NACETEM Moves to Address Skill Deficit in Science Technology

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Fred Ojeh

The Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM), Prof. Okechukwu Okwuonu, Tuesday said the agency has started training across Nigerian’s economic sector to address the skill gaps in the science, technology and innovation sector.

Okwuonu stated this at a national workshop programme organised by the agency on management of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) projects for scientists, engineers, builders, project managers and other stakeholders in the sector, which started Tuesday in Yenogoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

Okwuonu said: “Specifically, this workshop is designed to enhance the skills of professionals in science and technology sector and help to develop concrete and practicable solutions to address knowledge and skills gaps in managing science, technology and innovation (STI) based projects across the various economic sectors in Nigeria.

“I am pleased to give this address at this momentous workshop coming at a very auspicious moment that the administration of President Muhammad Buhari is placing premium on science, technology and innovation as a driver of Nigeria’s economy.

According to him, the significance attached to science and technology is evident in the kind of support this administration has extended to the Ministry of Science and Technology and its agencies.

The DG said “it is with this backing that NACETEM, as an agency of the ministry, has been relentless in reaching out to all and sundry, particularly in the area of capacity building”.

“So, this workshop is one of the novel ways the agency is ensuring that no stone is left unturned in making science, technology and innovation a veritable tool of sustainable development”.

Okwuonu added: “I am aware that we have in our midst, professionals such as project managers, engineers, quantity surveyors, builders, among others, and that the array of professionals here present are from both the private and the public sectors.

“The cheering news is that NACETEM is ready to expose us to the global best practices in managing science, technology and innovation based projects via this workshop.”

While underscoring the import of the workshop, he said participants will learn project management skills and will be acquainted with project management tools that will come in handy in managing STI-based projects.

This, according to him, was because NACETEM, as a knowledge support institution, often comes up with cutting edge knowledge that will not only reposition participating organisations at its training programmes, but also ensures that such organisations were given adequate follow-ups in the proper deployment of the knowledge acquired.

The CEO noted that the agency was open to consulting for as many organisations as would require its services in science, technology and innovation management for sustainable development across the six geopolitical zones of the country, adding that the workshop has brought everyone here in contact with NACETEM.

He expressed optimism that the training will mark the beginning of an enduring mutually-rewarding relationship for every stakeholder in Nigeria’s economic development using science as driver.