interaction between investors, innovators and researchers and presentation of the best of the best.

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