Vice-President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, has called for the reappraisal and rebranding of the national innovation ecosystem to drive technological and socio-economic development in the country.
Osinbajo made the call at the opening of a two-day National Innovation Workshop at the International Convention Centre, in Awka, Anambra State recently.
The workshop, tagged “Promotion of Inventors of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)”, was organised by the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, and the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Chief Henry Ikoh, said the workshop would offer Nigeria an opportunity to reappraise and rebrand its ecosystem.
“This will be with emphasis on technology and entrepreneurship.The way to go to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich is through thinking out of the box, innovation and commercialisation of thoughts.
“Nigeria will be great again only when we begin to shift our emphasis from consumer nation to production, and we need innovation to produce”, he said.
Also speaking, Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, said there was the need for a national policy to promote STI, saying, it is the new way of life.
“Without STI, nothing happens. In Anambra, we recognised this fact and we have been taking proactive measures to make Anambra the home of talents for STI in the country.
“We need to replicate same across the country by having a legislative framework to mainstream STI in our schools to catch them young.
“The policy will also mandate Nigerians and the Nigerian government to promote indigenous inventors and innovators by patronising them. If they innovate and invent, and nobody patronises them, their ideas will die,” he said.
In his lecture, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said there was an urgent need to draw attention and to prepare the country for the fourth industrial revolution.
“Human race is in transition in a dimension of technological revolution which will affect the way we live, work and relate, and so we must prepare and adjust the way we think.
“In a short while from now, talents and innovation are going to be the only dependable capital assets. As a nation, we need a legislative agenda to harness our available human resources.
“We need to groom and nurture Nigerian youths into the path of science, technology and innovation to key into the opportunities.The fourth industrial revolution will present and place our economy on a sustainable path for growth,” he said.
In her remarks, Sen. Uche Ekwunife, Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, said the workshop was to connect innovators, inventors, academia, policy makers, entrepreneurs, tech companies and students from across the country.
The programme featured demonstration sessions, prize funds to outstanding innovation and award presentation to best Nigerian inventor.
Expert Wants Telcos To Prioritise Improved QoS
A Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Policy Advisor, Mr. Jide Awe, has urged telecommunication operators to give priority to improving Quality of Services (QoS).
Awe, who is also the Founder of Jidaw.com, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Lagos State, recently.
He said it was necessary to improve the current poor QoS using strategic investment in infrastructure to support current and future needs.
Awe said the future needs included increased number of users and increased traffic volumes of transactions among others.
“Customer journey has evolved significantly over the years, largely influenced by the advancements in telecommunications technology.
“Customers now expect seamless and uninterrupted connectivity across multiple touchpoints, be it through their smartphones, laptops, or Internet of Things (IoT) devices”, he said.
Awe also noted that the telecoms industry was plagued with right-of-way charges, multiple taxation, and insecurity of telecoms infrastructure.
According to him, addressing these challenges is essential for consumer protection to ensure QoS standards are met, and that consumers receive the promised level of service quality.
The policy advisor added that solving the issues would also help in promoting affordable broadband services.
On the role of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) as a regulator, he said the NCC needed to adopt an innovative, supportive, and visionary regulation approach that appreciated the importance of innovation and expansion.
“As new technologies continue to emerge, regulation cannot afford to be static. NCC should inculcate a spirit of innovation and growth in the sector.
“Innovative regulation helps to cultivate an environment that attracts investment to propel sectoral growth. Investor-friendly initiatives, simplification of regulations, strategic and disruptive thinking/approaches are crucial”, he said.
‘No Going Back On Plans Against Passport Racketeers’
A top immigration officer in Port- Harcourt, who spoke anonymosly, has stressed that the Immigration Service, Rivers State Commission will not soft pedal on plans to go against passport racketeering in the State.
Stating this in an interview with the press in Port Harcourt, Monday, he warned against any attempt to portay the agency in bad light, saying such will be resisted by the system.
He emphasised that passport racketeering is capable of portraying the command in bad light, especially the Passport Unit, at the international group where it belonged.
Noting that the passport processes do not require a third party, easy and pocket friendly, the officer expressed regrets that the saboteurs charge the unsuspecting members of the public seeking passport exhobitantly thereby making the process cumbersome.
He boasted on how the passport personnel “have all it takes to deliver tasks on schedule with zero complaint”.
According to him, those in the act of the alleged sabotage risk imprisonment, if caught, in that it is viewed as economic sabortage on the part of the Federal Government.
“Passport racketeering is against the law and abuse of process. Things must be done in order and decently. We are an agency established by law. So, anything we are doing must follow due process”, he said.
He has also called on members of the public to be wary of patronising road-side passport operators to avoid double payment.
“If due process will be followed, according to him, the issue of passport racketeering will belong to history”.
He also described as a plus, the introduction of e-gates in about four International Airports in the country, including Port Harcourt.
Stories compiled by King Onunwor
Minister Wants States To Align Technological Advancement With Local Prionties
Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji, has urged states to align their technological advancements with local priorities.
The Minister said this at the first edition of the interactive forum for state commissioners in charge of Science and Technology, held in Abuja recently.
Nnaji said states should also provide solutions for regional-specific challenges and promoting a more robust and resilient scientific ecosystem that fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing.
“This alignment will ensure inclusivity, unlock the immense potential of our nation’s intellectual and technological resources, and propel our states to the forefront of technological advancements”, he said.
The Minister also urged the commissioners to actively engage local industries, research institutions and community stakeholders, so as to collaborate in amplifying the impact of Nigeria’s scientific endeavours.
He said this was important to ensure seamless transition from research to application of the scientific endeavours, to facilitate economic growth and ensure technological advancements that meet the needs of citizens.
“As Nigeria transits from a resource to a knowledge-based economy driven by innovation, it is worth emphasising that this task is daunting but certainly surmountable, and will require strong commitment, continuous learning and adaptive strategies.
“Let us, therefore, approach it with a sense of urgency, recognising that the decisions we make today will shape the future of our scientific landscape”, he said.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Esuabana Asanye, said the forum was meant to broaden their scope and ensure their buy-in and implementation of the National Science and Technology Roadmap 2017-2030.
Asanye stated that the roadmap represented the desire to implement the National Policy on Science, Technology and Innovation designed to hasten innovation, economic growth and inclusive scientific development to meet national aspiration.
“The task before us is a shared responsibility to harness the full potential of our sub national for the national scientific landscape for environmental sustainability and curbing climate devastation. Each state has its unique demographic resourcefulness and if properly managed, would exponentially foster the culture of innovation at the grassroot level for sustainable development”, she said.
Rivers9 hours ago
N’Delta Youth Leaders Warn Against Sabotaging New NDDC
Business12 hours ago
Tackle Business-Sqeezing Inflation, ACCI Urges Tinubu
Sports9 hours ago
NPFL : Hat-Trick Excites Rivers United Coach
Nation11 hours ago
NBA Chieftain Tasks Lawyers On Fairness, Social Justice
News9 hours ago
Fubara Assigns Portfolios To Five Special Advisers
Business4 days ago
Forex Brokers with offices in Nigeria
Rivers9 hours ago
MOSIEND Hails Former NNPCL Executive Vice President
Business12 hours ago
Lawmaker Urges FG To Open Borders For Food Importation