Senate Seeks Enhanced Attention For Technology Development

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The senate acknowledged the instability suffered by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology.

Abuja - October 18 - Mediaage NG News – The Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Aminu Iya Abbas, on Tuesday called on the Nigerian government to enhance the level of priority accorded the development of technology in the country.

He also asked for more attention to be given the Ministry of Science and Technology and other research and development centres under it, in the aspect of funding.

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He revealed this during a public hearing at the National Assembly, that had in attendance the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji and other heads of research institutes under the Ministry.

Mr. Abbas acknowledged the instability suffered by the Ministry, since it was created in 1980, undergoing several twerking and changes. “From 1993 till date, it has been associated with hinderances and problems”, the Chairman said.

Drawing comparisons with other African countries, he said the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Science and Technology and its research and development centres, have not been encouraging.

“According to UNESCO statistics in 2020, South Africa with a population of 59.8 million, allocates 0.82 of their budget to Science and Technology, he said.

“Egypt with an estimated population of 102 million budgets 0.61 percent of their budget to research and development.

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“Ghana with a population of 31.07 million 0.30 percent of their GDP to research and development. While in Nigeria with an estimated population of 206 million, allocates 0.22 percent of its GDP to research and development.

“This is not encouraging and must be looked into”, the Chairman said with deep concern.

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji, while commending the researches brought by heads of research and development centres before the audience, he laid key emphasis on implementation as it would boost commercialisation.

Making the audience aware that he is a businessman, he said billions can be made from the Ministry in less than two months, if the government can improve more on implementation of reserached items produced already.

“It’s not all about researching, Mr. Nnaji said.

“What has been researched and found out when I came in got me amazed. When you bring two or three out of these items, you can make billions.

“My plea is for the president to give us more implementation of these researches. Those still researching can keep it up and we will keep on providing the money for them but, what we need now is implementation and commercialising of these reserached items”, the Minister said.

In attendance at the public hearing include Senator Osita Ngu, Senator Imasuen Mesa, amongst other members of the Committee.

Others include Halilu Ahmed Shaba from the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), Prof. P.C Onyenekwe from Sheda Science and Technology Complex, (SHESTCO), Prof. Samson Duna, the Director General of the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI), Prof. Martins Emeje, the Director General, Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA), amongst others.

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