Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says Nigeria will attain greatness when it shifts emphasis from consumption to production.
The vice president stated this at the first-ever national innovation workshop, organised by the Senate Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation in Awka, Anambra State, on Friday, under the chairmanship of Senator Uche Ekwunife.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of State for Science and Technology, Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh said the federal government will continue to support innovation, and encourage inventors to think towards commercialisation of their products.
Osinbajo said: “I commend Senator Uche Ekwunife for her passion and commitment in leading the Senate Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation. This workshop is a unique platform that offers Nigerians the opportunity to rebrand the national innovation ecosystem, with emphasis on technology and entrepreneurship.
“As you are aware, the office of the vice president has been championing the adoption of innovative technology as a key tool to accelerate social economic development in Nigeria. The way to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich is by thinking out of the box, through innovation and commercialisation.
“Nigeria will be great only when we begin to shift our emphasis from a consuming nation. We must rely on production and that is the only way to go.
“The positive outcome of this workshop will no doubt change the narrative from a dependent nation to a self-reliant country, and indeed promote innovation and social economic benefit. I wish to assure you all that FG will continue to make efforts to advance STI (Science, Technology and Innovation) in Nigeria.”
Ekwunife, in her keynote address at the workshop with the theme, “Promotion of Local Inventors of Science, Technology and Innovation”, said technology and innovation had continued to change the cause of human history, creating quantum prosperity to all who harvest from it.
She adds: “I have no doubt that Nigeria is rich in human capital and has the capacity to bring out the much-needed innovation and inventions that will eliminate poverty and lead us to prosperity with a double-digit GDP growth.
“It is gratifying to note that our new development plan, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) has recognised the important position occupied by STI in all economic activities of the nation.
“In order to achieve our goal, it has become necessary under my leadership in the Senate to intensify Research and Innovation, as well as increase awareness amongst Nigerians on the importance of STI in the life of the nation.
“Evidence from around the world has proved that research and innovation are necessary growth determinants, which must work together to attain sustainable national growth and development.”
Ekwunife said 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.
She added that the Senate is supporting the Ministry and its agencies on the implementation of their policies.
The workshop was attended by Anambra State governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo and the former President of the Senate, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, among others.
The workshop also featured exhibition of inventions by several inventors across Nigeria.
The host, Soludo, urged Nigerians to form a habit of patronising local inventors, saying that was the only way the country could grow.
He added that the Anambra State Government has made it a policy to patronise local inventors.
David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka