Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the country will achieve greatness when the focus shifts from consumption to production.
The Vice President made the remarks at the first National Innovation Workshop, organized by the Senate Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation in Oka, Anambra State, yesterday, chaired by Senator Oshie Ekunifi.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of State for Science and Technology, Henry Ikechoku-Ekoh, said the federal government would continue to support innovation, and encouraged inventors to consider commercializing their products.
“I commend Senator O’Shea Akoniffe for her passion and commitment to leading the Senate Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation,” said Osinbajo. Today’s workshop is a unique platform that offers Nigerians the opportunity to rebrand the national innovation ecosystem, with a focus on technology and entrepreneurship.
“As you know, the Office of the Vice President has been championing the adoption of innovative technology as a key tool to accelerate socio-economic development in Nigeria. The way to go to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich is to think outside the box, through innovation and commercialization of course.
“Nigeria will only be great when we start shifting our focus from a consumer country. We have to rely on production and that is the only way to go.”
“There is no doubt that the positive outcome of this workshop will change the narrative from a dependent country to a self-reliant one, and will indeed enhance innovation and socio-economic benefits. I would like to assure you all that FG will continue to make efforts for the advancement of science, technology and innovation in Nigeria.”
In her keynote address, Ekwunife said the theme of the workshop was “Encouraging local inventors of science, technology, and innovation,” saying that technology and innovation continue to change the cause of human history, and create quantum prosperity for all who harvest from it.
“I have no doubt that Nigeria is rich in human capital and has the potential to bring out much needed innovations and inventions that will eradicate poverty and lead us to prosperity with double-digit GDP growth.
“It is gratifying to note that our new development plan, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, has recognized the important place occupied by science, technology and innovation in all economic activities of the nation.
“In order to achieve our goal, it has become imperative under my leadership in the Senate to intensify research and innovation as well as to raise awareness among Nigerians about the importance of science, technology and innovation in the life of the nation.
“Evidence from around the world has demonstrated that research and innovation are necessary determinants of growth, and must work together to achieve sustainable national growth and development.”
Ekwunife said the Science, Technology and Innovation sector under the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is poised to transition Nigeria from a knowledge-based resource to a knowledge-based economy, driven by creativity and innovation. She added that the Senate supports the ministry and its agencies in implementing its policies.
The workshop was attended by the Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukuma Solodo, the former Speaker of the Senate and Secretary to the Union Government (SGF), Senator Anem Pius Anem, and the Speaker of the Anambra State House of Representatives, R. presence. Oshi Okafor, among others. The workshop also included an exhibition of inventions by many inventors across Nigeria.
The host, Solodu, urged Nigerians to develop the habit of patronizing local inventors, saying that this is the only way the country can grow. He added that the Anambra government had made it a policy to nurture local inventors.
Nigeria will be great when the focus shifts from consumption to production – Osinbajo