Nnaji urges Techpreneurs in private sector to be patriotic in developing STI outcomes for socio- economic growth


By Eunice Orike

Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Uche Geoffrey Nnaji has urged Nigerian Techpreneurs in the Organized Private Sector OPS, to be patriotic and inward-looking and come and partner with the Ministry in developing STI outcomes for the nation’s cultural, socioeconomic and political development.

The minister who made the call during a press briefing about the upcoming 2024 Technology and Innovation Expo slated to hold on the 11th- 15th 2024 noted that the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, which emphasizes the “strengthening of national security for peace and prosperity, reform of the economy to deliver sustained, inclusive growth, boosting agriculture to achieve food security and unlocking energy and natural resources for sustainable development, amongst others are envisioned to transform our economy.

According to him, this transformation gains roots when we successfully reverse our unenviable situation of a highly foreign technology-consuming country, not only by encouraging research, development and innovation but, most importantly, through continuous publicity and commercialization of research outcomes.

Nnaji reasured that the present administration is fully committed to ensuring that its renewed hope agenda of accelerating diversification through industrialization, digitization, creative arts, manufacturing & innovation is achieved, mainly through the application of Science, Technology and Innovation.

He expressed optimistism that with our collective unrelenting efforts in our quest to achieve a service-driven economy that is competitive in terms of culture, socioeconomics, and political independence, the future of our dear country will be great.

Nnaji hinted that the Technology and Innovation Expo was established to raise awareness about Science and Technology and showcase sector achievements.

And that the primary objective of the expo is to unite innovators, inventors, research institutions, universities, federal and sub-national ministries, departments, agencies (MDAs), polytechnics, industries, stakeholders in the organized private sector, the international community, Nigerians in the diaspora, and others.

“This collective effort aims to promote locally made goods and services, which will reduce the high cost of importation, enhance revenue generation, create employment opportunities, and improve our country’s standard of living. These initiatives are pivotal in advancing the “Made in Nigeria” agenda, fueled by indigenous inventions and innovations showcased during the event.

“Foster collaboration between Researchers and Inventors to facilitate the commercialization of research outcomes, inventions, and innovations from Nigeria’s research and tertiary institutions.

Showcase the expertise of Nigerian Scientists, Engineers, and inventors, highlighting their significant contributions to Nigeria’s economic diversification.

Promote collaboration among research institutions and researchers/inventors to enhance the synergy in the innovation ecosystem.

Promote indigenous manufacturing rooted in Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) while cultivating a culture of STI across Nigeria.

Raise awareness in primary and secondary schools regarding the pivotal role of scientific knowledge and vocational skills in driving economic growth and development.

Engage students in primary and secondary schools in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to foster their interest and proficiency in these fields.

Spark curiosity and enthusiasm for Science and Technology among the younger generation, inspiring them to explore innovative solutions.

Encourage creativity in science and technology among Primary and Secondary School Students, nurturing a culture of innovation from a young age”, he said.

Highlights of the expo includes exhibition of Research, Development and Innovation results, Inventions and STI Products/Services; Investors/Researchers Forum; Technical Sessions on emerging STI issues; Special Days for Organizations, Stakeholders and Sub-nationals, etc.;

Assessment of Research, Development and Innovation results, Inventions and STI Products and Services on display; Awards of certificates, prizes, etc., to outstanding Exhibitors in the categories of Tertiary Institutions, Research Institutions, Inventors/Innovators, technopreneurs, JETS / Sub-nationals,

Furthermore, he said presentation of awards will be given in the following categories:, Tertiary instructions, research institutions, Techpreneurs, and Junior Engineers Technicians and Scientists JETs.

He used the opportunity to call on all stakeholders to utilize this opportunity by participating actively in the activities lined up to witness what Nigerians can do with the material and human resources the nation is endowed with, which hitherto were neglected or underutilized.

However, he, expressed sadness that most of the research outcomes that otherwise would have catapulted Nigeria to a technologically developed nation are unfortunately not being translated fully into essential goods and services.

“This Expo aims to ensure the proper exposure of our investors to our commercializable research results, inventions, and innovations. Let me emphasize that there are profitable investment opportunities in the various research outcomes to make any enterprise worthwhile”, he said.