The Federal Government has approved new policy guidelines for the design and execution of programmes, projects and contracts with science, engineering and technology components.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonaya Onu made this known at the maiden Science and Technology Innovation (STI) sensitisation forum and open house on Tuesday in Abuja.
The aim of the meeting is to enlighten core directorate staff of the ministry and chief executive officers of agencies under the ministry on the novel programmes initiated to deepen STI toward national development.
Onu said that the implementation of the new policy guidelines would strengthen the role of STI in the future development goals of the country.
“It will help to create a new nation that guarantees that Nigerians will be prosperous, strong, wealthy and respected by other nations.
“This will help Nigeria promote national self-reliance by promoting a radical shift in emphasis toward entrenching STI as an invaluable component of virtually all strata of our national development process.
“It is designed to ensure that we promote local content, encourage indigenous technology capacity, drastically reduce capital flight, strengthen local manpower development, enhancing global competitiveness and restore national pride,“ he said.
According to him, the present administration is determined to ensure STI plays a vital role in its effort to diversify nation’s economy, create jobs, reduce perversity, and conquer illiteracy and substantially improved living standard.
“To achieve this, we face the challenge of initiating visionary and creative strategies that will enable Nigeria to move from a resource based to a knowledge based and innovation driven economy.
“This will help Nigeria bridge existing technology gaps and fast-track processes that will enable her become self-reliant in indigenous technology capacity, thereby stimulating a greater sense of national pride rooted in enduring self-reliance.
“This way we can produce what we need and export surplus to other parts of the world to conserve our scarce foreign reserves and strengthen foreign trade with its multiplier benefits to our national economy,“ he said.
According to Onu, the effort will create wealth for our country and help stimulate sustainable development for the ultimate benefit of Nigeria people.
The minister implored all the participants to lend support for the new Road Map for STI toward equipping national economy and sustainable growth to fast-track recovery from recession.