FG To Establish Innovation Center In Enugu

By Tony Adibe

The President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government said it will establish an innovation centre in Enugu state. The Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh has said that the Federal Government will establish an innovation centre in Enugu state.

Ikoh disclosed this in Enugu during the Southeast Dialogue on: “the establishment and implementation of the technology and Innovation centres for global competitiveness and productivity.”

The event was organised by the Strategy Implementation Task Force for Presidential Executive order No. 5. held at Sylvia Hotels, Independence t Layout, Enugu. The dialogue was themed, “Achieving Nigeria’s Competitiveness and Improved Foreign Exchange Earnings through Science, Technology and Innovation.”

NewsBits reports that its key objective was to enable stakeholders produce an effective and efficient National Strategy document  to support the monetary policies, fiscal policies as well as trade policies of government for a better and improved economy in order to develop convergence points.

The Minister explained that the dialogue was also to serve as an avenue for the promotion of Technology Utilisation, Strengthening of Technology Management and Information Systems, the facilitation of Commercialisation and Global Competitiveness, as well as support Strategies for full implementation of Presidential Executive Order No.5.

According to Ikoh, “The Executive Order No.5 is aimed at placing the Nigerian service providers, farmers, manufacturers, youth, women and other national stakeholders at the centre of the Nigerian economy. It is an interventionist instrument of the present administration to promote a new renaissance that would transform our economy from resource to knowledge-based economy or what you can call from consumption to production that is driven by innovation.”

 The Minister further explained that due to the Executive Order No.5, the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is charged with the responsibility to establish  technology and innovation centres to utilise and strengthen the technology management capability and information systems,  within the respective geo-political zones  to  publicise and  promote Nigeria’s drive to  productivity and global competitiveness at the zonal levels.

However, the South East Innovation Centre is located in Projects Development Institute (PRODA), Enugu chiefly to improve on the  present understanding of  the role of science, technology and innovation  in the socio-economic development of Nigeria  by the general public, reduction/stoppage of the present Research and Development (R&D) work  in Nigeria being carried out in silos.

He said: “It is also aimed at establishing a framework for consultation, sharing experience, information, and practices as well as creation of a conducive environment for interaction among scientists, researchers and inventors working on projects in different geopolitical zones of the country and internationally. The Centre will also   serve as medium for presentation and analysis of research findings and results for possible patenting and commercialisation.”

According to him, the present drop in the volume of crude oil sales which contributes the largest share of Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves, including global growth slowdown and geopolitical tensions along some critical trading routes in the world are directly and indirectly affecting Nigeria’s national wealth and reserve.

Ikoh stated: “In order to avoid further depletion of the reserves, the CBN took a number of countervailing policy actions, anchored on the prioritization of the most critical needs for foreign exchange as well as maintaining stability in the exchange rate. “However, to support the actions of CBN it has become important for STI to play an important role in the fiscal and monetary policies of the country for a better today and tomorrow.”

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