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FG committed to making Nigeria hub for African innovation – Minister

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji, has said the Federal Government will not relent in its efforts to make Nigeria the…

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji, has said the Federal Government will not relent in its efforts to make Nigeria the hub of innovation in Africa.

Nnaji stated this on Monday in Abuja while declaring open the National Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) Coordination Summit.

Daily Trust reports that the 3-day summit, with the theme, ‘Co-creating the Coordination of the RDI Eco-system in Nigeria’, is being organised by the West African Research and Education Network (WACREN), with local facilitation by the Research for Impact, Knowledge Economy and Sustainable Development (RIKE-SD), and financial support from the UK Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

The minister said the summit would help shape a brighter future for the country.

He said: “Nations that have recognized and harnessed the power of research, development, and innovation are leading the charge towards economic prosperity, societal well-being, and sustainable development. It is time for Nigeria to take its rightful place among these nations.

“To achieve this, we must first acknowledge that our RDI ecosystem requires robust coordination, one that is resilient, inclusive, and forward-thinking.

“Our goal is to create a system where academia, industry, government, and the community not only interact but thrive together, fostering an environment ripe for groundbreaking innovations.

“Our vision for Nigeria is to become a hub for African innovation, contributing significantly to the global knowledge economy.”

Global Impact Lead at RIKE-SD, Mustapha Popoola, said the summit would mainstream the use of RDI in bringing effectiveness and efficiency in delivery of government programmes and projects.

Popoola said: “This summit is convened in response to the directives of President Bola Tinubu, on the need to institutionalise science, technology and innovation and mainstream the use of RDI

“In the next three days, we are going to evolve a national steering committee that will be in charge of coordination. We want it to evolve naturally among the leaders here. At the same time, we are going to have working groups along the 10 activity sectors of the economy that are contributing to our GDP.

“On the third day, we are going to be using the tool of research technology innovation, to look at the eight priority areas of President Bola Tinubu.”

Omo Oaiya, Chief strategy officer, WACREN, said the summit would look at the importance of all the mandates and how to work together to make sure that Nigeria benefits from international funding.

“We are trying to align this with the presidential priorities that have been announced and the Renewed Hope Agenda.

“After the opening ceremony, in the next two days, we will see a concerted effort by different stakeholders to create a framework with which we can move forward together,” Oaiya said.

Dr Shabihul Hassan, a board member of RIKE-SD, said collaboration between the public and private sectors enhances development.

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