By Lanre Oloyede
The Minister of State for Science and Technology, Barrister Abdullahi Mohammed has said that the Federal Government will soon establish a bank to fund Research and Development in a bid to commercialize research results so as to boost the economy.
Barrister Abdullahi disclosed this at the inauguration of sub-committees under the National Consultative Committee on Competitiveness on Thursday in Abuja.
In line with the President’s desire to reduce poverty in Nigeria, the Minister said the raw material sector would ensure significant reduction in raw materials and products importation by 11% to tune the of N3 trillion in the short-term,31% and 49% in the mid-term and long term respectively.He further said the Ministry has introduced new policies to boost job creation. and economic diversification.
On the major aims of the competitiveness policy, Barrister Abdullahi said its core mandates is to utilize STI (Science, Technology and Innovation) in order to create wealth.
He expressed hope that the sub-committees will take advantage of the current border closure by the government, to improve on production and use of raw materials for local industries.
In his words, “The National Competitiveness Strategy requires executive drive and commitment for Nigeria to achieve the desired drive towards global competitiveness”. This he added, will ensure that Nigerian raw materials and products are among the best in the world and in turn, improve the nation’s foreign earnings’’
Barrister Abdullahi also said the National Competitiveness Strategy and Implementation Plan requires executive drive and commitment of Stakeholders, especially Members of NCCC/Sub-Committee for the country to achieve the desired drive towards global Competitiveness.
He further said that the refocusing of R&D academia institutions, evolving circular in Nigeria tertiary institutions will steadily produce graduates of practical relevance to industries and bussiness for the benefit of the economy and society.
He urged the sub-committee to bring its wealth of experience to bear to ensure successful and efficient implementation.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Umar Bello said there are lots of potentials in the country but it requires funding on research and development which he added that most countries globally are where they are due to funds on R&D.