Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has assured the Ministry of Science and Technology that his administration would take concrete actions to correct the neglect of research, science and technology by past governments.
President Buhari made the pledge in Abuja on Monday after receiving a brief on the activities of the ministry.
He declared that his administration would dedicate more resources and energy to the sector “because no country could make progress without serious commitment to the development of science and technology”.
Buhari also said that he would fully encourage the work of the Ministry of Science and Technology, as innovations from the various research institutes under its supervision could also impact positively on industrial development and manufacturing in Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, enumerated several challenges hindering its effectiveness, including perennial poor funding and the lack of recognition on the part of successive governments of science and technological innovation as a major driver of economic development.
Mrs Oyo-Ita told the President that the focus of the Ministry had moved from academic research to market-based innovative research, aimed at boosting industrialisation.
The Permanent Secretary asked for more support and political will from the Federal Government to encourage scientific research, innovation and local manufacturing.
President Buhari also received the outgoing British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Andrew Pocock, and the outgoing Swiss Ambassador, Mr Hans-Rudolf Hodel.
The President thanked both envoys for their efforts to strengthen relations between Nigeria and their respective countries, also wishing them success in their future assignments.
The former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Sir Shridath Ramphal, who is in Nigeria on a visit, also paid a courtesy call on the President.