By Sylvester Thompson
Dr John Omimakinde, Director- General of National Centre for Technology Management, (NACETEM), said with Science, Technology and Innovations (STI), Nigeria can transform from over dependence on oil revenue to a diversified economy.
Omimakinde said this at the 2023 STI Expo in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said that, if the STI sector was well harnessed, it would be a panacea to a strongly diversified Nigeria economy.
” For decades, scholars, policy makers, academics and practitioners have been engaged in heated debates that Nigeria’s development challenge is the ‘oil curse’.
“It is believed that the bane of development is the over dependence on a mono-product, crude oil.
“Recent happenings in the country have shown that Nigeria’s major development challenge is not the ‘oil curse’, but of not achieving economic diversification beyond it’s dependence on oil revenue,” Omimakinde said.
The NACETEM D-G confirmed that successive governments had looked beyond oil by shifting their attention to areas such as agriculture and the informal sector, among others, which yielded substantial results.
Omimakinde acknowledged that actualising the objective of successfully diversifying Nigeria’s economy beyond what was presently operational required looking in the direction of STI.
“NACETEM as a foremost knowledge support and policy research institution is convinced that the current STI policy can put us in the right direction.
“All we need to achieve sustainable development and diversification of Nigeria’s economy is contained therein, but it appears we have not fully deployed it appropriately.
“This has to change as implementing the STI policy as reviewed in 2022 will set Nigeria on the path of wealth,” he said.
Mrs Monilola Udoh, Permanent Secretary of the STI Ministry, assured that President Muhammadu Buhari had reaffirmed his commitment to his pledge allocating 0.5 per cent of GDP to funding research and innovations.
She said the Federal Government was actually funding researches which are domiciled in the ministry.
Udoh decried the lack of synergy among research institutes and others.
She also said: ”There were duplications of research works being carried out,” and urged for adequate communications, collaborations and cooperation among government agencies for value addition.
Mr Haastrup Olatunji, Chairman of NACETEM Governing Board, corroborated that Nigeria ran a mono-cultural economy as 85 per cent of her revenue was derived from oil and gas export.
He said: ”Naysayers may see that as not being good because of perceived neglect of other sectors of the economy.
“It is important to stress that lamenting the situation will bring us no good
“Rather, thinking through how to better the lot of Nigeria is what we require.
“STI is relevant to all sectors of the economy, it is an enabler of rapid growth and development,”Olatunji said.(NAN)(www.nanews.ng)
Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani