PRESS BRIEFING ON THE APPROVED 2022 SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION POLICY BY THE HONOURABLE MINISTER, DR. OGBONNAYA ONU HOLDING ON 15TH MARCH,2022 AT THE HONOURABLE MINISTER’S CONFERENCE ROOM, BLOCK D, 4TH FLOOR, FEDERAL SECRETARIAT.
I am happy to speak to you on the approved 2022 Science, Technology and Innovation Policy by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
- As you are aware, the first National Science and Technology Policy produced in 1986 was designed to create harmony in the pursuit of knowledge about the environment through Research and Development(R&D). The Policy was thereafter reviewed in 1997 to give more emphasis to coordination and management of the S&T system, sectoral development, collaboration and funding. In 2003, the S&T Policy was again reviewed taking into consideration the gaps observed in the implementation of the 1997 Policy, especially on the need to address the institutional framework that foster interaction among the various elements of the National Innovation System (NIS).
- Consequently and with lessons learnt from other countries, the first national STI policy was formulated in 2012. One notable feature of the Policy is the emphasis on “innovation” which has become a global tool for fast tracking sustainable development. This was a clear demonstration of the country’s commitment in ensuring that our R&D engagements are ultimately translated into goods and services in the market place. This will promote new business development and encourage employment generation as well as wealth creation.
- However, after almost a decade of the implementation of the 2012 STI Policy, a review was necessary given the current realities of Nigeria’s economy and recent advances in science and technology.
- The Ministry in an effort to reposition Nigeria in a productive and competitive manner, inaugurated an Inter-Ministerial Committee with members drawn from cognate Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Stakeholders within STI Ecosystem, International Development Partners(UNESCO) to carry out an evaluation of the 2012 STI Policy Performance in the light of current technological and socio-economic changes at both national and global levels. It is important to mention that the 2012 STI Policy received a wide circulation and the attention of most stakeholders, including development partners during the process of its evaluation. However, the extent of implementation is generally described as below expectation and this was clearly as a result of low funding, poor understanding of the objectives of the policy by stakeholders, poor coordination among implementing institutions, non-approval of the National Research and Innovation Council (NRIC) Bill, etc.
- Subsequently, a Technical Task Team was inaugurated to finalize the 2012 STI Policy review taking into consideration the lessons learnt from the evaluation report. The Technical Task Team worked assiduously to ultimately produce a draft National Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy, which was widely circulated. A further review was carried out based on comments received. Thereafter, the amended document was further considered and validated by stakeholders.
- The reviewed Policy is in reasonable agreement with the objectives and pillars of the Medium Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) 2021-2025. It was articulated to develop and utilise Science, Technology and Innovation to build a large, strong, diversified, sustainable and competitive economy that would guarantee a high standard of living and good quality of life for Nigerians.
- There is therefore need to strengthen existing relationships and interactions among key stakeholders through appropriate strategies and platforms. We should also make both the NRIC and NRIF function properly to ensure full implementation of the 2022 STI Policy.
- Distinguished ladies and Gentlemen, I want to thank President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Executive Council for approving the 2022 STI Policy. I also thank our Developmental Partners (UNESCO) for their continuous support in preparing the reviewed policy. My appreciation also goes to the members of the Technical Task Team namely the Presidents of the Academies of Science, Engineering and Letters; the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture; Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions (ASURI) as well as members of the Inter-ministerial Review Committee including the National University Commission (NUC), in addition to the Management and Staff of the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation with her Agencies for their various contributions. I specially thank the Honourable Minister of State for all that he did.
- I want to assure all Nigerians that the reviewed National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (NSTIP) articulates workable strategies for the development of a knowledge economy in our dear country. It supports the diversification agenda of the present administration. It is the key that will help us, as a nation, to unlock the door of opportunities for our dear nation. This will help us solve many of our national problems. It will help us create jobs for our young people, fight and defeat poverty among our people particularly in the rural areas, industrialise the nation, strengthen our economy, secure our nation, provide food security for our people and provide drugs and machine for the sick among several other things. I therefore call on all stakeholders to strongly support the Policy and ensure effective implementation.
- I thank you. May God bless Nigeria.