By Samuel Ogundipe, reporting from Aso RockPresident Muhammadu Buhari has, on Thursday, convened the first meeting of the National Research and Innovation Council, NIRC, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.The president noted during the meeting that he is aware that Nigeria must give prioritised attention to science and technology if it must move with the pace of the modern economies and the world.“I wish to assure this Council of my determination and commitment to ensure that as a nation, we will invest appropriately in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in order to guarantee our competitiveness both continentally and globally. Our goal to secure our nation, grow our economy, create jobs and fight crime can best be achieved if we embrace science and technology.
“It is my fervent hope that our research and innovation output should be measured by number of Intellectual Property such as patents granted and not only by the number of articles published in scholarly journals. By this action, Nigeria will become a Centre of discoveries, inventions and innovation in all fields of science and technology. Before long we should be in a position to produce Nobel Laureates in the sciences.”
The NRIC is geared towards coordinating and streamlining the nation’s research and development activities as well as fostering innovation. It is designed to accelerate the growth of innovation-based entrepreneurship in the country and to create conditions for the commercialization of current and further research findings in our universities and research institutes.The president also inaugurated the Technical Advisory Committee, TAC, which is packed with mostly technocrats from the various relevant MDAs and the Organized Private Sector, OPS, to ensure full implementation of resolutions of the NRIC.
TAC which will be headed by the Hon. Minister of Science and Technology is expected to meet on a monthly basis. To carry out its functions the NRIC will be guided by the Strategic Implementation Plan of the revised policy on STI. I therefore wish to charge you all to use your best endeavour and wealth of experience to ensure that this big responsibility placed on you is discharged in the most effective and efficient way so that the tools of Science, Technology and Innovation are adequately deployed towards the development of our country, according to a statement by the president’s media office.The president implored the officials to deliver their best in service to the nation.“I ask for your commitment, hard-work and total support in this endeavour in order to justify the confidence reposed in you. The country looks forward to you to be the spearhead of our technological progress and achievements.”