The Senate Committee on Science and Technology, on Friday, commenced a two-day National Innovation Workshop in Awka, Anambra State capital.
The purpose of the workshop, according to the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Uche Ekwunife, is to connect researchers, innovators and inventors across Nigeria who share in the passion to create technological solutions to the myriad of social-economic problems bedevilling Nigeria in order to transform the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) sector into a viable and a result oriented sector.
She said the National Workshop is also expected to mobilize a broad spectrum of investors, inventors, academia, policymakers, entrepreneurs, technology companies, government agencies and students for networking and collaboration.
She also said the Workshop will not only offer huge business opportunities for people to meet, interact and close deals with various local and International investors and venture capitalists, but will also foster the culture of creativity and innovations in Nigeria and Africa at large, leading to impactful development and address the exponential, reforms needed to significantly drive the growth of the Nigerian economy, create jobs and generate wealth for the ever-growing population.
She noted that the STI sector under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation is poised to move Nigeria from a resource based to a knowledge-based economy driven by creativity and innovation.
The Senate is supporting the Ministry and its agencies very strongly in the implementation of their policies. And the Workshop by the Senate Committee is evidence of the strong belief we have for the sector, Ekwunife stated.
Declaring the Workshop open, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo said Nigeria would be great again if the citizens continue to shift attention to the consumption of foreign goods and patronage of science and technologies as well as innovations but they should adopt the tradition of keying into locally produced products with a view to reducing capital flight and bolstering the nation’s economic growth.
Represented by the Minister of State for Science, Technology and innovation, Chief Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh, the Vice President stated that the workshop would help change the narrative about the country as a dependent and consuming economy.
The former Senate President, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, who was also present, said that Nigeria’s bright future is not a distant one, adding that the citizens should expect some of the key imperatives to dominate our world as early as the next five years.
According to Anyim “Our world has certainly changed with the infusion of the fourth industrial revolution and in a very short while from now, talents and innovations are going to be the only dependent capital assets”
Also, the host Governor Chukwuma Soludo disclosed that the state has so far invested over N250 million for the establishment of an Automotive Industrial Park at Akwa – Ihedi -: Uga Communities in the area.
Soludo said, “Science and Technology Innovation must be mainstreamed by the National Assembly to help jump-start the process ”
According to the governor, “Already, we in Anambra state have so far spent over N250 million to establish the Automotive Industrial Park at Akwa Ihedi and Uga Communities and part of our vision is to make Anambra state the Digital tribe of Nigeria and it is important to note that these local innovations and inventions cannot grow if we don’t patronize them”
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the Workshop which took place at International Convention Center Awka, with the Theme; Promotion of Local Investors, Science, Technology and Innovation, has in attendance, representatives of Delta, Enugu, Edo and Bayelsa State governors, students and Traditional rulers.
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