Nigeria: FG Approves New Policy On Science, Technology Innovations
February 27, 2012 • Mobile and Telecoms, Top Stories
A new science, technology and innovation policy has been approved by Nigeria’s federal government.
A new science, technology and innovation policy has been approved by the Nigeria’s federal government (image: file)
Minister of Science and Technology Ita Ewa, disclosed this in his keynote address in Uyo at the Akwa Ibom Science & Technology (AKISTECH) Week Exhibition/Fair 2012, with the theme, “Uncommon Transformation Through Science & Technology.”
Ewa said the new policy was a demonstration of the commitment of the federal government to the development of science and technology in Nigeria.
The policy will drive national development in all spheres, including energy, agriculture, transportation, environment, health, and education, he announced.
“The history of developed countries around the world has confirmed that Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) remains the platform that drives the potential within these sectors through research and development programmes,” he said.
The State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, remarked that Akwa Ibom would remain committed to the development of science and technology as it is one of the fields of human endeavor, where the frontiers of knowledge are being expanded.
He assured the audience that the present administration would provide employment and encourage wealth creation as it continues to invest in science and technology and fulfill the wish of the people.
Akpabio urged the youth in science and technical institutions to take advantage of government’s huge investments in science education. Earlier, the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Comfort Etuk, had underscored the essence of innovation in facilitating development.
Etuk highlighted the need for the innovations to be towards harnessing, developing and diffusing locally developed technologies for production of goods to meet high standards.
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ing country interest, (2) opportunities to have significant impacts on development, (3) relevance of USAID’s unique field experience, and (4) limited interest of other U.S. departments and agencies in providing substantial financial support for activities in the areas.
Programs in some or all of these areas will undoubtedly require substantial S&T inputs. One area for possible emphasis is health delivery systems, an area that the committee strongly supports. Other examples that the committee believes should be considered are small innovative firms, agriculture extension, and information technology. The program emphasis within each area should be on institution building, including establishment of research, education, training, and service capabilities.
In order to continue to support its current portfolio of programs as well as new activities, USAID needs stronger in-house technical staff capabilities. Given rigid congressional limitations on personnel levels, the agency will have no choice in the near term but to continue to rely heavily on a combination of direct-hire employees, assignees from other U.S. agencies, and contractor personnel to manage programs implemented by USAID’s partners. Nevertheless, as recommended in this report, the agency should recruit an adequate number of technically trained direct-hire employees to lead the design and evaluation of institution building and innovation activities, particularly in the areas of emphasis that are selected.
Against this background, the committee offers three overarching recommendations for consideration by USAID, the Department of State, the Office of Management and Budget, Congress, and other interested organizations. Suggestions of specific steps for implementing the recommendations are also set forth. The recommendations, if implemented, would strengthen USAID’s capabilities to play a more effective role in supporting technical innovation as a key to successful international development.
Most of the suggestions are general and cut across development sectors. As noted above, while carrying out the agency’s many programs mandated by Congress and the White House, USAID should also begin to focus on several areas of emphasis and concentrate available resources in these areas within the framework of the recommendations that are set forth below.
Recommendation 1: USAID should reverse the decline in its support for building S&T capacity within important development sectors in developing countries. Clearly, development of human resources and building relevant institutions must be at the top of the priority list if nations are to have the ability to develop, adapt, and introduce technological innovations in sectors of importance to their governments, the private sector, and their populations. To this end, USAID should:
Increase the number of USAID-sponsored participants in highly focused graduate training programs to develop future leaders in various S&T disciplines;