November 29, 2021

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Revised STI policy must reflect national interest – Onu

Ogbonnaya Onu

Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation

By Sylvester Thompson

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu says the final revision of the 2012 Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy should reflect national goals needed for nation building.

The minister said this at the Presentation of Evaluation of the Nigeria 2012 STI Performance toward the Final Revision of the 2012 STI Policy, in Abuja on Tuesday.

“Since 2015 that I became the minister, several efforts had been made to evaluate this important policy which is now about 10 years old.

“In the process, a close examination of how best the policy had fared in line with the implementation plan and its impact on the well-being of Nigerians had been undertaken.

“It is clear that the STI policy remains extremely important in the task of nation building,’’ he said.

Onu expressed delight that receiving the evaluation performance report for 2012 was pertinent in their effort to work toward its final revision.

The minister noted that numerous changes were taking place in the world with new technologies emerging with great potential to influence the standard of living of Nigerians.

According to him, new knowledge in artificial intelligence, robotics-learning, advanced manufacturing, new materials among others should be of great interest to all.

“Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind, we are anxious to join the rest of the technologically developed countries of the world in harnessing and deploying STI to nation building.

“The revised STI policy must reflect this national goal,’’ Onu said.

He said that this was important  to help move the economy away from depending entirely on commodities, “to rather depend on knowledge that is innovation driven”.

The minister expressed appreciation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for working with the ministry in the evaluation of the STI performance policy of 2012.

Dr Sanga Dimitri, the Regional Director of UNESCO, gave a short breakdown of the organisation in the evaluation process.

Dr Enang Moma, UNESCO’s National Professional Officer for Science, also gave a presentation of the Nigeria’s 2012 STI Policy Performance.

Among the recommendations made was that after close to a decade of approval, there was urgent need to review the policy.

The recommendations also stated that the review should be in light of current technological and socio-economic changes at the national and global levels to reflect current realities.

The high point of the event was presentation of the printed copy of the evaluation report to the ministry and inauguration of taskforce team to revise the 2012 policy by the minister. (NAN)