Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that the Federal Government is committed to investing N180 billion to ensure successful implementation of the National Science, Technology and Innovation Roadmap (NSTIR) 2030.
Onu said this at the ongoing 15th meeting of the National Council on Science and Technology in Benin City, Edo State.
He said the amount, which will be disbursed over a period of three budget years, would be in the short term basis of the roadmap.
Onu said the ministry was keen on implementing the roadmap, in collaboration with wide variety of stakeholders, including public and private research development centres.
He expressed optimism that the implementation of the planned NSTIR 2030 programmes and increased investment in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) would help actualise Nigeria’s dream to join the top 20 of technologically advanced countries in the world.
Onu noted that though the country was yet to reach its full potentials in the deployment of STI deliverables into projects and programmes due to some identified challenges, it had been able to attain some mileage within the past few years.
He also said that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 to 2020 recently launched by the present administration, focused on macroeconomic policy improvement, economic diversification, competitiveness, improvement, social inclusion and job creation.
The Minister said that the ERGP targeted that the Nigerian economy would recover strongly with a GDP growth of seven per cent, driven by non oil sector growth of 7.2 per cent by 2020.
This, he said, would also help in the steady expansion of the agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors, adding that approximately 15 million net jobs would be created with poverty reduction from 61 per cent to 50-55 per cent by 2020.
Onu said the ministry was committed to playing its required role in ensuring that the ERGP strategies were STI driven and successfully implemented.
He said that the theme of the meeting “Nigerian Economy Driven by Science and Innovation”, was apt and captured the new direction the country had resolved to follow, in the quest to revive and strengthen the economy.
Onu explained that it was aimed at “helping to strengthen and diversify the economy in a sustainable manner by encouraging the harnessing and application of STI apparatus in the Nation’s development process’’.
By Deborah Coker