Inaugurates new agency boards
To establish 6 Innovative Centres
Rebrand ST&I ministry soon
By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Federal government has expressed worry over the poor ranking of Nigerian institutions among the weakest in the world by the World Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness Report, describing it as a wake-up call.
In addition to the poor ranking of our institutions globally, , the Federal government also expressed worry about the low ratings of our indices on Technological Readiness and Innovation as indicated by the World Economic Forum and vowed to turn the tide.
The Minister of Science, technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu expressed the concern at the official inauguration of Governing Boards and Council of agencies under his supervision on Thursday in Abuja.
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According to him, the latest report of 2018/2019 rated our institution’s global competitiveness ranking on a scale of 7 points at 2.94; technological Readiness at 1.82 and Innovation at 2.17 respectively, a scenario that implies 42%, 26% and 31% for institution, technological Readiness and Innovation.
‘‘Today is remarkable in the history of this ministry because of the peculiar situation Nigerian Institutions are being ranked among the weakest in the World by the World Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness Report. This shows that that we have a lot of work to do. We will continue to work very hard, for I am certain that we will overcome,’’ said the Minister.
Inaugurating the new members of the Governing Boards and Council, Dr. Onu charged them to work as a team so as to achieve a common goal.
He also urged members of the new boards to familiarize themselves with the relevant instruments governing the operation and supervision of their respective agencies and institutes.
‘‘Your appointment is an important call to duty. You are expected to offer selfless service for the good of all. The FMST&I is leading the way to make our economy not dependent entirely on commodities, but rather to depend on knowledge that is innovation driven.
‘‘We must work as a team, so as to achieve this noble goal. The role and responsibilities of Governing Boards are stated in the relevant Government circulars, laws, public service rules, guides to administrative procedures in the Public Service, Administrative Guidelines regulating the relationship with parastatals and Government-owned companies.
‘‘As you commence your work, you should be careful with your suggestions, contributions, involvement and dispositions to the strategic elements that drive accomplishment of the mandates of your various agencies. Therefore, your policies through programmes, projects and activities must be seen to impact on the very fundamentals of your agencies mandate.’’
He said the ministry will continue to pursue value addition as a goal, with a focus to building a world class federal ministry of science, technology and innovation that would be the best in Africa and comparable with the best in the world.
‘‘We are now on the path of repositioning and strengthening the ministry to emphasize our desire to contribute to national development efforts of this administration to lift 100 million people out of poverty with the next decade. Using the enormous power of science, technology and innovation, our focus will be on the development of abundant natural resources as well as the orderly exploitation of huge potentials of our people and business.’’
AS part of efforts to reposition the ministry, the minister said plans were ongoing to rebrand the ministry with the unveiling of new; mission statement, vision, core values and critical success factors soon.
‘‘A rebranded ministry is emerging with implications for commitment of all stakeholders within the STI ecosystem, especially the members of the various Boards and Councils of the Ministry. I implore you to be diligent and unrelenting in your new assignment. The ministry is poised to engage the sub-national levels of governance including states and local governments.’’
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Similarly, Dr. Onu further disclosed that the ministry is on the verge of establishing six Technological Innovation Centres for Global Competitiveness in line with the Presidential Executive Order 05 and the fundamental principles of the National Strategy for Competitiveness in raw materials and products development in Nigeria.
‘‘We want to improve productivity in the country so as to ensure that locally produced products are of the highest quality, such that they are better than what can be imported from abroad. By maintaining international standards, we will produce products for both domestic consumption and export. This is the surest way to grow and expand our economy in a sustainable manner, fight and defeat poverty, strengthen our currency and create enough jobs for our people.
‘‘You have very important role to play in achieving this noble goal. Your various agencies and institutions are at the forefront in creating the knowledge we need to have a knowledge economy that is innovation driven. You are expected to create the conducive environment which these agencies and institutions need to perform optimally. Our dear nation must become reliant in order to attain the greatness we all desire.’’
The 12 boards inaugurated include: the board of Nigerian Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA; Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO) Oshodi Lagos; National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM); Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NIBBRI); Nigerian Institute for Trypanosomiasis Research (NITR); Project Development Institute (PRODA) Enugu; National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI); National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA); Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT); National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT); SHEDA Science and Technology Complex (SHETSCO) and ; National Institute of Leather Science and Technology (NILEST) Zaria.
Responding on behalf of his colleagues, the Chairman of FIRO Board, Alh. Gambo Magaji said, ‘‘we see our appointment as a challenge and call to duty. We will see how best we can lift the ministry up,’’ and pleaded with the minister to take whatever recommendation to the president for implementation.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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